The West Montgomery Initiative exemplifies Mayor Todd Strange’s commitment to revitalization of Montgomery’s older neighborhoods. This effort builds on a foundation laid by Central Montgomery Weed & Seed to address concerns voiced by residents and public officials during the grant application process for this Department of Justice program and during the six years of implementation of the Weed and Seed strategy. As the five years of Weed and Seed grant funding came to an end, Mayor Strange announced the West Montgomery Initiative, to focus on the implementation of projects designed to remove barriers to private investment and economic development in the neighborhoods located within the boundaries of Fairview Avenue to Clayton Street and Interstate 65 to Court Street and the commercial corridor of West Fairview Avenue.
The West Fairview Avenue Charrette held in February 2010 by the City of Montgomery married stakeholders’s ideas and concerns with the expertise of Dover Kohl Partners, a nationally recognized urban design firm, to produce the West Fairview Avenue Master Plan. This plan, along with several other strategic planning efforts initiated by Montgomery Weed & Seed over a seven-year period, continues to provide guidance with stakeholders’ collaboration for the West Montgomery Initiative.
Projects underway include: • Implementation of West Fairview Avenue Streetscape Improvement Plan • Development of Genetta Park as a gateway to Fairview Avenue Business District • Development of Lanier Place housing • Development of Heritage View Apartments • Land banking of abandoned properties • All Collaborating To Serve Community Development Corporation (ACTS CDC) • West Fairview Avenue Façade Improvement Program • Removal of blighted apartments on Caroline Street • Housing Codes partnership to address abandoned properties Projects in planning stages include: • Montgomery Police Department Substation on West Fairview Avenue • Recruitment of new retail services to the area, including a bank • Renaissance Revitalization Plan for the Three Points neighborhood and commercial areas • Improvements to five-points intersection on South Goldthwaite Street to create northern gateway Projects implemented include: • Shotspotter gunfire detection system • MPD community liaison officers • Building Permit/Landfill Fee Waiver Program (resulted in doubling the permits for the area) • EPA clearance of Brownfields sites in the Three Points community Other projects supported by the West Montgomery Initiative network: • Nixon-Times Neighborhood Association Community Garden • Graetz Neighborhood Association’s entrance signs and neighborhood dedication event • Three Points Neighborhood Association’s entrance signs • Youth development programming at Goode Street Community Center and area schools • Activities by four neighborhood associations in the WMI area • Montgomery County Employability Network