Staunton Newtown Project Revisited

By: Keith Jones Email
By: Keith Jones Email

There may still be changes in store for homes in Staunton's Newtown. Although the city decided to drop the project, they're not giving up altogether.

Several dilapidated homes have left the neighborhood in despair, but Vice Mayor David Metz says there is hope for these houses.

"We still want to go ahead with the infrastructure and make the assumption that I think is a correct assumption. That the private sector will step up and renovate these houses such as what you see right behind us," says Metz.

That's just what private developer Greg Jackson did in turning an absolute wreck into a livable house.

"It was a total gut and rehab. We tore out stairs, salvaged most of the flooring and woodwork, but a lot of everything else was replaced," says Jackson.

He says most of the properties in the area are in the same shape, but it's still a developer's dream.

Jackson says, "It was the mix of wanting to do a profitable project as well as something beneficial for the neighborhood and for the city."

Twenty to 30 houses are available to the private sector, and the city will do its part to make turning these houses around easier.

"The properties have so much increased value, and at the same time that they're doing all this infrastructure work, we put in new sanitary sewer and we'll also put in new water line," says Metz.

Metz says turning the houses around will turn the neighborhood in the right direction.

He says, "That's the real key and that's what's really the efforts here is to create a neighborhood. What I think will happen once this is done, this will almost become a small community within itself."

The fates of the houses are still up in the air, but Metz says the neighborhood will grow. It's all about whether private developers see potential and take the initiative.


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