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Lafayette celebrates Chatham Square development

Chatham Sq ribbon cutting.JPG
Mike Loizzo
Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski cuts the ribbon on a Chatham Square townhouse with members of the Chatham family, who once owned the property at Greenbush Street and Shenandoah Drive, as city employees, community members and developers watch.

A resident of Lafayette’s Chatham Square says there’s nothing like it in the city.

Will Currin and his family live in one of the community’s 89 rental units.

"It's very nice, very different. It seems like something that doesn't belong here. Seems like something that belongs in another town. It's good for the children, very roomy, and the management is great to deal with.”

He says his townhome is energy efficient, which helps keep utility costs low. Currin looked on during the ribbon cutting ceremony for Chatham Square Thursday morning.

The city bought the property and, in late 2009, began tearing down Bridgeway Apartments, a high-crime apartment complex.

Brinshore Development was hired to create the rental townhomes and ten owner-occupied homes at the corner of Greenbush Street and Shenandoah Drive. Residents now must meet certain employment and income requirements.

Mayor Tony Roswarski says everyone involved helped turn that troubled complex into a quality place to live.

"We did more than transform buildings, we transformed lives. People are going to be proud to call this home. They're going to be part of a neighborhood, part of the community. There's hope here. There's a sense of optimism, and that's what it's really all about: How do you develop your people?"

He says it took seven years to accomplish the vision for the property, but he’s proud of the end result.

Brinshore principal partner David Brint says building the community was a collaborative effort.

"It wasn't like a developer came into a community and said, 'I'm going to build something,' and got approvals. It was a vision that came out of the community that wanted something done. We mobilized all sorts of resources and the city was very involved and the community was very involved."

Brint says all rental units are full, and of the three homes built so far, two are under contract and the other is close to being sold.