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Posted on: February 17, 2022

CITY BEGINS SECOND PHASE OF HOUSING FOR CHOICE NEIGHBORHOODS INITIATIVE

(NEWPORT NEWS, VA)  The City of Newport News and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NNRHA) have begun the second phase of housing for the city’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI).  This project in the Southeast Community is creating additional housing options and amenities while revitalizing a historic neighborhood.

The project began with the demolition of the former Ridley Place Housing Community, which closed in 2020.  The site includes 18 acres, with 259 housing units in 38 buildings.  The demolition of the complex is expected to last approximately four months.

The city is planning an event on Saturday, February 26 to commemorate this project and the rich history of this site.  The event will begin with brief remarks at 11 a.m., followed by a community art and oral history project until 1 p.m.  Activities will take place at 17th Street and Jefferson Avenue, with parking along Jefferson.  The event is free and open to all.

This summer, construction will start on a new mixed-use development in the space.  This project consists of new homes of varying sizes, commercial spaces, community amenities, and recreational opportunities.  

“The revitalization of Ridley Place will create new and unique opportunities and resources for residents and visitors,” said Mayor McKinley L. Price. “So many incredible stories were written by the thousands of residents who called Ridley Place home for over 65 years.  These stories of triumph, creativity, compassion, and perseverance will stay with us as we begin the next chapter of this incredible part of our city.”

Construction will begin this summer, with an estimated completion date of late fall 2024.  Initial plans include:

  • One three-story multifamily building with 41 apartment units on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and 16th Street. The building includes space for retail activity on the ground floor. 
  • 14 two and three story townhomes with 114 units.
  • 24 single-family home sites for the future development of for-sale housing.
  • Health and Wellness Trail for community use.
  • Early Childhood Development Center for children from six weeks to four years of age.

“The clearance of the site is the first tangible sign that revitalization is beginning in this important part of Newport News,” said Karen Wilds, Executive Director of the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority.  "The demolition of Ridley Place is bittersweet, as it has been a place where many grew up and have fond memories. As we continue to work towards the goals of our Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, we will honor the stories of Ridley Place and the lives it has touched.”

The $58 million project is being funded by the CNI grant from HUD, Affordable Housing Tax Credits, Home Investment Partnership dollars, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and Virginia Housing, as well as city resources.  Pennrose is leading the development of the project and Breeden Construction is managing the demolition and construction.

In 2019, the City of Newport News and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority received a $30 million grant from HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative program. This grant is transforming the Marshall-Ridley area in the Southeast Community, creating new housing options, community services, recreational opportunities, and parks.

Phase 1 began with the construction of a mixed-use development off I-664.  The project features apartments, townhomes, and retail space and is expected to be completed this fall.  

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