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Rebuilding an entire block of Venable Street

Last year about this time, word broke that Better Housing Coalition had purchased the Citadel of Hope building on Venable Street. Here is the first sketch of what may come of that block.

Along with the East End Theater, the Good Shepherd Baptist Church / Delta House building, and the former St.Paul’s on Marshall Street, Citadel of Hope has easily been one of the neighborhood’s most prominent vacant buildings for quite some time. The building was constructed in 1923 as the House of Happiness, a community center, by The City Circle of the Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union. Even as the southern side of that block of Venable has seen an amazing turnaround over the past 10 years, the Citadel of Hope has been a target for graffiti, and suffered a fire in 2011.

Documents from the upcoming Planning Meeting indicate that Better Housing Coalition is close to aquiring a good portion of the block bounded by Venable Street, Tulip Street, Jessamine Street and Carrington Street, with the intent to redevelop the block with up to 60 affordable residential units. The estimated total development cost is between $6.9 and $7.2 million.

The available development sketch (below) seems to show that the former gas station at Venable and Tulip Streets will be demolished.

Lynn McAteer with Better Housing Coalition will be at the Union Hill Civic Association meeting this coming Wednesday at 7PM the East District Family Resource Center (2405 Jefferson Avenue) to speak on this project.

Click image to view larger.


Block Development Plan


joey stanza 10/04/2015 at 10:29 AM

great idea Cameron! why don’t you save the gas station and throw down to start a hole in the wall restaurant?

Drew 10/04/2015 at 10:46 AM

Lots of great things happening here but would admittedly be disappointed to see the gas station disappear. Not sure if it is more of an EPA nightmare than it may be worth however would love for it to at least be considered for an alternative use.

Lee 10/04/2015 at 11:42 AM

I would like to see it saved, too, but not sure how much space is actually there. I’m going to speculate that it’s hard to do much more than sandwiches and/or coffee in so small a space. But maybe if it were carryout specifically? I believe the Alamo BBQ was a gas station

Kathleen Sanders 10/04/2015 at 3:39 PM

I think there are several businesses in rva that are housed in, or on the site of, former gas stations – Lamplighter, En Su Boca, Sugar Shack, possibly Alamo, Cary St Vet Hospital, and there’s a new Korean restaurant coming to Carytown that’s on a gas station site.

John M 10/04/2015 at 4:21 PM

And the Jus’ Fish building was a filling station from, the 1920s through the 1940s

Stacie Birchett 10/05/2015 at 10:15 AM

Hi John, on behalf of the Better Housing Coalition, I just wanted to let you know that the rendering above is three years old. We have no intention of tearing down the gas station. We do not yet have an updated rendering to share with you but will be happy to when we have one.

John M 10/05/2015 at 10:16 AM

Yay thanks!

John M 10/06/2015 at 8:25 AM Reply
John M 10/12/2015 at 4:12 PM Reply

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