(KYTX) Tyler- More affordable housing is a step closer to becoming a reality in Tyler. Wednesday the Tyler City Council passed a measure that will help bring one man's dream of a North Tyler development to life.

The City of Tyler passed what is called a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone or a NEZ. The NEZ will aid in the development of 400 acres in North Tyler by giving the developer incentives like no building permit fees. CBS 19's Michele Reese explains its an area that was undeveloped until now.

"A year ago, Michele, me and you was talking right out here on Broadway and it wasn't nothing but a wooded area," North Chase Developer, Ed Thompson, said.

Now Thompson's land is transformed into a bustling construction site. The foundation for a new senior citizen apartment complex is ready to go. While its 15 months from completion, Thompson said some residents will be able to start moving in this summer.

"And its just part of it," Thompson said. "We're just getting started."

Across the street, Thompson is building an affordable apartment complex with 140 units. Next to the senior center, 20 affordable single family homes and 20 town homes. The cost of the homes ranges from $120,000-$140,000. Because it is now a neighborhood empowerment zone, the residents looking to buy the homes will have first time home buyer services available to them.

"We have trees there right now that we're going to be removing," he said. "We will break ground in about 5 weeks."

The plan was a vision that was born in October 2008. When Thompson purchased 405 acres of undeveloped land.

"God did his part, the city's doing their part, and I'm doing my part and we make a great team."

The City has invested $1.6 million putting in water and sewer lines from 32nd street to Loop 323 on North Broadway.

The City hopes it would draw more developers to the north side.

"When commercial business comes in they look at the rooftops and how the business is going to be supported ,"Councilman Ralph Caraway said."So with this taking place it really puts us in a position to have residential push commercial."

Councilman Ralph Caraway added the North Chase development is key to the city growing proportionately. He said a lot of focus has been on the south side and this project will put more eyes and commercial interest in the north Tyler community..