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East End News

Meeting to address concerns with Citadel of Hope proposal

From the Union Hill neighbors Facebook group:

At Tricycle Gardens 6:00pm this Wednesday evening (01/04) there will be a meeting between Union Hill residents and Councilwoman Newbille. We have asked her to meet in order to address our concerns over the BHC development being appealed to city council.

This development, 52 units of affordable housing spread between three apartment buildings, was presented at the November 22nd CAR meeting. The structures include the current Citadel of Hope being refurbished to house 12 units, one new three-story apartment building on Venable to house four units and two commercial spaces, and one new three-story apartment building on Jessamine street to hold 36 units.

Union Hill residents turned out in force to oppose the project, citing social and safety implications of the central parking lot, the scale of the 36 unit buildings, and the aesthetic of the design.

The Commission of Architectural Review rejected the proposal at their November meeting. It is expected that the developer (Better Housing Coalition) will seek to have City Council override the ruling.

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11 comments

ray 01/03/2017 at 9:42 AM

Has Cynthia Newbille taken a position on this?

Reply
Rebecca Parker
Rebecca Parker 01/03/2017 at 9:47 AM

Rents will only stabilize if housing stock increases. And rent in Church Hill is getting ridiculous.

Reply
Jay McGee
Jay McGee 01/03/2017 at 10:17 AM

The addition of affordable housing will have no effect on the traditional rental market rates.

Reply
Rebecca Parker
Rebecca Parker 01/03/2017 at 10:37 AM

True, subsidized housing with income limits won’t lower normal rates. It might lower the amount that people like me, with full time jobs that don’t pay much, are willing to pay. I can tell you we’re tired of every new apartment that’s built being “luxury” with fancy interiors to try to convince us to pay more.

In any case, Church Hill needs affordable housing. Wages in Richmond are not high enough to justify these thousand dollar one bedrooms. To afford that you need to make over 30k/year, which is not an income almost anyone I know has access to.

I’m OK with people not liking the aesthetics of the new building, but objecting to its existence is ridiculous. Cities need housing stock. Gentrifying a neighborhood and then rejecting moves to make it livable for those who lived there before you is not ok. That’s probably not everyone’s story, but it’s part of the story. Richmond does not need to become NoVa.

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Ano Ali 01/03/2017 at 10:57 AM

I don’t understand but can someone explain to me what are the social and safety implications associated with the parking lot ?

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John M 01/03/2017 at 11:01 AM

My understanding is this:

The design has a central parking lot with one entrance/exit, shielded from the street by the larger buildings. This is seen as a safety concern.

A number of the units can only be accessed through the parking lot. This would isolate residents from the community of the surrounding blocks.

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Ano Ali 01/03/2017 at 12:38 PM

Thanks John. My response to number four. I agree with what you’re saying but Church Hill has changed and it’s not going backwards. Me and my wife right now has a home in east view and our rent has been the same for three years. But eventually that part of Church hill is going to be gentrified so I’m trying to convince her to move now.

Reply
First look at updated proposal for Venable Street tonight - Church Hill People's News | Richmond, Virginia 01/05/2017 at 11:52 AM

[…] of the central parking lot, the scale of the buildings, and the aesthetic of the design. A meeting was held last night with Councilperson Newbille, towards impressing upon her the feelings of the community and the need for […]

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James M 01/05/2017 at 9:29 PM

Any update on how this went?

Reply
New design for Citadel of Hope going to CAR in January - Church Hill People's News | Richmond, Virginia 01/06/2017 at 1:56 PM

[…] meeting, based on the massing of the 3 story building on Jessamine Street. In response to this and after community feedback, the new design features 3 smaller buildings on Jessamine Street rather than the longer single […]

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