An ambitious revitalization plan that replaces severely distressed public housing with 300 new mixed-income family and senior rental homes, 300 for-sale homes, a new community center, commercial space, and all new infrastructure.
In the years following Word War II, new federal legislation made the creation of public housing authorities possible and Norfolk, Virginia was one of the first cities to take advantage of this opportunity. The City's worst neighborhoods were replaced with new public housing complexes, like Roberts Village and Bowling Green, and residents were eager to live in them. Over the next 50 years, though, these complexes steadily deteriorated and eventually were overrun by crime and violence.
In 2000, Norfolk obtained a $35 million HOPE VI grant and enlisted The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) to implement its vision of a revitalized neighborhood where the public housing communities of Roberts Village and Bowling Green stood. The new neighborhood is named “Broadcreek Renaissance”, after a nearby body of water. TCB's roles include master developer of three rental phases, coordination of the demolition, infrastructure engineering and property management.
The HOPE VI plan is ambitious—over 600 units of replacement housing on the site of the two former public housing communities, including market rate rental housing, senior apartments, homeownership and commercial uses all woven into a New Urbanist Plan. The buildings are designed in regional styles—modest four-square bungalows, shingle style two-story homes and some transitional designs with traditional porches, brick, and fiber cement siding. Attractive landscaping and rear loaded parking areas contribute to the New Urbanist aesthetic of the property.
The first phase of rental housing was a senior project of 100 units developed by a local Norfolk company. The second, third, and fourth phases of Broadcreek comprise TCB's work, totaling 300 units. Completed in 2006, the Broadcreek Renaissance redevelopment boasts over 280 affordable units and 19 market-rate units.
Broadcreek's future phases will include various types of homeownership products, including row houses, condo flats and single family detached homes. The City of Norfolk, the Salvation Army and the Joan Kroc Foundation have also collaborated on a $50 million community center for the Broadcreek neighborhood, an amenity immediately adjacent to the rental phases constructed by TCB. Commercial space is slated for development near the proposed community center.