By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Community leaders joined residents of a North Philadelphia neighborhood on Thursday to celebrate the arrival of the new Norris Apartments, built by the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

Housing Authority executive director Michael Kelly calls the completion of the project within a year a testament to what can be done by getting the right players together to energize a community.

Kelly says the Norris Apartments replaced a dilapidated multi-level complex that was torn down and replaced with homes that are far more energy-efficient and offer superior green space.

“It’s 51 brand new townhomes that are fully occupied. We had a three-day opening and 3,000 families applied, so they filled up very quickly.”

Kelly calls the Norris Apartments, which are occupied by people of mixed ages and incomes, a beach head for further development in the corridor that parallels Broad Street.

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