Although a slow process, west side revitalization is in progress - CBS46 News

Although a slow process, west side revitalization is in progress

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

The pervasive blight in some of Atlanta's west side communities has become endemic. It's not part of the landscape. It IS the landscape.

Getting the west side back to its former greatness won't be easy, but the work has begun. The buildings may still be boarded up but thanks to workers with the Westside Future Fund, they're a little cleaner and the signs of change are everywhere.

The city is cracking down on housing code violations and the work being done is changing resident's opinions of the area. 

"We have grants available that are going to be rolled out this year to renovate the homes of existing home owners throughout my council district. Not just Vine City and English Avenue but throughout the entire city," says Atlanta City Councilman Ivory Young Jr. 

Less than one in 10 people in this community owns their own home. Tony Torrence runs a small car wash in the area. He says he remembers when the neighborhood was thriving.

"I remember when this was a thriving neighborhood when you actually had black politicians, lawyers, judges. Everybody was together," said Torrence.

But things are changing. Real estate buyer Ron Jacobs says the west side is on the map for realtors.

"You've got a lot happening here. This whole area is on fire," says Jacobs. "You've got the police department moving here and you can see cameras everywhere so they are watching. But realistically, the numbers are going up and it's about time. This area is prime location for being able to get throughout the city."

But for Torrence, who's been here 25 years, now is the time for residents to dig in.

"If we start investing more into our neighborhoods, we will control our neighborhoods and we will have a better neighborhood. Other people won't come in to invest and move you outside of I-285," says Torrence.

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