A Charlotte neighborhood once plagued by crime and drugs is now the location of new $200,000 homes.
"Kids would go on the playground and see the bullet shells," said Councilman James Mitchell as he walked with Eyewitness News through the new Bright Walk Subdivision off of Statesville Avenue in North Charlotte.
He said he remembers when the now bustling new neighborhood was home to drug dealers and urban blight.
"You can revitalize areas of Charlotte that people once said, 'I would not live there.' "
The city took over the housing complex that used to sit on the property and started implementing a master plan of retail, apartments and single-family homes. Leaders said last week someone paid $280,000 for a house in the neighborhood, even though leaders say there is still a lot to accomplish on Statesville Avenue.
"It's one of our corridors that we're looking at to revitalize."
Julie Porter, president of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, said, "I think we've been so careful in explaining to people what it is going to look like."
Patricia Cuero chose Bright Walk over subdivisions in South Park. She recently moved to Charlotte from Seattle and was attracted to the mixed development and the possibility of a light-rail station nearby.
"We like to live downtown and this is the closest we could get very affordable."
Leaders said city investment in projects like Bright Walk may be Charlotte's only hope to increase the tax base, since the city can't grow outward any longer.
"Now cause we cannot annex anymore...we have to go internal, use vacant property and say that's how we're gonna be a Charlotte for the future," said Mitchell.
Leaders said there is no grocery store in that area and that's one of the business they are going after. Monday, the City Council approved thousands of dollars to help build new single-family homes in the Druid Hills area, which is just across the street from Bright Walk.