Dec 6, 2012 10:10 AM by Ryan Haarer
TUCSON- Once a place known for drugs and graffiti, the new Casa Presidio Apartments will attract more responsible residents looking to make the most of the surrounding shops and community.
When an affordable housing development went bad, the lot was abandoned. It began attracting some so-called "undesirable characters."
"They knocked down a palm tree onto one of the buildings inside the perimeter. They had squatters that broke out the windows," said Marlene Hughes, board member of the Richland Heights East neighborhood.
In addition to the eyesore dragging down home values, neighbors began feeling unsafe. Homes in the area were being broken in to. Even Tucson Police warned residents to avoid the area at night.
Now that Town West Design and Development has taken over the building is starting to look like it belongs. The 78 units feature granite countertops, brand new appliances, a washer and dryer in every unit, and a community pool and gym.
"The property had some asbestos contamination. We were able to remediate that and redevelop that. Basically take it down to the studs, increase the size of the unit," said Jim Horvath, president of the development company.
Neighbors are already reporting decreased crime. The project is almost completed and some residents have already moved in.