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BLUEFIELD – From blighted to beautiful.

That’s how many are describing the transformation along the 1100 block of Highland Avenue. Dilapidated, dangerous structures were razed and replaced by multifamily rental units and one single family home.

Westbridge Gardens, the nine-unit, five-building housing development, features contemporary, practical designs. Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, laundry hook ups, roomy living areas and bedrooms and spacious bathrooms. Most units also have outdoor living areas and ample, off street parking. Across the street, stands a newly-built single family home.

Community Action of South Eastern West Virginia (CASE) spearheaded the redevelopment of the area.

“This is a transformation that even the most optimistic among us could not have envisioned,” said Erica Boggess, the West Virginia Housing Development Fund’s Acting Executive Director. “What this block was and what it is now just goes to show what can happen when everyone starts working for the same goal."

Boggess commended CASE for their dedication to seeing the project through to completion. Westbridge was built, in part, through the Fund’s Neighborhood Housing and Economic Stabilization Program and HOME Program. The total cost of the project was $1.3 million.

Cathy Colby, director of the Fund’s HOME Program, said the units are more than just apartments.

“This is so much more than just a place to rent,” Colby said. “CASE has created a true community. The Fund is proud to stand with them.”

Construction started in late 2013, and tenants are expected to begin moving in over the next few weeks.

The West Virginia Housing Development Fund, the state’s affordable mortgage leader, helped fund Westbridge Gardens in Bluefield, W.Va. Westbridge Gardens is a nine-unit, five-building housing development.