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West End Target Area Revitalization

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West End Target Area Property Catalog

West End Project Presentation by Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) - Click here for details.

City of Roanoke West End Target Area Property Catalog November 2013

Greene Memorial United Methodist Church teamed with the City of Roanoke and other stakeholders to help revitalize the West End area of the City on projects, such as painting, minor home repairs, landscaping, and more. The event was held on Saturday May 18, 2013. A few pictures from the days events are shown below:





In September 2011, per the City's Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policy, the West End (portions of the Old Southwest, Hurt Park, Mountain View, and West End neighborhoods) was selected as the next area in which to target HUD funds and encourage private investment. Work in this target area started July 1, 2012 and is expected to continue for at least three years.

A stakeholders group was formed in the spring of 2012 to help guide the process and provide valuable information. The Stakeholders of the West End Target Area (SWETA) meets monthly and is comprised of neighborhood organization leaders, staff of housing agencies and non-profits, and City staff. SWETA's membership and focus will evolve with the project, e.g. the group hopes to get some businesses involved, and is currently working on marketing ideas.

The Roanoke Health Department moved out of its offices at 8th Street and Campbell Avenue, S.W. a few years ago and the building has been vacant since. An open-house planning session was held June 7, 2012 at the Kirk Family YMCA to gather input. The City of Roanoke is currently accepting proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of this property. Click here for more details.


Roanoke council OKs sale of former health department building Roanoke Times, Tuesday August 20, 2013

Ed Walker offers to restore Roanoke's old health department building Roanoke Times, Friday August 2, 2013


Project Updates

Currently, City staff are working on:
  • New Credit Union Branch
  • Housing Contracts Under Fiscal Years, 2012-13
    Habitat for Humanity New Ownership Projects

    1340 Campbell Ave
    1405 Campbell Ave
    1109 Chapman Ave
    1113 Chapman Ave
    2 homes on Chapman Ave; parcels 1112615, 1112616 and 1112617
    813 Day Ave
    825 Day Ave
    428 Marshall Ave
    806 Marshall Ave
    1026 Patterson Ave
    1305 Rorer Ave

    Habitat for Humanity Rehabilitation of Existing Housing

    1422 Chapman Ave
    1527 Chapman Ave
    1729 Chapman Ave
    1317 Chapman Ave
    1212 Cleveland Ave
    1216 Cleveland Ave

    Roanoke’s Energy Efficient Home Rehabilitation Program

    543 Day Ave
    817 Marshall Ave
    1714 Patterson Ave
    507 7th St (testing services only, no rehab)
    826 13th Street

    Rebuilding Together Roanoke Owner-occupied Rehab

    1702 Chapman Ave
    430 Marshall Ave
    530 Marshall Ave
    306 8th Street
    513 Day Ave
    535 Day Ave
    1425 Patterson Ave
    304 8th Street
    1530 Chapman Ave
    1328 Chapman Ave
    1621 Patterson Ave
    1627 Patterson Ave
    1705 Patterson Ave
    1406 Rorer Ave
    531 Day Ave
    1307 Chapman Ave
    1422 Chapman Ave
    1518 Chapman Ave
    1525 Campbell Ave
    617 12th Street
    1333 Campbell Ave
    1609 Chapman Ave
  • Community Gardens
    Two new gardens are almost underway in the target area, with a third in the early planning stages. The Roanoke Community Garden Association will be planting community gardens on Campbell Avenue near the Roanoke Area Ministries building, and on a vacant lot at the corner of 13th Street and Cleveland Avenue. Read the Roanoke Times coverage here:
  • Devising specific revitalization strategies for the target area. A Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) plan for the West End is currently under review by HUD. If approved by HUD, it will allow for 49% of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to be used toward market rate housing activities. However, the NRSA primarily pertains to HUD funding and does not encompass all that SWETA and City staff hope to accomplish. Staff and SWETA are currently working on fine-tuning strategies and goals for the area. For more information contact Frederick Gusler at 853-1104.
    Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) Plan May 15, 2012

Background

The City of Roanoke receives about $2.5 million or more in new funds annually from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in three grants: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) and Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG). In 2001 Roanoke City Council adopted a policy that guides the use of this funding. The policy has been in use since, and was amended in 2004. The goals of the policy are to specifically address critical community needs, concentrate funding into neighborhoods to create a critical mass of improvements, ensure that community service agencies are maximizing their use of these funds, and provide an administrative framework for City staff to plan and budget each allocation efficiently.

Subsequent to the policy’s adoption in 2001, the Neighborhood Selection Task Force (NSTF) was formed for the purpose of recommending a group of neighborhoods that would be selected to receive funding per the new policy. In 2002, per the NSTF and City Manager’s recommendation, City Council passed a resolution to select six neighborhoods as future target areas for HUD funds. Since that time, revitalization efforts with HUD funds have been conducted in two of the neighborhoods, Gainsboro and Hurt Park. This was in addition to the pilot project, Southeast by Design, which was underway when the NSTF began meeting.

After nine years of operating under this policy, City staff determined it was prudent to review and evaluate its effectiveness, and make revisions as warranted. To undertake the policy’s evaluation, an interdepartmental team of eight employees met several times in the spring of 2010 to discuss issues and brainstorm for ideas of how the policy might be changed.

To date, the City has undertaken revitalization efforts in these neighborhoods:

Southeast by Design; the Bullitt-Jamison corridor from 6th to 13th Streets, SE
Gainsboro Project Gold
Hurt Park New Horizons

The team suggested several potential changes to the policy, agreed that while the neighborhood targeting approach was an improvement over the previous method the neighborhood selection process should be revisited, and suggested the formation of a citizen Task Force. The HUD Policy Task Force was formed to further the work of the staff team and determine what changes should be recommended to the City Manager and City Council.

The Task Force was comprised of the following members:
      Chair: Steve Rossi, S.C. Rossi, Inc.
      Susan Koch, Greater Raleigh Court Civic League
      Dan Merenda, Council of Community Services
      Karen Michalski-Karney, Blue Ridge Independent Living Center
      Angela Penn, Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) and the Planning Commission
      Paula Prince, Jefferson College of Health Sciences
      John Urquhart, Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority
      Brenda Walker, Virginia Employment Commission
      Damon Williams, First Citizens Bank
      Tori Williams, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce
Task Force Process

Adoption of the revised HUD policy in 2010 was the result of the HUD Policy Task Force’s recommendations. Through an over two-month process that entailed 11 meetings and a neighborhood tour, the Task Force arrived at the following conclusions and recommendations:

Evaluation of the policy; there was general consensus that the policy has been implemented as intended, but some aspects needed to be revisited. The following concerns were noted:
  • Homeownership has been difficult to achieve in target neighborhoods, and there has not been much of an increase. However, the Downpayment Assistance Program has fared well thus far.
  • Rental housing needs to be improved in the City.
  • More economic development is needed in low to moderate income neighborhoods, though achieving success in this area with HUD funds has been challenging.
  • There are a number of human service programs in the city that provide vital services, yet the policy is difficult for them to comply with.
  • The flexibility of the current policy needs to be maintained.
Recommendations for changes to the current policy:
  • Adjusts the goals for allocating CDBG funds:
    1. Housing, from 57% to 50%
    2. Economic Development, from 22.5% to 25%
    3. Human Development, from 10% to 13%
    4. Neighborhood Development, from 10 to 11.5%
  • Lowers the goal for targeted use of CDBG funds from 70% to 51% due to program extensions based on performance and prior CDBG commitments
  • Eliminates the “3 years-and-out” rule to include conditional performance requirements
  • Provides additional flexibility in allocating funds to uses that are limited to HUD
  • Calls for identifying additional indicators to better measure success
    Recommendations for the next neighborhood(s) selection per the targeting approach of the policy.
    • A target area defined roughly from the Elm, Day, Marshall Avenues, SW corridor, westward toward the 13th Street, SW corridor, Chapman and Patterson Avenues, and north no further than Rorer Avenue. This target area would span across the neighborhoods of Mountain View, West End, and Old Southwest.
    • A target area defined roughly by the Orange and Melrose Avenue corridor roughly from Washington Park and 5th Street to 24th Street, NW. This target area would span across the neighborhoods of Loudon-Melrose, Melrose-Rugby and Washington Park.
    • A target area defined roughly by the Morningside neighborhood.
    The Task Force selected these areas after an extensive rating and discussion process. A ranking system was used to narrow down the top neighborhoods for potential targeting. The Task Force directed staff to collect additional data to evaluate the neighborhoods. The ranking system employed 21 variables and was structured into two equally weighted parts:
      1) Needs: the factors that make or contribute to a neighborhood’s low to moderate income status; e.g. poverty, education, crime and code enforcement citations. Neighborhoods were ranked from 1 to 30 on these variables with ‘1’ ranking the highest, i.e. being considered the neediest. The total needs score thus recognized the lowest numeric values as being the neighborhood’s with the greatest need.

      2) Opportunities: the objective of this category was to identify where synergies and opportunities might exist that will produce the greatest return on investment. All relevant city documents were reviewed to determine where potential projects and other opportunities existed. Existing public facilities and other activity in neighborhoods were also included. The total opportunities score thus recognized the lowest numeric values as being the neighborhood’s with the greatest potential opportunities.
    During the evaluation and ranking process, the Task Force agreed to focus on corridors or areas of concern and opportunity, rather than recommending entire neighborhoods individually. This led to identifying areas that overlap neighborhood boundaries. The areas that were chosen comprise portions of seven different neighborhoods.

    The Task Force agreed that staff should undertake further evaluation and planning for each of these three target areas before presenting any funding recommendations. A planning process is currently underway, which will result in a recommendation to City Council by Fall 2011.

    Staff Team Target Area Selection Process

    In October 2010 City Council adopted an updated HUD policy. A selection process was then underway by the City to evaluate and recommend selection of the next target revitalization area(s) to focus a substantial portion of the City's Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds. Staff evaluated three potential target areas per the policy as shown on the map below:

    Download a map of the target areas.

    A public meeting was held Thursday July 14, 2011 at the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building that provided an update on the City’s HUD Funds Policy including the target area selection process. A decision for the next target area was presented to City Council on September 6, 2011. After considering what potential projects and improvements could be made in each area, the West End area was chosen due to its:
    • Synergy and partnerships
    • Private sector market activity
    • Adjacency; it lies between recent revitalization in Old Southwest/western edges of Downtown, Hurt Park, and Vic Thomas Park & the Roanoke River Greenway

    Maps

    Click the links below to view target area maps:

    Target Area Boundary Map (pdf)
    Neighborhood Boundary Map (pdf)
    Existing Land Use Map (pdf)
    Zoning Map (pdf)
    Overlay Districts (pdf)
    Boarded Structures Map (pdf)


    Programs and Incentives

    A number of publicly funded programs and incentives are available in the West End Target Area for property owners, potential homeowners and investors. Combining one or more of these programs and incentives offers a great opportunity for long-term investment and improvement in the area.

    The links below provide information on the various forms of funding assistance that can be taken advantage of in the West End Target Area:

    For more information contact Frederick Gusler at (540) 853-1104 or frederick.gusler@roanokeva.gov.