Everyone is invited to a Ribbon Cutting/Key Presentation Ceremony at 1402 Harrison Street in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 22. During the ceremony, Paducah Planning Department staff will present the keys to the newly constructed home to its owner, Shenelie Askew. This is the 30th new or rehabilitated home in the neighborhood with an investment of $100,000 or more.
In February 2010, the City of Paducah submitted Askew to be a candidate on the Extreme Makeover Home Edition television show. Askew is an inspiring young woman taking care of her son, two nieces, and three nephews while working and going to college. At the time of the Extreme Makeover application, Askew and her large family were leasing a small home of less than 1000 square feet in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood. A section of the application reads, “Shenelie Askew is determined to find a permanent home that will be adequate to the needs of her expanded family, and the City of Paducah is determined to make that happen.”
Askew was not selected for the Extreme Makeover show. However, the work to find a permanent home in the neighborhood that she loves did not end. Through a Kentucky Housing Corporation’s GAP program and with the support of the City of Paducah, Askew will close on the home at 1402 Harrison Street Friday morning, June 22.
Community Development Planner Charlie Doherty says, “I get a big smile each time we have a new homeowner in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood. Since this program was adopted by the City Commission in 2007, it has been extremely successful in bringing families, young professionals, and retirees into the neighborhood.”
Over the past five years through nearly $6 million in public and private partnerships, 17 new homes have been built in the neighborhood and almost 100 additional permits have been issued for repairs and renovations to existing homes. Paducah Planning Director Steve Ervin says the goal is to build or rehabilitate ten homes per year. The City of Paducah recently received approval from Kentucky Housing Corporation to construct seven new single family dwellings under the HOME Program.
Fountain Avenue, Park Avenue, North 13th Street, and the alley between Monroe and Jefferson comprise the boundaries of the neighborhood. The main goal is to turn the neighborhood back into an economically diverse neighborhood similar to its character nearly 100 years ago. Ervin says before the revitalization started it was determined that about 80 percent of the structures needed major structural repair.
For more information about the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood including incentive programs and available lots and homes, call the Planning Department at 444-8690 or visit www.fountainave.com.