Affordable apartments will jumpstart redevelopment in Virginia Beach’s Pembroke area.

An affordable apartment complex will be a key part to jump-starting redevelopment in part of the Pembroke area.

Affordable apartments

The Franklin Johnston Group has plans to turn 10 acres near Witchduck Road into 264 apartments. This week, City Council designated 91 acres of land around it a revitalization area to help the development company get special financing. It will help keep the complex affordable.

The newly defined revitalization area is bound by Southern Boulevard and Interstate 264 to the north and south, and Witchduck and Euclid roads to the east and west.

Price Street Apartments will be the first major project in the revitalization area, which is included in the Pembroke Strategic Growth Area.

The city’s strategic growth area plans, which identify and lay out visions for eight areas in the city, have already been approved and are technically revitalization plans too, said Kathy Warren, strategic growth areas manager.

In Pembroke, there’s been quite a bit of work done closer to Town Center, but not as much around Price Street. The city recently broke ground a few blocks away on the $30 million Housing Resource Center on North Witchduck Road, but the area is still warehouses and industrial business buildings.

“We haven’t seen investment in that area in quite some time,” Warren said.

Seven buildings will have four stories of 40 one-bedroom apartments, 160 two-bedroom apartments and 64 three-bedroom apartments. The units will range from 800 to 1300 square feet, said Christen Faatz, spokesperson for The Franklin Johnston Group.

Amenities will include a resort-style pool, clubhouse, business center, fitness center and “ample” parking – which will be important once the area transforms to a more urban grid pattern, as master plans envision.

The company expects to break ground in late 2017, Faatz said, and begin moving residents in by the next year. The complex should be finished by 2019.

There isn’t much insight yet into what will develop around the Price Street apartments.

Ultimately, that part of the Pembroke strategic growth area will become an “eclectic, bohemian art district,” according to the city’s master plan. The plan envisions filling the area with ethnic restaurants, lounge bars and even a live jazz venue.

The Franklin-Johnston Group, which is based in Virginia Beach, is looking forward to setting the tone in the area.

“Being the first in a redevelopment area has its challenges, but it’s also exciting to spearhead transformational change,” Faatz said in an email. “Nothing gives us more pride than to be able to revitalize an area in our own backyard.”

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