Friendship Court, a Look Back at 2019
Friendship Court saw lots of change in 2019! Residents on the Advisory Committee and Piedmont Housing staff worked together for the community. They are now preparing for the start of construction of Phase 1 of redevelopment in 2020. With that ahead, it’s important to take a look at some milestones achieved in 2019.
Funding: Piedmont Housing Alliance and NHT Communities submitted the key funding application (Low Income Housing Tax Credits) for Phase 1 of redevelopment. The precedent-setting funding commitment from the City of Charlottesville ensured a strong application. The incredible work of the Friendship Court Advisory Committee and the rest of the design team (Grimm + Parker architects and Timmons Group civil engineering) sealed the deal.
Economic Opportunity Coordinator: We also welcomed Shawna Wells, as the Economic Opportunity Coordinator. Shawna worked through the year to develop relationships with both residents as well as organizations within the Charlottesville Community that foster economic opportunity.
Community Center staffing: With the departure of Friendship Court Community Organizer, Claudette Grant, the Community Center saw shifted responsibilities, including larger roles and responsibilities for Community Center Coordinator, Jessica Eldridge, and Community Outreach Assistant, Sheri Hopper.
Youth Leadership Team: We completed a long-time project of the Youth Leadership Team, the Courtyard Improvements project. The Youth Leadership Team’s vision brought the courtyard space to reality. With the culmination in a community-wide Build Day, the Youth Leadership Team worked with a team of consultants (Studio O and Public Workshop), Community Center staff, Community Management staff, and UVa Facilities to develop an attractive and welcoming outdoor space.
Funding: Piedmont Housing and NHT Communities staff attended the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) Board of Directors meeting where they were successfully awarded the funding for Phase 1 of the redevelopment.
Community Management: Also in June, Piedmont Housing’s Community Management team took over management of Friendship Court from Edgewood Management.
New Community Center Design: In July, the Advisory Committee chose Grimm + Parker architects to design the new Community Services Center, which will include a new Community Center and an onsite Early Childhood Center.
August – November
Getting Ready For Construction: To be ready for construction of Phase 1 of redevelopment to begin, the final building and site-related architectural drawings must be approved by the City. We got site-drawing approval in November.