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HAMPTON - Demolition was set to begin Monday at Harbor Square Apartments in Hampton.

The city bought the 368-unit complex on 18 acres in downtown Hampton in 2011 about $13.4 million, noting that the complex had been a center of criminal activity.

There are plans to extend streets and develop higher value housing and create public spaces to confirm with the city's Downtown Master Plan developed in 2004.

'This area is an important gateway into downtown and we look forward to new developments that include mixed-use (residential, retail and office) on the site,' said Sherry H. Spring with the Downtown Hampton Development Partnership. 'This site is very important to the redevelopment strategies outlined for downtown and our waterfront.'

Demolition at the site at Lincoln Street and Armistead Avenueshould take about six months, officials said.

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