by: Tenikka Smith Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Renaissance has come to west Charlotte.
Millions of federal and local dollars have gone toward redeveloping the former Boulevard Homes site into a mixed income community.
Friday, there was a ribbon cutting for the first phase of the project called "The Retreat at Renaissance."
It includes 110 apartments for seniors like Bobby Thompson who live on a fixed income.
"I love it," Thompson said. "My daughter said 'momma I'd like to live in this, it's beautiful.'"
Thompson lived in Boulevard Homes when it first opened 30 years ago.
She's always loved living along the West Boulevard Corridor, but she didn't like the violence, poverty and crime that became synonymous with the area over time.
"It wasn't satisfactory for a while there," she said.
Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield said the Renaissance is ushering in a new era.
Mayfield said, "It's creating a new bar in the stratosphere of what we think of and what we see when we think of workforce and affordable housing."
Working families will soon be able to move into the development. Plans are also in the works for a child development center, charter school and a community center.
The community represents a new holistic approach in offering affordable housing, education and opportunities all in one place.
Thompson is glad to be a part of the transformation.
"This is where I feel at home," she said.
Mayfield hopes the Renaissance will help the city attract mid- and high-end retail and restaurants to the area as well.