JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- There's a new plan to fix up a historic area of Jacksonville.
Millions of dollars will help restore Springfield and Northwest Jacksonville to their former glory.
Eva Ayres has lived in Springfield for 32 years. Now retired, she's fixing up some of the historic homes and turning them into apartments. She worries the area already has a bad rap. "Everybody is so terrified of coming over here," said Ayres.
In some cases, it's not hard to see why. There are run-down buildings and empty streets are intermixed with restored historic homes. "I think just more improvement, that's what we need," said Ayres.
Leaders in the community have a new plan, a plan they say will work this time. Kevin Gay is the president of Operation New Hope, which helps families rebuild and restore communities. He says people want to invest in a plan. So, that's what they've come up with. "Get businesses up on Main Street," said Gay. "We're working on education to improve graduation rates." Gay says they need to fix the crime rate, too.
They want to bring in more events and recreational games, but they realize that costs money. They say the money will come from sponsors and grants. It's good news for one long time resident who wants to see a turnaround in the neighborhood she fell in love with. "It's good to know they're going to do this. It's thrilling for those of us who live here," said Ayres.
The organization has received some grants to start work. They hope to invest more than $100 million in the Springfield and Northwest Jacksonville areas in the next three years.
For more information, go to www.liscjax.org