Sentara invests $11M in Newport News revitalization
Health system supporting Marshall-Ridley initiative
Sentara Healthcare invested $11 million in Newport News’ Marshall-Ridley Choice Neighborhood revitalization initiative, the Norfolk-based health system announced Wednesday.
Sentara is providing $11 million in loan financing support for the project’s second phase, which focuses on the former Ridley Place neighborhood. The project is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative, which uses public and private investments to revitalize neighborhoods by replacing distressed public housing.
“Sentara’s support of the Marshall-Ridley Choice Neighborhood Initiative is another step in our ongoing journey to improve community health and wellness, create economic opportunity, and address social determinants of health,” Aubrey Layne, Sentara’s executive vice president of governance and external affairs, said in a statement.
The design plans for this phase include a three-story, 41-unit apartment building on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and 16th Street that will feature retail space on the ground floor. The plans also include 14 two- and three-story buildings with 114 townhomes, a walking and biking trail and an early childhood development center.
The city of Newport News, Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority and developer Pennrose are leading the project’s development. Richmond-based Breeden Construction is the contractor, and construction is expected to be complete in late 2024.
“There is a direct correlation between high-quality housing and positive community health outcomes,” Karen Wilds, executive director of the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority, said in a statement. “Sentara’s strategic commitment to the Choice Neighborhood Initiative ensures equitable health outcomes for all residents, regardless of their race and socioeconomic status.”
In 2019, the city of Newport News and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority received a $30 million grant from HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, which the city used to develop its plan for the Marshall-Ridley area. The development partners held a ribbon cutting for the first phase of housing — a mixed-use development with apartments, townhomes and retail space — on Dec. 8.
Goals for the second phase include:
- providing a variety of housing options;
- integrating housing types so they are indistinguishable;
- providing affordable housing equitably;
- increasing homeownership rates; and
- fostering community.
An $11 billion not-for-profit health system with 12 hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina, Sentara employs about 30,000 workers, including 1,375 physicians and advanced practice providers. In 2022, Sentara awarded more than $10 million in funding to nearly 170 community and faith-based organizations to address social determinants of health.