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    Transforming the 12th Street community

    9:08 PM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
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    • The current view of 12th Street in Little Rock. (Photo: Pam Baccam/THV 11 News)
    • The current view of 12th Street in Little Rock. (Photo: Pam Baccam/THV 11 News)
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  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Crime, housing, schools, and transportation are issues up for discussion in the 12th Street neighborhood.
    Residents and business owners in Little Rock's 12th street neighborhood will meet this Thursday about revitalizing the area and using a $300,000 grant to start the process. Spearheading the Choice Neighborhood Initiative is Coordinator LaTonya Wilson.

    "To grow up in some of these conditions, and I know things can change," said Wilson.

    Wilson drove us around the neighborhood, which has a lot of abandoned homes. Many residents told her they want them gone.

    "They're concerned about the value of their houses by the vacant lots," said Wilson. She envisions the current high-poverty area revitalized with mixed income housing.

    In a three-square mile radius, the community has plenty of liquor stores, but just one grocery store.

    "You have to get out of this area just to find a bank," said Curlee Thomas, owner of Curlee's Boutiques for 30 years. "More businesses in the area will bring in more people."

    With poverty and transportation being an issue, Wilson would like to see more access to sidewalks and buses. With the community's support, Wilson truly and passionately believes the area can flourish.

    "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something for so many people." said Wilson.

    The planning committee is inviting the community to take part in the discussion. They meet at the state fairground's Farm and Ranch building this Thursday evening from 6:30 to 8:30.

    Twitter: @pbaccam

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