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Can a wrecking ball and a $20 million investment bring tranquility to Harvey Street?
West Valley City officials say yes. Their multi-million dollar redevelopment effort is worth watching.
Something dramatic had to happen to Harvey Street.
As one city official said earlier this year, a 20-year struggle to make Harvey Street a decent place to live "has been a bottomless effort." Despite almost constant police patrols, violent crime flourished! Homicide, prostitution, drugs! Name the crime - it probably happened on Harvey Street. Absentee landlords lost control of their properties.
Sometimes such severe problems demand drastic solutions.
That’s why Harvey Street is being demolished, literally. In the place of dilapidated apartments and rundown homes will come a new 88-unit affordable housing development and a 79-unit senior citizens complex.
Within a year a new and hopefully safer Harvey Street will rise from the rubble.
But, it should be remembered, the neglected buildings of Harvey Street may have aggravated the problem, but they didn’t cause it. People, not structures, are the ones that defied the law.
The real test of the new Harvey Street will be with the people who’ll reside there and their commitment to being law-abiding citizens. City officials are banking on finding those kinds of residents.
As we said, it is a crime-fighting and redevelopment experiment that is worth watching.