Melrose Mercy Neighborhood - Focus of my neighborhood renewal efforts
I decided about one year ago that I needed to invest my time and money in a much bigger way to speed the turn around of the Melrose Mercy Neighborhood. This is the neighborhood in town with the highest percentage of vacant lots, with over 230 vacant, and 70 houses that were boarded up. Since then, many good things have happened:
1) We restarted the neighborhood association,
2) I led a group to paint a house for an elderly couple and connected with volunteers to paint another house for a gentleman who just had by-pass operation.
3) I renovated a house in the 1900 block of Melrose Ave. Three other houses have been rehabbed on the block after that.
4) I purchased a home on the corner of 21st St S and 13th Ave to rehab it but found it was too termite ridden so I tore it down and plan to build a house there.
5) Stonegate Bank offered the city a lot on 12th Ave S which the city turned down. Happily, I was able to connect them with the Wounded Warrior folks and a wound warrior will have a new home built there this Spring.
6) The City agreed to give the Wounded Warrior organization a second lot across the street. A house will be given to another wounded warrior as soon as the funds are raised for it.
7) I rehabbed a house on 12th Ave S that went from a liability on the block to one of the nicest houses on the block. Two houses on the block have had work done on them since then.
8) Wells Fargo said yes when I asked them to give the City a lot with a terrible house on it across the street from Melrose Elementary. They tore it down. The City will build 3 houses on 13th Ave S, all within one block of the two wounded warrior houses.
9) The children who walk from Jordon Park to Melrose Elementary now have a safe place to walk thanks to a sidewalk that we finished last week. At least, 50 little children use it everyday.
There is more work to do. But, it is a start. Community groups are stepping up to rehab buildings like the Fannie Ponder House and the Happy Workers Daycare. A private developer is completely rehabbing the worst two buildings on 22nd St. Another developer has rehabbed 16 units on Russell St. The momentum is building. The best days for this neighborhood are coming!