Richmond’s latest affordable housing development will start filling apartments next month.
Mayor Levar Stoney led a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday afternoon at the Port City development at 800 Jefferson Davis Highway. The 11-acre American Tobacco Co. complex will eventually house nearly 300 lofts, artist studios and the city’s largest solar panel array. The first 83 apartments will be up for rent on Feb. 1.
Stoney said the complex is part of a larger effort to increase the amount of affordable housing available to residents.
“In order to build ‘One Richmond’ you have to be competitive and inclusive,” he said. “That means you have to have communities that feature mixed income housing that’s available to all people, no matter what neighborhood they may live in.”
The American Tobacco Co. site, which once hosted amateur wrestling matches, has remained vacant for decades. Now, it will be home to families and individuals making 60 percent of the area median income, or around $35,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a family of four.
City Council Member Reva Trammell represents Richmond’s Southside neighborhoods. Trammell praised city leaders and the developer, Maramjen Investments LLC, for their work on the project.
“This gives everyone an opportunity to come here and have a place they can call home,” she said. “I know a lot of times the Jefferson Davis corridor does not get the attention or the praise it needs.
The Port City development was funded partially by $14 million in tax-exempt bonds issued by the city, as well as millions more in federal historic and low-income tax credits. The next phase of the project is expected to add 135 apartments to the site and may begin construction as soon as this summer.