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East End News

Groundbreaking set for Old Armstrong Redevelopment

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10 comments

Dave Seibert 10/25/2016 at 1:02 PM

I thought I heard that we did not receive the large grant that we applied for to make this happen. Any news on that?

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chpn 10/25/2016 at 1:13 PM

http://richmondmagazine.com/choice-grant/

“Winning the grant would have set the redevelopment on a five-year timeline. Now, the housing authority and next administration are staring down a decade-long process. It begins with long-delayed demolition and construction at the site of the old Armstrong High School on 31st Street, Somanath said. “

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Dave Seibert 10/25/2016 at 3:01 PM

Ok great. Thanks John.

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Anoali1902 10/25/2016 at 4:12 PM

Well I hope that they do tear down that school. Something new needs to be put there

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Dubois2 10/25/2016 at 9:42 PM

This project looks like an almost doubling in the size of Creighton Court. So far I hear no meaningful reason why anyone would buy into the proposed percentage of market-rate housing in a rebuilt Creighton court. This then looks like many similar projects before it going all the way back to the Pruitt Igoe housing project in St. Louis, in that, while it is billed as mixed income, it will quickly become a 900 unit deep poverty housing project. That is not a decentralization of poverty in Richmond. That is instead a significant expansion of the center of east end poverty. More centralized warehousing of the impoverished.
A 10 year commitment to spend 200 million dollars on a project to do that? This is a significant reason I am leaning away from voting for Dr Newbille; I can’t stomach a politician who touts the above as an achievement while the city can’t balance its checkbook, retain police officers and firefighters, fix its streets, mow it’s parks, collect it’s back taxes, tear down or sell its broken and abandoned buildings and a myriad of other important tasks.

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EastEnder 10/26/2016 at 8:37 AM

Based on conversations with Dr. Newbille and aides in the mayor’s office, I understand this project as a beautification of Creighton Court. The majority of residents are supposed to move into new housing while a minority of new residences will be devoted to non-Creighton folks. When I have asked Dr. Newbille, among other city officials, about how they are going to attract non-public housing project people to the area, they repeat constantly that the houses will attract those people. They also speak very little about the kind of wraparound services and amenities (e.g. GRTC bus routes, pharmacies, eateries, laundromats, daycares, etc.) that would need to exist along the Nine Mile corridor.

Since there are no serious public discussions about how a mixed income area can actually be engineered, much less ameliorate the concentration of poverty, this “redevelopment plan” does seem like yet another public housing project, just prettier.

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Cog 10/26/2016 at 2:56 PM

Wow there is a lot of misinformation out here, especially comments 5 and 6. There is no excuse for this level of misinformation. Start here: http://richmondmagazine.com/features/creighton-court/

The grocery, 9 Mile Road improvements, Bon Secours expansion, Parsleys, and Armstrong development will continue regardless of the Choice grant.

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EastEnder 10/26/2016 at 9:13 PM

#7–Please pass along if you are in the know about this redevelopment plan beyond the article in Richmond Magazine, which I’ve already read.

I’m concerned about how city officials are going to attract non-public project housing folks to live in new residences.

How exactly are city representatives going to win the hearts and minds of those folks when they have pointedly said that they have not secured all the money for the various projects proposed (that may potentially attract these people)?

I’ve asked Dr. Newbille, Thad Williamson, among others, these questions, and they’ve said that the city has not secured the majority of funds for these projects.

If you know something that I don’t, by all means, educate me.

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Dubois2 10/27/2016 at 2:26 PM

@#7, I reread the richmond mag article. An excerpt below from that article sums up the issue reasonably well.

‘”Why would you want to live next to me when I’m paying $50 a month in rent, and you’re paying $775, when I got kids and you don’t, when I got drama and you don’t?” says Niema Johnson, a 15-year resident of Creighton.’
That’s a thoughtful question that requires an actual answer.
I have yet to see that answer, and the entire success of the Creighton Court Redevelopment part of the 9 Mile plans depends on market rate and “workforce” rate people not just renting, but staying. What has happened in some other similar places is simply that those who can live elsewhere, for example where gun violence is lower, where public drama is lower, soon decide to do so. Should that happen, the new 900+ unit Creighton’s administrative body will have to decide: leave the market rate units vacant, or rent them at public housing rates. I suggest that both are bad outcomes for all concerned.

To make matters worse when public housing projects lose partial funding, or promise to drag on for a decade(assuming it is completed on schedule), compromises often get made, and amenities theoretically meant to keep some market rate or workforce tenants get left out. This could include funding long term public safety (who is funding the extra police needed for 400+ new units?) and or the level of finish of the buildings. The possibility of fewer police and lower end units just lessens the likelihood of market rate and workforce tenants staying on.

I love the supermarket. I’m curious about Bon Secours expansion. The Creighton Court redevelopment baffles me. An answer to Niema Johnson’s question would help.

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