Apartments to be revamped in Chesterfield
292 affordable housing units will be improved along with complex
Nearly 300 affordable housing apartments in southern Chesterfield County will be revamped thanks to a collection of partners including a California- based company and the Colonial Heights Economic Development Authority.
Preservation Partners, which is based in California, plans to use $ 28 million in revenue bonds to acquire and renovate 292 apartments in southern Chesterfield. The company specializes in senior and multifamily affordable housing.
Colonial Ridge apartments make up 192 of the apartments, while 100 apartments from the neighboring complex called The Glen at Colonial Heights make up the rest. All of the units will be restricted to individuals or families earning no more than 60 percent of the area’s median income, according to Chesterfield spokeswoman Susan Pollard.
Even though the apartments are in Chesterfield, the Colonial Heights Economic Development Authority will serve as a conduit by issuing the taxexempt revenue bonds. Revenue bonds are backed by the money being generated by the project they finance.
Chesterfield Economic Development Authority Director Garrett Hart said the Chesterfield EDA wasn’t to his knowledge approached by the company.
The bonds are designated for affordable housing and will come from the federal government. The developer will be responsible for the bonds, said Karen Epps, Colonial Heights director of economic development.
Representatives with Preservation Partners could not be reached for comment.
To comply with law, the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors recently passed a resolution supporting the issuance of the bonds, and approved a 30- year memorandum of understanding that gave the county some oversight of the developer’s activities including county inspection requirements.
“This is a new type of venture for us,” County Administrator Joe Casey said. “We are getting new powers as a county to monitor housing for people.”
The Board of Supervisors also endorsed the project in letters to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and the Virginia Housing Development Authority.
“The development approach provided an opportunity for the private sector, nonprofits and the
county to come together not only on improvements to the property, but also to include various program offerings to residents of the property,” Pollard said.
Supervisor Chris Winslow commended the partnerships that allowed the project to happen and said he thought it was a good pilot for the county, while Chairwoman Dorothy Jaeckle said it was a model for the county’s new Community Enhancement Department aimed in part at revitalizing older areas of the county.
“At the end of the day, I really do think this is going to improve the lives of the citizens,” Jaeckle said.
The required renovations range from the individual apartments to the complex as a whole. Apartment upgrades will include replacing roofs, smoke detectors, doorways, windows and hot water tanks.
For the complex, the developer must add gated
entrances and fencing, a new clubhouse and pool, three picnic pavilions, and renovation of the building now used by the YMCA, among other things. Many of the renovations must happen within the next two years.
Preservation Partners is required to provide health and wellness activities through a third party and, if requested by the county, the company must also provide residents information on drug and alcohol abuse treatment options in the county.
The developers are charged with mitigating the displacement of residents and compensating them if the renovations force them to temporarily move. Background checks will be required of tenants.
Tax returns helped Samantha Williams and her family move out of the Greenleigh mobile home park in Chester and into an $ 850- a- month, threebedroom apartment at
The Glen at Colonial
Heights several months ago.
She likes what she described as the “laid- back and peaceful” complex, but hoped any future renovations would fix up the playground and add more amenities for her children.
The developer is directed in the agreement with the county to add equipment and landscaping to the playground and to provide basketball courts.
The project comes as affordable housing becomes more of an issue in the county.
A Chesterfield committee recently called housing affordability an “economic trend of concern,” noting that someone earning the $ 7.25 hourly minimum wage would have to work at least 89 hours a week to afford a one- bedroom apartment rental in the county, where the median rent is $ 1,123.
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A project to renovate affordable housing in Chesterfield County involves 192 apartments at Colonial Ridge (above) and 100 apartments fromthe neighboring complex called The Glen at Colonial Heights.