SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Construction on a highly anticipated $30 million dollar, multi-family affordable housing development that is underway in the city of Spartanburg.

Nearly 190 affordable housing units are currently under-construction in North Spartanburg

On Thursday, the leaders held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the end of construction on the first 40 townhomes that are nearing completion.

The development, Robert Smalls at Midtowne Heights, is a part of the city’s plan to relocate residents out of poor living conditions in Norris Ridge Apartments— a northside Spartanburg apartment complex built in the 1950’s— and move them into a modernized, affordable housing complex.

“Norris Ridge has been a question mark in the community’s head for a long time. It represents what affordable was and what it was never supposed to be and we think this project will show how true affordable workforce housing is supposed to look like. It’s for folks to not only live —but to thrive,” Ralph Settle, a broker, said.

City leaders said Midtowne Heights is expected to give residents in the Norris Ridge community an improved quality of life.

The Norris Ridge Community has been plagued with crime and poor living conditions for the past several years. Spartanburg City Council members voted to relocate the residents and demolish the complex in 2019.

Tenants said they’re ready for an escape.

“I can’t wait to get from out over here. I cant wait to get from around all the drugs. It’s a drug area, its a lot of violence and shooting—and there’s always elderly people caught in the cross fire,” Sharon Holbert, a Norris Ridge resident, said.

The development will complement two neighborhood revitalization efforts and will include a community center, clubhouse, playground & ample green space and a recreational trail that will connect to The Dan, Spartanburg’s trail network.

All 190 units will accept Section 8 and rental assistance, which will help fill the demand for more affordable housing in the city of Spartanburg.

The entire project is expected to be complete by January 2022.