CPDC Breaks Ground on VA Mixed-Income Development

The community in Richmond's Jackson Ward neighborhood will comprise two buildings, one for low-income seniors and the other dedicated to workforce housing.
Rendering of Jackson Ward Senior Homes corner | Rendering courtesy of Grimm + Parker Architecture/CPDC

Operating as an affiliate of Enterprise, Community Preservation and Development Corp. has broke ground on the $30 million Jackson Ward, Va., development, which will comprise 154 energy-efficient homes as well as 6,000 square feet of retail space. The project is a redevelopment of a site left vacant by the construction of a nearby highway. Grimm + Parker is serving as the project architect and Harkins Builders Inc. is the general contractor. 

Jackson Ward Senior Homes will feature 72 units dedicated to low-income seniors. The residents will be moving from the nearby isolated Fay Towers into the new homes, which is the second phase in a three-part process that will provide the 200 residents with new homes. The first stage was completed last year when 77 seniors moved into the former Highland Park School, which was fully renovated and converted to housing. The third phase will begin next year when the former Baker School will also be converted into additional homes. According to the Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority, Fay Towers will be demolished and the vacant land will be absorbed into the Master Plan for North Jackson Ward upon the completion of the third phase.

This transition from Fay Towers is Virginia’s first use of RAD’s “transfer of assistance” provision, which enables public housing authorities to create better housing in new locations. Adjacent to the senior housing will be Jackson Ward Multifamily Homes, which will feature 82 apartments, 36 of which will be designated as affordable workforce housing. 

Public-private partnership 

Jackson Ward groundbreaking | Photo courtesy of Harkins Builders Inc. 

The development came together through public-private partnership. CPDC and Enterprise Community Partners worked with six government agencies—the City of Richmond, the Federal Home Loan Bank, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the State of Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Housing Development Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and its private funder SunTrust Bank. Additional assistance came from Low Income Housing Tax Credit and HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program. 

“This development will create better homes for more than 150 households and help rebuild a community scarred by a highway,” Matt Engel, senior development officer at CPDC, told Multi-Housing News. “Thanks to the partnership of two nonprofits, six government agencies, and one private financial institution, Jackson Ward will move low-income seniors from an aging high-rise to new, energy efficient homes, create mixed-income housing, provide retail space, and re-knit part of a neighborhood that has been a center of African American history.”