Site plan conference held for CRHA’s Sixth Street redevelopment

The City of Charlottesville has held a public meeting for the next phase of redevelopment at the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Carrie Rainey is an urban planner in the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services.

“What we’re looking at right now is a final site for what is currently a by-right project to build a new apartment building with structured parking at 715 Sixth Street SE,” Rainey said.

Riverbend Development is working with the CRHA on this project, continuing a partnership that has also been involved with Crescent Halls and the two phases at South First Street. CRHA has a new redevelopment coordinator in Brandon Collins, formerly with the Public Housing Association of Residents. 

“Our resident planners at 6th Street have been working diligently on this plan and I think it really reflects CRHA’s approach to resident-led planning and we’re confident this is the best use of this site,” Collins said. 

The project is at the corner of Monticello Avenue and 6th Street SE. Six of the existing townhouse units will be removed in this first phase at this property. 

“The reason we’re taking this approach is because we want to ensure that we have a promise and a priority to the residents of public housing that no one will be displaced throughout the redevelopment process,” said Ashley Davies, vice president at Riverbend Development. 

In all of these redevelopment projects, the land will continue to be owned by CRHA, but the actual structure will be owned by a nonprofit holding company connected to CRHA. The height of the building has not been finalized.

“It’s going to be a three or four story building,”  Davies said, “We’re still working with the resident planners to determine the exact height of the building and number of units, but for now the site plan shows this as a three-story building and 39 units.”

The current zoning is Downtown Extended which would allow for that height. There would be at least 40 parking spaces in a structure beneath the building. The goal is to get the site plan approved in order to help qualify an application for Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the entity formerly known as the Virginia Housing Development Authority. 

Davies said a master plan is in development for the entire four-acre site, but there is no timeline for how that will proceed. 

“Those conversations are really just beginning to understand what the overall needs are for that area,” Davies said 

Comments brought up during the site plan conference included landscaping, parking requirements, and pedestrian safety.  The community garden maintained and operated by the Urban Agriculture Collective will be removed to make way for the new units. 

NDS staff will make comments on the site plan and submit those back to the development team later this month. 

A location map from the CRHA Master Plan for Redevelopment that was adopted by the CRHA in the summer of 2010 (review)

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the November 4, 2021 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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