Neighbors in the Meridian East neighborhood have been dealing with crumbling pavement and uncompleted sidewalks ever since the developer was caught up in the recession in 2008. (Tom Russo/Daily Reporter)
GREENFIELD — Residents of a westside neighborhood are finally getting some relief after the 2008 recession left their streets and housing development in a state of uncertainty.
The Meridian East neighborhood, a group of 67 homes near Meridian and McKenzie roads, has been in a state of limbo since a developer pulled back in the midst of the housing crisis six years ago. But a decision by a city board last week means the crumbling streets and curbs could finally get fixed and brings new hope that even more homes will eventually be built.
“We really got caught up in this housing debacle that’s happened in the last five years,” said Mike Redick, president of the homeowners association. “Originally, 240 homes were supposed to be built. The first (developer) went under. The second bought it, but he’s not going to do anything with the rest of the community, so we’re stuck with 67 homes.”
While 67 homes can hardly support the clubhouse, pool and playground amenities, Redick said perhaps the most frustrating problem has been the rough, bumpy streets that are impossible to clear in the winter and an annoyance in the summer.
But change could be on the way soon. The Greenfield Board of Works last week declared the neighborhood’s original developer – Meridian East Development Co. – in default of bonds that had been agreed upon with the city.
Bonds are a safeguard for the city, said Mike Fruth, Greenfield utility director. When a new development plans to locate in Greenfield and put in what will eventually become public infrastructure, the city signs off on performance bonds as an insurance of sorts that the work will be completed to city standards.
Fruth said Meridian East Development Co. went out of business because of the 2008 recession, but the city is not out the money because of the agreement on bonds. Rather, the company that agreed to hold bonds for the project will have to hire somebody else to finish it up.