Norfolk City Council votes to include additional land for St. Paul’s housing development, gun violence prevention

St. Paul's
Aspire Building
Block 9 Rendering
Block 9 rendering
Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 12:20:35-05

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk City Council members passed a resolution Tuesday night to include additional land for the redevelopment housing project in the St. Paul’s area. This will make way for more affordable housing for displaced people living in the Tidewater Gardens neighborhood.

The city’s effort to redevelop the St. Paul’s area has been ongoing for years. The city is tearing down public housing units in three neighborhoods, including Tidewater Gardens, Young Terrace and Calvert Square.

About 4,000 people who live in the apartments will be impacted. According to city officials, about 68% of the residents in Tidewater Gardens have moved as the redevelopment project continues.

The city plans to build new, mixed-income and affordable housing starting in the Tidewater Gardens neighborhood. Demolition there started about a year ago.

Tuesday night, two plots of land were added to the original plan. The first parcel is located on the corner of Church Street and Brambleton Avenue.

The new building on the land will have a total of 85 units – all affordable - with 21 of the units set aside for Tidewater Gardens residents. A total of six units will be reserved for those who are homeless or were homeless.

The other location is being called ‘Block 9’ and is for mixed-income housing. The building will be made up of 80 units; 29 of the units will be replacement units for folks in the Tidewater Gardens neighborhood. 

The massive project is still in the demolition phase, but city leaders said some of the first new housing units will start to be built later this year.

The city recently settled a lawsuit filed two years ago by a few impacted residents who claimed the redevelopment project unfairly harmed the African American community and continued a pattern of segregation in the City of Norfolk.

The City Council also took up matters on fighting crime and decreasing gun violence Tuesday.

Council members voted on taking part in a gun buyback program where people can turn in their firearms for cash, no questions asked.

City council members also voted to accept a $300,000 grant from the state Attorney General’s office to help fight crime and make the city safer.

City leaders will now need to come up with a plan on how to use the money, but they said it’ll involve working with boots on the ground folks, including community partners and advocates.

The city is hoping to put the money into use by April or May.