The East Alton mayor says groundbreaking is within sight for the Defense Area Redevelopment Project - a plan that has been at least a decade in the making. The Defense area takes up a large portion of the center of town, bordered by the library and the Middle School on the south along 3rd Street, and the Wilshire Village Shopping Center to the north. Mayor Fred Bright says the first of the houses should be ready in about a year.
He says the next phase will include a ceremony at the park behind the Keasler Recreation Complex.
Bright says the development will be called Emerald Ridge, as Emerald was the original name of East Alton. The houses will be single-family housing, with two and three-bedrooms. The tenants will be able to rent the homes under a long-term agreement, and they will own the homes after 15 years.