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Redevelopment finally underway in Highland Park

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 RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- Members of the Matthews Heights and Highland Park Communities gathered Sunday for an open house to celebrate the redevelopment of their neighborhood.

"It's such a magical feeling looking at this home on the hill," Dianna Bowers, President and CEO of the Southside Redevelopment Housing Corporation, said.

The open house was for a recently completed renovation of a historic home - part of a  seven million dollar plan to redevelopment the area around Highland Park.

The plan calls for 30 more homes to be built - priced at around $190,000 dollars - for moderate to low income earners to purchase.

But some are questioning the speed the project is taking.

The fields where the new homes will go has been vacant since July 2003 - when apartments were torn down.

While money and the economy has significantly delayed the project, organizers say Richmond city bureaucracy has delayed progress as well. 

"The city has rules and regulations," Bowser said. 

"Building inspectors have so many projects in the city - sometimes it's a challenge," Contractor Micheal Audet said.

Councilwoman Ellen Robertson suggested changes to make development projects like this happen more quickly.

"I think sometimes things sit on people's desks longer than they have to," Robertson said.

Click on the video for the full report.