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Construction underway for Garden District Cottages in West Pensacola

WEAR's Danielle Apolinar

A project eight years in the making is moving forward. On Friday afternoon, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the Garden District Cottages.

The project will build 26 new homes in the Westside Garden District. All the homes will mirror the same historic look as the neighborhood they are being built in.

The homes are inspired by Old South, Creole and Antebellum architectural styles.

The homes will be walking distance to Palafox Street.

Mayor Ashton Hayward said this is a project he promised to the community back when he took office eight years ago. He said he is happy to keep his promise.

"When you tell someone you're going to do something, you make sure you do it," Hayward said.

The first phase of homes will cost between $190,000 and $400,000. There are no homeowner association fees.

Some of the homes are taking the place of the old W. A. Blount Junior High School. Hayward said when he took office, the building was abandoned for decades, which he found unacceptable.

Throughout his time as mayor, he worked to get this project in motion.

"We're going to build something here that is very important to Pensacola citizens, where they can walk downtown. They can walk to Maritime Park to see a Wahoos game, go to the opera, ballet - no matter what their income is and creating that energy is what it's all about," said Hayward.

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