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Eden Green owner to outline apartments' revamp

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Community meeting

What: Plans for Eden Green apartments
Where: Fort Wayne Urban League, 2135 Hanna St.
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Monday, August 20, 2012 - 9:14 pm

A Cleveland-based company that now owns the troubled Eden Green apartments will lay out its plans Tuesday on how to make the complex a safer, more attractive place to live.

Millennia Housing, which acquired the property, 2201 Reed St., in November 2011, will host a community meeting to update Fort Wayne residents on a project that could include razing several buildings and building a set of new townhouses and a new community center, said Greg Bierbaum, Millennia's resident advocacy director.

Tuesday's meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m. at the Fort Wayne Urban League, 2135 Hanna St., comes as part of Millennia's application process for millions of dollars in federal low-income housing tax credits that would fund most of the revamp, Bierbaum said.

A major goal of the project is to improve safety at Eden Green, which has been plagued by drugs and violence. Six people, including a U.S. Marshal, have been hurt in shootings at the complex this year.

"We are trying to get crime down. We by no means have it completely under control, but we're making a dent," Bierbaum said. "We've still had three or four shootings there this year, which is not acceptable."

Millennia's plans would include increased lighting and security cameras. The company also would build a new leasing office and community center in the middle of the property, instead of at one end, to give staff and security guards a stronger presence, Bierbaum said.

Under the plan, the 192-unit complex would be divided into two smaller communities called the Villages of Hanna and the Villages of Creighton. The company's chief architect will be available at Tuesday's meeting to provide design plans and answer questions.

City Councilman Glynn Hines, D-6th, said the improvements also would be crucial to the ongoing Renaissance Pointe development, another effort to reverse bad perceptions about the former Hanna-Creighton neighborhood.

"It is important to develop Eden Green because it will provide additional housing choices for the citizens and assist with the development of the Hanna Creighton area," Hines said in an email.

Bierbaum said the project could cost up to $15 million, mostly in federal tax credits. The city also may put some money into the work, he said.