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ODU, City Officials Break Ground on 43rd Street Townhouse Development

Officials from Old Dominion University, the city of Norfolk, Norfolk Public Schools and the Lambert's Point Civic League gathered adjacent to the ODU campus on Thursday, March 11, for the groundbreaking of 43rd Street Norfolk, a townhouse complex being built as affordable housing for working families.

The project, a joint effort by the city and ODU's Community Development Corporation (ODU CDC), will see 51 townhouse-style homes built and sold at prices that workforce families, in particular Norfolk Public Schools teachers beginning their careers, as well as ODU employees, can afford. Model units are expected to open in June, with the development's planned completion in fall 2011.

At Thursday's groundbreaking, Ann Grandy, ODU CDC executive director, said the event was the culmination of many years of work by the nonprofit organization, the city and the Lambert's Point Civic League.

Grandy said that 43rd Street Norfolk has the potential to change the character of the entire Lambert's Point neighborhood, which has been through some difficult times.

ODU President John Broderick attended the groundbreaking, along with Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim. Also on hand were Stephen Jones, superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools, and James Johnson, acting vice president of the Lambert's Point Civic League.

Johnson, who has lived in the same house in Lambert's Point for 48 years, and retired recently after 28 years at ODU, said the neighborhood has been waiting for a development like this for a long time.

Broderick said the development, sparked by the working partnership between ODU CDC and the city of Norfolk, is a model that could be replicated anywhere, with positive results for both school and community.

The development is intended to appeal primarily to Norfolk Public Schools teachers, so that they can live in an area close to their jobs, and it also is being marketed to other key members of the workforce, such as police officers, medical professionals and ODU employees.

Broderick has characterized the partnership as a win-win for both Old Dominion and the city of Norfolk.

"It will help with community revitalization in an area adjacent to campus, and provide affordable housing opportunities for our employees, within walking distance of work," he said. "We couldn't be more excited to be involved in this project."

"This new development represents another example of the significant partnership that's been forged between Old Dominion University and the city of Norfolk," Fraim said. "The partnership works best when the citizens of our community are the prime beneficiaries. 43d Street Norfolk certainly fulfills that objective by providing housing opportunities for public school teachers and other city employees."

The builder, HineTurner, is touting the green, EarthCraft Homes as offering lower utility and maintenance costs. With a starting cost of $190,000 to $200,000 for the smaller units, the two- and three-bedroom townhouses range in size from 1,200 to 2,200 square feet, with a one-car garage.

The location - next to campus and within walking distance of the University Village - is definitely a strong selling point as is the price, said Grandy. She added that the Virginia Housing Development Authority may provide down payment and closing cost assistance to qualified first-time homebuyers.

Prospective buyers can learn more about the townhouse project by clicking the following link, http://43rdstnorfolk.com/index.html or by contacting Grandy at 683-4132 or egrandy@odu.edu.

This article was posted on: March 11, 2010

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