$4 million sale of historic Union Mission building will help finish construction of new shelter

Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-03 18:22:42-05

Built more than a century ago, the historic Union Mission building in Downtown Norfolk has been empty for years, waiting on a sale that never closed.

A $6 million offer fell through this past September, putting the Union Mission's new building on Virginia Beach Boulevard in jeopardy.

“Completion of this building was very important, and we couldn't do that without the sale of the building Downtown,” said Linda Jones, the spokeswoman for Union Mission Ministries.

Jones tells NewsChannel 3 the $6 million was needed to finish construction on their new men's dormitory, which is about two years behind schedule.

Thankfully, this Thanksgiving brought new hope.

“About a week ago, we heard there was somebody interested in the property,” said Jones.

That interest turned into a solid deal.

Developer Buddy Gadams will be paying $4 million for the historic Union Mission building to turn it into luxury apartments.

All that money will go right back into construction costs for their new building.

Union Mission leaders hope they will finally be able to complete the four-year long project before next year’s holiday season, to serve the growing needs of the homeless in Hampton Roads.

“Every night of the year, we are sleeping 100+ men on our lobby floor for lack of beds,” said Jones.

“With the completion of this building, we will have enough beds so no one will have to sleep on the floor.”

Because the new sale price is $2 million less than their first offer, Union Mission still needs the community’s help to raise the difference, and they are hoping people will step up to help them meet their new fundraising goal.