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New homes replace crime-ridden complex

For years, apartments at 1018-1024 John Ave. were a bane for nearby residents. Neighbors plagued with crime and violence stemming from building occupants fought for years to eliminate problems that prompted hundreds of police calls to the buildings.

For years, apartments at 1018-1024 John Ave. were a bane for nearby residents.

Neighbors plagued with crime and violence stemming from building occupants fought for years to eliminate problems that prompted hundreds of police calls to the buildings.

In 2005, demolition of the buildings came as welcome relief to those yearning for the restoration of peace and quiet.

Now, that neighborhood is heading in a new direction as the Housing Development Corp. begins construction of a new affordable home. It's the first of two planned for the site.

"We're going to have one completed and hopefully sold by the end of this year," said Andy Lisak, a member of the Housing Development Corp. board. "One probably won't be completed until next year."

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Housing Development Corp. was created in 1979 by the Superior Housing Authority to promote and enhance affordable housing in Superior. The corporation broke ground on its first home in 2003 and has since constructed about 16, including 10 on the site of the former East Middle School.

Eight of the houses are complete and in the hands of new homeowners. Two are still under construction.

"We're just amazed," Lisak said. "Last year, we were just basically breaking ground on the project and now to have it almost totally complete. I think it exceeded all our expectations."

Next year, the John Avenue site will feature two new single-family homes.

That was the point -- to put the parcel back on tax rolls, said Ed Montgomery, who lives next door to the property. He said it's good to see that city and county officials carried through with a promise to hand the property to the Housing Development Corp. for redevelopment.

"We're quite pleased," Montgomery said. "Hopefully, we'll get some good neighbors."

Shelley Nelson can be reached at (715) 395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com .

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