History of St. Paul's Area
Planning efforts for the St. Paul’s Area Revitalization began in 2005 when residents, businesses, and the City developed plans to transform the area into a mixed income, mixed-use neighborhood with pedestrian friendly development. This planning effort led to a vision for the expanded area as identified in the 2015 Choice Neighborhood Initiative Transformation Plan. More recently, plans have further evolved based on the City of Norfolk’s participation in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s funding application under the National Disaster Resilience Competition (“NDRC”). A component of Virginia’s application called for demolition of Tidewater Gardens and Calvert Square in order to remove Public Housing from flood-prone areas and the introduction of innovative storm water techniques that will allow development of new mixed-income communities within this area. Implementing the recommendations of Norfolk’s Plan to Reduce Poverty, the City began discussions in 2016 with a nonprofit consulting group, Purpose Built Communities, involving a comprehensive model that links housing, education, workforce development, transportation and health services. The model is people-centered and neighborhood based.
The City and NRHA are working with Purpose Built Communities on a community plan for the St. Paul’s Area with the goal of implementing a holistic revitalization effort with transformative programs and best-in-class services. Purpose Built Communities is contributing technical assistance toward the development of this comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plan. The Plan may be developed incrementally and may be implemented incrementally by either a Master Developer (one primary developer) or multiple developers.
The St. Paul’s Area is broadly defined as the area from St. Paul’s Boulevard on the west, Virginia Beach Boulevard on the north, Tidewater Drive on the east, and the City Hall Avenue on the South. The area includes three public housing communities: Young Terrace (746 units), Calvert Square (310 units) and Tidewater Gardens (618 Units).
Young Terrace, Calvert Square and Tidewater Gardens provide housing for disadvantaged families, mostly with extremely low household incomes. The impact of this concentrated poverty as well as the barriers imposed by the physical obsolescence of the public housing often prevents these families from reaching economic empowerment and self-sufficiency. Providing residents better housing choices and enhanced opportunities for lifelong success will be one of the most important components of the Plan.
The impact of poverty goes well beyond housing. The City and NRHA are working with Purpose Built Communities to develop the Plan which will be a comprehensive and holistic approach to neighborhood transformation designed to improve all aspects of the St. Paul’s Area, including the physical, educational, recreational, commercial and social attributes.