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Old neighborhood gets multi-million dollar makeover

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Richmond's old Dove Court public housing project is undergoing a rebirth. Five years ago city leaders tore down Dove Court units to make space for the new Highland Grove community.  Now construction is underway on the first phase of the $22.9 million project.

"At one time I thought it wasn't going to be developed because it was going back and forth about what they had planned to do,"  former Dove Court resident Alice Davis said.

In the end, a private developer teamed up with Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) to build 250 mixed-income rental units. People who live in the new Highland Grove community will have a recreation center and a park. Plus the old Virginia National Guard Armory will be transformed into a Science, Technology, Education and Math Elementary school.

"It's not just about the bricks and mortar.  It's about how do we change people's lives.  How do we have them think differently about where they live,” RRHA CEO Adrienne Goolsby said.

Goolsby said there will be strict requirements and tight security for tenants.

"If you put the things in the ground and say this is what we're intentionally doing and actually focusing our resources there you will actually get a bigger bang for your buck,” Goolsby said.

RRHA said tenants who live in Highland Grove must be employed, in school or have 30 hours of job training experience. Exceptions to those requirements will be made for seniors and the disabled. Everyone will be required to go through a background check.

If you would like to apploy or learn more about the Highland Grove apartments, call 1-866-679-6668.