For the 150 families who call Friendship Court home, redevelopment means opportunity and hope for a brighter future. For the larger community, it’s a chance to remake a large part of our downtown and get it right – adding affordable housing, jobs and infrastructure without displacing anyone.
Friendship Court will be 40 years old in 2018. It has never undergone a major renovation. The buildings are outdated, and the site plan isolates residents from the surrounding neighborhoods.
In 2018, Piedmont Housing Alliance will have the opportunity to redevelop the site. We aim to connect Friendship Court physically, economically and socially to the rest of Charlottesville.
Our goals for the new Friendship Court include mixed-income housing in a mixed-use community, with 150 units of Section 8-assisted housing, additional affordable and workforce housing, and a large complement of market-rate housing.
Our first commitment is to the current residents – to redevelop the site without displacing anyone. We’ve crafted a plan to redevelop in phases, keeping resident families on site throughout.
The Friendship Court Advisory Committee, including residents elected by their neighbors, has been essential to the creation of the master plan, advising our design team and carrying ideas both to and from the community.
What are the redevelopment goals?
1. Friendship Court Improves Quality of Life and Fosters Access to Opportunity for All of its Residents.
Mixed-income housing allows movement within the site for residents as family or financial situations change. Partners come together on the site to provide economic benefits, retail opportunities and the possibility for wealth creation.
2. Friendship Court is Physically and Socially Connected and Integrated Across the Site and to the Surrounding Area.
All 150 Section 8 units are integrated in a diverse manner across the entire site. A network of new walkable streets, pedestrian ways, and green spaces invite on-site residents of all incomes and residents of surrounding neighborhoods to interact. The site should respect and enhance the surrounding neighborhood, in harmony with the City of Charlottesville’s goals as embodied in the Strategic Investment Area (SIA) Plan. Programming connects Friendship Court in multiple ways to the community.
3. Friendship Court Respects and Values the Lives of All of its Residents
Friendship Court capitalizes on the community’s strengths, promotes cultural and economic diversity, and encourages mutual respect among all residents. Ownership and management support existing residents without differentiating between new and existing residents.
4. Friendship Court is a Great Place
Friendship Court is a local and national model for equity, sustainability, and beauty – with spaces designed to invite diverse people to build and share a sense of community.
These goals were discussed, refined, and approved by the Friendship Court Advisory Committee in February 2016.
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Next week on the blog, we’ll explore the question: “What is a master plan?”
Source: Friendship Court Redevelopment Master Plan, December 2016 – Executive Summary (Introduction)