Change of plans for Edison Square - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Change of plans for Edison Square

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The Port Arthur Housing Authority and a local developer will proceed with plans to construct an affordable housing complex where Edison Middle School once stood, even though concerned neighbors won a round against it in November.

The group of neighbors who don't want the complex built was able to stop zoning changes made by the city. Now, 104 duplex-type units will be built instead of 128 town homes.

The Housing Authority said the development will be considered mixed income and will appeal to the elderly community. They also said it will be the first of its kind in Port Arthur and that it is crucial because of plans to demolish the Carver Terrace complex.

Thressal Prevost has lived in the neighborhood for over 15 years. She said she supports city expansion, but does not want government housing across the street.

"It's like almost building a community inside another community we're comfortable we're familiar with each other and this is a whole other personality coming into it," Prevost said. "I don't even know if this is going to lower the home value of myself and my neighbors."

She said she also questions the idea that the community is strictly for the elderly.

"I know that they said there was going to be police patrolling but that almost doesn't give me a sense of comfort," she said. "It's almost like well, why do you need police patrol for senior citizens?"

The Executive Director of the Port Arthur Housing Authority, Cele Quesada, said the city is in desperate need of a community like Edison Square.

"Our population is aging and there is not the amount of housing that we need," he said. "[this location] it has the best accommodations as far as hospitals, pharmacies, stores, grocery stores."

Port Arthur city council will host a public hearing on Jan. 21 to decide on tax credits for the developer.

If approved the Itex Group will receive about $5 million more to put towards the current $12 million for the Edison Square project.

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