Historic Investment Boosts Housing Development and HBCU in Richmond

Housing Development

Virginia Union University (VUU), a historically black university in Richmond, Virginia, has announced a major partnership with a black-led impact investment group to develop a housing project in Northside Richmond. The collaboration aims to provide affordable and accessible housing options for the local community, as well as generate income and growth opportunities for the university.

Housing Development

A $42 Million Pledge for VUU

The Steinbridge Group, a New York-based real estate investment firm, has pledged $42 million to support VUU’s housing development plan. This is the largest investment in the university’s history, and it comes with no debt or risk for VUU. The Steinbridge Group will finance, design, and construct the housing project on a 2-acre parcel along the northern edge of VUU’s campus. The university will retain ownership of the land and share the profits from the rental or sale of the properties.

Tawan Davis, Steinbridge’s founding partner and CEO, says the partnership is based on a mutual vision and respect. “We are honored to partner with Virginia Union University, one of the nation’s most prestigious and historic HBCUs, to create a new model of community development that empowers the university and its neighbors,” he says. “It is our deep conviction that these great institutions shouldn’t be backed into having to sell their land.”

A Housing Project for the Public Good

The housing project will consist of at least 130 residences, ranging from single-family homes to apartments, that will be available to the general public. The project will also include amenities such as green spaces, retail, and community facilities. The goal is to create a mixed-income, mixed-use, and inclusive neighborhood that meets the needs and aspirations of the residents.

VUU President Hakim Lucas says the housing project will also benefit the university’s students, faculty, and staff, who will have access to affordable and convenient housing options near the campus. He also says the project will help the university engage in the new growth and development surrounding its campus and contribute to the revitalization of Northside Richmond. “Why should we allow our students to come and rent in dormitories and not experience the opportunities to become homeowners in this great city of Richmond?” he asks.

A Historic Site with a Future Vision

The housing project will be developed on six parcels situated along Richmond’s Brook and Overbrook roads, including houses and the former Richmond Community Hospital. The hospital, once a historically black hospital in Richmond’s East End, has been abandoned for years and is in a state of disrepair. The fate of the building remains undecided, as discussions around either demolition or repurposing the building are ongoing. The partners say they want to honor the historical significance of the location and are open to input from the community and stakeholders.

The housing project is part of VUU’s comprehensive plan to transform its 90-acre Richmond campus by 2032. The plan, which began in 2019, envisions a modern, sustainable, and vibrant campus that will enhance the academic, social, and cultural experience of the university. The plan also includes new academic buildings, athletic facilities, student housing, and infrastructure improvements.

The partners hope to break ground on the housing project by the end of 2024 and complete it by the end of 2025. They say they will work with a diverse set of architects, designers, and engineers to create a high-quality and attractive development. They also say they will involve the community and the university in the planning and implementation process and seek feedback and suggestions along the way.

By Andrea Wilson

Andrea Wilson is a talented junior content and news writer at Scope Sweep. With a passion for writing and a dedication to delivering high-quality content, Andrea has quickly established herself as a valuable contributor to the team. Graduating from the prestigious University of Sydney, she brings a strong academic foundation and a keen eye for detail to her work. Andrea's articles cover a wide range of topics, from breaking news to informative features, ensuring that readers are well-informed and engaged. With her ability to research and present information in a clear and concise manner, Andrea Wilson is committed to providing readers with accurate and captivating content. Stay connected and up-to-date with Andrea's compelling articles on Scope Sweep

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