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For the first time in more than 20 years, private developers are partners in building a dozen new homes in the Bushtown neighborhood.

The only concentrated development efforts in recent years have been by nonprofit organizations, according to officials with Community Impact of Chattanooga, an organization devoted to improving neighborhoods.

Private developers working in a community means that community can compete for new homes and more investment, said BettyeLynn Smith, Community Impact's executive director.

"It's not just enough for us to remove blight and demolish duplexes and leave vacant land. Part of our plan is to repopulate those areas," Smith said. "This is about the total revitalization of Bushtown. We want people to feel safe, to restore a sence of neighborliness."

IF YOU GO

* What: Bushtown Block Party

* When: Noon to 4 p.m. today

* Where: North Holly Street, between Cleveland Avenue and Citico Avenue

Community Impact of Chattanooga called financial partners and four private developers together to build a dozen privately developed, affordable, green housing units all on one street, the 600 block of North Holly Street.

The development, called Bushtown Tomorrow, is a part of 3 East Tomorrow, a $3 million effort to revitalize the Bushtown, Glenwood and Orchard Knob neighborhoods. The communities are third in a series of neighborhood revitalization initiatives, following M.L. King Tomorrow and Jefferson Heights.

Funding for the project comes from Community Impact, the city's Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, the Lyndhurst Foundation and the developers.

"We are working together to combine what we have to make these offerings in the neighborhoods represented by 3 East strong," said Lyndhurst program officer Sarah Morgan.

The developers - Adamson Developers, Steve Birger Construction Co., Roland Development and Skip Pond Construction - are hosting a block party in Bushtown today to explain the new homes' advantages to residents and potential buyers.

"We want the community to understand what a green house is and what it does for the home," said Bobby Joe Adamson Sr., owner of Adamson Developers.

The three-bedroom homes will range from $125,000 to $135,000, officials said. However, 3 East Tomorrow offers a $15,000 incentive to buyers, according to Community Impact officials.

Individuals and families with total household income of $46,950 to $88,550 are eligible for the homes, depending on the size of the household.

The homes should be completed by October.

And the 12 homes will be the first in the city built using Greenspaces Better Built "Green" standards, said Greenspaces Director Jeff Cannon. The homes will serve as pilots for affordable energy-efficient homes Greenspaces plans to market throughout Chattanooga.

Contact Yolanda Putman at yputman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6431.

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