Residents say roundabout is a signal of progress in College Hill - FOX 13 News

Residents say roundabout is a signal of progress in College Hill

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College Hill has changed a lot since Ron Anderson grew up.

"This major street right here used to be one of the high-profile drug areas all the way down to the interstate," he said.

Now, drug dealers have disappeared, replaced by a monument and a new roundabout.

The city said it will cut down on speeders and improve pedestrian safety.

Anderson waited nearly a lifetime for the change.

"It makes my heart full of gladness and full of joy," he said.

Anderson feels the roundabout is a beacon of hope.

"It is going to improve a lot of things in the people, not just the street, but in the people. It's going to prove a lot of people because they are going to believe it can get done if we can get together," he said.

Dennis Drummond works for Ally Healthcare. They opened last year after seeing potential in the area.

"The bars that you see reflect what the neighborhood was," he said referring to bars on the windows.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the roundabout is just the beginning of even more change.

"The building blocks are there. They're solid, it's safe, the foundations exist," he said.

He hopes to connect East Tampa to other communities, bringing Tampa together as a whole.

"We need to get more commercial businesses along this corridor. We need to finish the connection to Ybor City. We've got a couple of parcels of land we'd like to develop," Mayor Buckhorn said.

With talks of more improvements residents like Ron Anderson are happy to wait a little while longer.

"The kids will see this as an uplifting thing for them. It is uplifting for me as old as I am," he said.

The project cost $5.6 million. $1.14 million in funding was provided by the Florida Department of Transportation and $2.9 million from TIF funding from the East Tampa Community Redevelopment area.

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