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New housing development marks "new era", officials say

WMDT 47ABC January 31, 2017

With one snip during a ceremonial ribbon-cutting Tuesday, Wicomico County entered what some officials call a "new era" for mixed-income housing.

"This is just the first phase of this," says Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver. "We have another phase that we have to tear down now and get ready to get going."

Tuesday marked the grand opening of Stone Grove Crossing, just outside of Salisbury city limits. It's the first phase of redeveloping Booth Street. The former public housing site was constructed in the 1960's.

According to County Executive Culver, it has not always had the best reputation.

"We weren't managing it well and over the years, it became very derelict. It became a piece of property that was not only trouble with maintenance but also with personnel," explains Culver.

Demolition for the first phase began in late 2015, according to Don Bibb.

Bibb, executive director of the Wicomico County Housing Authority, says the 17 million dollar development brings 84 modern apartments. 50 of the apartments have been allocated to prior Booth Street residents, subsidized through a rental assistance program. The remainder are open to the public so long as they meet income and tax credit qualifications.

This is the vision that began ten years ago, he says; however, he admits it hasn't always been easy given the size of the project.

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