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Taft Homes Redevelopment Slated To Begin This Summer

Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio

If all goes according to plan, the first phase of demolition and new construction at the Taft Homes could start this summer.

Adam Templer is vice president of development at Bear Development, the Peoria Housing Authority's partner on the new $47.3 million public housing development on the site of Taft Homes.

"We feel very good about where the plan's landed, and that they'll be really well received by residents, and will hopefully be a very big upgrade from what is out there today," Templer said.

That plan was developed with resident feedback. For instance, residents requested exterior doors in lieu of hallway access to units.

Templer said financial closing and federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approval should happen in the next 90 days. The wrecking ball could begin swinging as early as June, with new construction set to follow shortly thereafter.

The project includes 142 new units to replace the 1950s barrack-style public housing currently on site. Demolition and new construction will happen in two phases over the next 2 1/2 years, with current residents shifted into units to the northeast during the first wave of construction, then back into the newly- constructed units during the second demolition phase.

Some Taft families are moving to scattered site housing on the East Bluff during the construction, but they also have the right to return upon its completion.

That approach won praise from 1st District councilwoman Denise Moore.

"The residents of the Taft are going to see something that is beautiful," she said. "And they aren't going to be displaced. You all took such great pains to make sure they weren't going to be displaced."

Per the terms of the state and federal tax credits awarded for the project, construction is due to wrap up by December 2023.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.