Wheatley Courts to undergo $30 million redevelopment

Wheatley Courts to be replaced, redeveloped on East Side

SAN ANTONIO - The city's Eastside is getting a huge boost in their revitalization efforts.

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On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the San Antonio Housing Authority a $29,750,000 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant.

SAHA officials said the grant will be used to revitalize the Wheatley Courts and the surrounding area.

Yvonne Martinez, who lives at the Wheatley Courts, said the Eastside has long had a bad reputation and that she wants that to change.

"The way people say, 'the Eastside, the Eastside,' but believe or not, it's home," said Martinez. "It's home to me and for my kids, it's home."

And now that the San Antonio Housing Authority is getting a grant to fix up the Eastside, Martinez said she is certain that her neighborhood is going to look a lot better.

"I think it's a blessing and it's right before Christmas," said Martinez. "I think it's amazing. It's going to help bring back a lot of love and care to the Eastside."

As part of the process, crews will tear down the old apartments at the Wheatley Courts and build a mixed use development in its place.

"When folks actually see these old outdated apartments come down and start seeing something new, I think that means everything," said District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor.

Lourdes Castro Ramirez, SAHA President, said the grant will invest in the neighborhood, increase park space and infrastructure and as an end result, they are also hoping to lower crime.

"It's also going to be a project that will involve activities for youth, job training projects and really investing in the entire neighborhood," said Ramirez.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Mayor Julian Castro and District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor joined federal housing representatives to announce the award of the grant.

"We can create a new vibrant, safe, healthy community here," said Taylor. "So, that folks here know that we care about their lives."

San Antonio was one of only four communities in nationwide to receive a 2012 Choice Implementation Grant.

Work is expected to begin sometime early next year.

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