Downtown Neighborhood Gets a Much-Needed Facelift (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Eric DeFreeuw

May 7, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 4:58 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) – One of Fort Wayne’s most historic neighborhoods got a facelift as four houses on Washington Boulevard were renovated, giving the area a new life.

Mayor Tom Henry was on hand at the open house as three of the four homes were put up for sale. He told the story of the homes as they sat uninhabited and neglected for decades before the city and the West Central neighborhood stepped in. With funding from the Belay Corporation, the 800 block of Washington Boulevard has been transformed into a beautiful sight.

Due to excessive fire damage and disregard, two of the homes had to be torn down and rebuilt while the remaining homes were completely gutted and renovated. Yet according to West Central Neighborhood Association President Susan Smethers, this is likely just the beginning for the neighborhood.

"What it's done is it's sparked other home owners around to really start taking an interest. Because how much money do you put into a home when you're next to four homes that are dilapidated? So now that they're not and now that they're going to be lived in, people really start to care about what they have and really want to protect it. And we've seen new buyers in and fixing up what was otherwise an empty home as well."

All homes in the West Central neighborhood must adhere to strict historical standards from both the state and city, including the two newly built homes. Yet according to Mayor Henry, this project was vital to creating a positive impression for all downtown visitors due to the high traffic and high visibility of the homes.

The three homes for sale are listed between $85,000 and $88,000.

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