May 17, 2017

A Partner Success Story: Former School Graduates to Vibrant, Mixed-use Community, Complete With Brewery

Opportunity to grow affordable housing in Virginia is deeply rooted in partnerships. The Prices Fork community in Montgomery County is a stellar example. It began as a historic revitalization and renovation of a former elementary school, with plans to convert classrooms into 16 affordable apartments for people 55 years and older. Since then, the project has powered into a multi-partner effort that's expected to drive economic growth in the area.

VHDA and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) have joined forces with the New River Valley Regional Commission, HOME Consortium and Montgomery County Board of Supervisors to expand the development into a mixed-use community including a farm-to-table restaurant, brewery and food incubator (space for entrepreneurs in the food business). VHDA will provide a Mixed-use / Mixed-income loan, part of a REACH Virginia program designed to combine commercial and residential spaces with an emphasis on revitalization. Work is expected to be finished by year's end.

"When complete, this will be the place to be -- a signature establishment that will cater to a number of community needs and also serve as a regional attraction," said Chris Thompson, director of strategic housing at VHDA. 

According to Thompson, VHDA and DHCD have a long history of working together to build communities. In this case, the team also relied on the Vibrant Communities Initiative (VCI), which allows applicants seeking financing to apply for a variety of VHDA and DHCD resources all at once with a single application, rather than having to submit multiple applications to each agency. This single application may even open the door for funding at a higher level than would normally be available through multiple individual applications.

Thompson added that the Prices Fork project is "transformational" and a great example of how multiple entities can get things done when they work together. "This has really been a team effort. It has been amazing to see the opportunities align for this project as it has evolved," said Thompson.

More about Prices Fork

No comments:

Post a Comment