City-owned Lanier Place development not living up to potential - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

City-owned Lanier Place development not living up to potential

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

What city leaders hoped would be a thriving community on Montgomery's west side has been anything but. The Lanier Place development on E. D. Nixon Drive was largely funded by federal grants.

"The whole development was for 50 or 60 or 70 houses," says Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. But that didn't happen. Only three have been built since the project started.

"Some of the funds that were allocated five years ago dried up," adds Strange.

The idea, provide new housing for residents in West Montgomery without dipping in to city coffers.

"It was really part of that whole vision of West Fairview Avenue." But when the government cut some community grants, Lanier Place's progress came to a halt.

"They had talked about building more houses back there," says Coner Sims who moved to Lanier Place roughly two years ago. Since then, he hasn't seen any construction. But that could change.

Mayor Strange is talking with officials at the Montgomery Housing Authority, hoping to transfer the land to them to build a housing development.

"They can do it quicker and with a lot more expertise," says Strange.

WSFA 12 News spoke with the housing authority's Director Yvette Hester. She says nothing has been decided and chose not to comment unless the two reach an agreement.

In the meantime, Sims would like to see new development behind his home. "It just depends on how they manage it and how they work on keeping any kind of crime down or just keep control of the area."

If the housing authority takes control of the property, Mayor Strange doesn't believe they'll build houses similar to the ones there now. It's still unclear if the city would sell the property or give it to the authority.

The city council must approve any land transfer before the deal is finalized.

Copyright 2013  WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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