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When you look at the neighborhood along 7th and Mill, it seems like the same picturesque community in Mud Island or Harbortown. But, if you look a little closer, this area was formerly Hurt Village housing project. Now, it's called Uptown.
Uptown resident Tanja Mitchell says, "So I came over to the neighborhood and I just immediately fell in love."
Mitchell moved into her home thanks to a grant from Hope-6, the same community where more than a decade ago was a 6-square mile area, dotted with vacant buildings, blight and lots targeted for demolition. Federal, state and local dollars to a tune of more than 100 million dollars were used to overhaul the entire area with mixed income housing, mature trees, sidewalks and streets.
Mitchell says, "I have a little bit of everything around my block, black, white, rich and poor. We're just neighbors and we're friends."
One person in the neighborhood may live in a market value home. Someone else has a house from a grant through Hope-6. Right next door is public housing, but the common goal is a neighborhood to be proud of.
Margaret Brown has lived in Uptown for more than 6 years. She says even though she paid market value for her home, it was affordable.
She says the income difference in this community, is only one aspect of those who live here, "I have neighbors I really like very much, I couldn't be happier with my neighbors here. We are just in a very nice place here."
She says there may have been a time when people were afraid to come down to the area just north of St. Jude, but she says take a look around, because times have changed.
"I've live in Detroit, Newark, New Jersey suburbs, New Orleans, now tell me about crime, no don't bother," adds Brown.
The area is still going through phases of redevelopment with more affordable homes and apartments to come.
Mitchell says, "My heart is definitely in Uptown, I believe in Uptown, I believe in what's going on and it's just a great place to live, it really is."
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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