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South First Street Community

900-1000 South 1st St.

South First Street’s redevelopment will be conducted in three phases, bringing 175 new affordable units to CRHA’s portfolio.

South First Street Overview

Number of Units: 175

Phase 1 Amenities:

  • Community Center
  • Fitness Room
  • Office
  • Playground


Phase 2 Amenities:

  • Community Center
  • Office Room
  • Basketball Court
  • Playspaces

Built originally in September 1981, South First Street’s redevelopment process began in 2019. The property’s redevelopment will be conducted in three phases:

The first phase is almost complete and is expected to be entirely completed by the end of this summer. In the first phase, the “ballfield” at the south end of the property was replaced with a brand-new community center and 62 units in three new, affordable garden-style apartment buildings.

The existing public housing units will be developed into new townhouses and apartments in the second phase, which is expected to break ground in March 2024.

Lastly, the third phase of redevelopment is currently in the planning stages but will be developed on a small, wooded lot at the corner of Hartman’s Mill Road and South First Street. 

Redevelopment Process

The South First Street resident-engagement process formed the basis of our current approach to planning. The first phase’s planning process was extensive, and we quickly realized that incentives were needed for greater participation. With incentivization and constant polling, we identified residents’ desires and needs for redevelopment.  

South First Street phase two was much more intensive than the first and with help from BRW Architects, weekly resident planners’ groups were formed. These meetings proved essential to promoting resident engagement, data collection, and assurance that we were listening to residents’ visions.  

The Resident Led Master Planning of South First Street was documented in the three booklets below. 

South First Street October Update

South First Street Phase 1 – Substantial Completion!

Phase 1 of South First Street has reached “substantial completion,” with all apartments ready for move-in and most of the exterior work complete. 

Building 3 is in the process of leasing up all apartments. A few odds and ends are left in the community center and office. Fitness equipment has been installed and we will reconnect with our partners at Computers 4 Kids to resource the computer lab. CRHA staff will be working to fully open community spaces in the coming weeks.

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South First Street Phase 2- Moving towards construction

Construction expenses have risen considerably, as a result, Resident Planners and Architects reviewed designs for South 1st Street Phase II and successfully reformatted the site plan to reduce costs and increase functionality allowing us to move forward with construction in March. The re-worked site plan still meets the vision of the Resident Planners while being more cost-effective and has increased product value. Simultaneously, the team is working around the clock to make sure all aspects needed from HUD, the City, contractors, permits, etc. are addressed. We are moving forward with clearing the existing site to be readied for demolition and abatement. Residents continue to engage in the process and have been evaluating interior and exterior finishes for the townhomes and apartments and visited a model townhome to get a feel for the layouts.

Phase One: Partnerships & Funding Sources

The redevelopment of South First Street Phase One has been made possible through key partnerships with Arnold Design Studio Architecture, Breeden Construction, the Public Housing Association of Residents (PHAR), the Affordable Housing Group, the Virginia Community Development Corporation, Red Light Management, South First Street Phase One, LLC.

Redevelopment is funded with various sources including the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, the City of Charlottesville, the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund, and loans and grants awarded to CRHA. 

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