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A block reborn

West Central neighborhood celebrates rebirth

City officials and neighbors celebrated the rebirth of a block in the West Central neighborhood Tuesday.

Ravaged by fire and decades of neglect, the city bought four houses in the 800 block of West Washington Boulevard in 2011; the first house, 825 W. Washington, was finished and sold in 2011.

Tuesday, officials celebrated the completion of 815, 817 and 823 W. Washington, which are now for sale and have eight buyers hoping to buy them.

Officials said 815 and 817 were so deteriorated they had to be torn down and rebuilt, but Belay Corp. and its general contractor, Preston Allen Homes, worked hard to make them match the character of the historic neighborhood. The house at 823 W. Washington was rehabbed from top to bottom and maintains its historic character, from the original hardwood floors in the living room to the scalloped siding on the outside.

“West Washington is a key corridor out of our downtown,” Mayor Tom Henry said. “Beautifying this block and creating a positive impression for visitors helps not just the homeowners and neighborhood, but also the entire community.”

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit after 3 a.m. Wednesday.