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W. Main apartments, virus relief funds on Planning Commission's Tuesday agenda

Charlottesville officials are poised to give final approval to the second phase of a planned apartment building on West Main Street.

The Planning Commission will vote on the final site plan for the building at 612 W. Main St. during a virtual meeting Tuesday.

Heirloom Development plans to construct the second phase of an apartment complex, having received a special-use permit allowing for a 52-foot-tall building with retail space on the ground floor facing West Main Street.

The building will sit on property housing the University Tire & Auto Center, which will be demolished.

The first phase, completed last year, is a six-story apartment building behind the existing Blue Moon Diner with about 60 units.

The City Council voted 4-1 to approve a special-use permit for the second phase in October.

Phase two will have 14 studio apartments and 20 one-bedroom, nine two-bedroom and two three-bedroom units for a total of 58 bedrooms. It includes 43 underground parking spaces.

It will include 6,700 square feet for retail use spread across three spaces.

A representative for the company said Friday that it was too early to provide additional specifics on the development, including amenities, the type of retail or price points for the apartments.

Units in the first phase have been advertised at $1,499 for a studio apartment and $4,090 for a three-bedroom apartment.

As part of the conditions for the permit, Heirloom must create a protective plan for the Holsinger Building, a 1912 structure that serves as the annex for the adjacent First Baptist Church.

In other business, the commission will hold a joint public hearing with the City Council on the proposed allocation for a portion of the city’s federal coronavirus relief money.

The city received $246,699 in March from the federal government through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant. The money will be allocated through the city’s CDBG program and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission’s HOME program.

The city decided to create three pots of money for the money: public services, economic development and administration/planning.

The Community Investment Collaborative will receive the $98,679 allocated for the economic development category. According to a staff report, the money will be used for 24 grants that provide technical support to micro-enterprises. The grants will help businesses cover expenses and adapt to the changing economic environment caused by the pandemic.

The public service program funding will be split between the Thomas Jefferson Health District and the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless.

The health district will receive $49,661 for outreach, testing and linking to care related to the virus. The money will be used to hire two full-time community health workers to engage priority communities in preventing the spread of the virus and help the department with its response to the pandemic.

The homeless coalition will use the remaining $49,017 to provide rental and utility assistance to 25 households making less than 30% of the area median income.

The final $49,339 will be used to cover administration and planning related to the selected projects.

The proposal is the latest in several actions the council has taken to provide relief from the pandemic, such as redirecting housing funds and appropriating other federal relief money.

The Planning Commission meets virtually at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. To register to participate, visit charlottesville.gov/zoom.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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