On June 15, 2021, the City of Newport News and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NNRHA) broke ground on the first phase of construction for the city’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI). The mixed-use development will feature apartments, townhomes and retail space and is a critical element in the revitalization of the city’s Southeast Community. This development is part of Phase I of the city’s Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan and is the result of a partnership between the city, NNRHA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Virginia Housing, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and Pennrose Development.
“This new housing, which includes retail and public space improvements, will energize and strengthen this important part of our city,” said Mayor McKinley L. Price. “Today’s historic groundbreaking is the first step in a holistic approach to revitalize the area and uplift our residents. Thank you to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Virginia Housing, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and our other partners for investing and believing in Newport News and our citizens.”
In 2019, the City of Newport News and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing received a $30 million grant from HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative program. Funding is transforming the Marshall-Ridley area in the Southeast Community, creating new housing options, community services, recreational opportunities and parks.
“With this first phase of new construction, we are getting closer to seeing the vision for the Marshall-Ridley neighborhood become a reality,” said Jane Miller, Deputy Regional Administrator of HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “When it comes to revitalizing communities, HUD not only wants families to have access to quality, affordable housing, we also want to vastly improve the outcomes of households by connecting them with employment, health and educational opportunities. Congratulations to Mayor Price, the NNRHA team and all the partners on their progress in making this happen.”
Construction will begin in mid-July, with an estimated completion date of late fall 2022. The $19.7 million project is being funded by the CNI grant from HUD, Affordable Housing Tax Credits, Home Investment Partnership dollars, State Vibrant Communities allocations, Virginia Housing Trust contributions and city resources. Breeden Construction is constructing the project.
The completed facility will include 75 apartments (one, two and three bedroom) and six townhomes. Approximately 46% of the units will be reserved for individuals and families who were displaced by the demolition of the CNI targeted assisted apartments, which were subsidized by HUD. The remaining apartments will be rented at market rate.
“Today’s groundbreaking marks the beginning of change and opportunity when it comes to quality, affordable and mixed income housing in Newport News,” said Karen Wilds, Executive Director of the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority. “Together with HUD and our partners, the city and Redevelopment and Housing Authority are creating more housing options, investing in an historic neighborhood and creating a strong and thriving community.”
The complex is located off Interstate 664 and in close proximity to major employers and the city’s revitalized downtown area, which includes restaurants, amenities, a brewery, distillery and more. Apartment features include a fourth floor open-air community terrace and lounge, outdoor seating, play area, community room, fitness room, in-unit washers and dryers, and controlled access doors with security cameras. Pennrose Management will oversee the leasing and management of the building when it is completed.
“We’re excited to break ground on the first phase of a collaborative, multi-faceted development that will positively impact the Southeast community for many years to come,” said Ivy Dench-Carter, Senior Vice President of Development at Pennrose. “Through a robust public-private partnership, residents in Newport News will soon have access to high-quality, modern affordable housing options in a fantastic location.”