A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday for the renamed Hartley House redevelopment project on Memorial Highway in New Rochelle.
Now named Heritage Homes, the development will eventually have 228 living units, the first phase of which will cost $37 million and provide 131 townhouse-style living units.
Hartley Houses, which is between Horton and Winthrop avenues, is a public housing complex now owned and managed by the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority.
The authority has entered into a partnership with Mt. Vernon-based MacQuesten Development for the redevelopment of the existing complex. It now contains 240 units in five six-story buildings.
The plan is to remove the towers and build 228 units in two- and three-story town home structures, a four-story apartment building and 15 two-family homes. The proposal calls for building 131 units in the first phase of the project, with about 60 and 30 units to follow in phases two and three, respectively.
Development Commissioner Michael Freimuth said idea behind the development design is "neighborhood-style housing" rather than the towers that are there now.
There will also be 257 parking spaces, and Winthrop Avenue be reopened as a public street.
Freimuth said during the project phases residents will be relocated, buildings will be taken down and other buildings will be built. The first phase of building will be completed in about two years. The second phase will require some refinancing and the demolition of two buildings.
The entire development could be completed within seven years, Freimuth said.
Residents have three relocation options, he said: into a new building, into other city public housing or into private housing paid for with a voucher.
Freimuth said the current buildings, which were constructed in 1950, are "at the end of their life cycle," adding they are difficult to maintain and police.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey said she was excited to be at the groundbreaking.
"Not only is this going to provide livable housing for families," she said, "but it will also provide jobs … and a sense of renewal."