NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The first two buildings of Norfolk’s massive public housing redevelopment plan were approved unanimously Tuesday night.

There was no fanfare when Norfolk City Council voted, however as members of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority left chambers, excitement was on their faces.

“Cleared another hurdle,” Deputy City Manager James Rogers said as the employees left.

It’s now been two years since council voted to move ahead with plans to tear down 1,700 public housing units in the St. Paul’s area and replace them with mixed-income communities.

In 2019, HUD awarded NRHA $30 million to complete their work, and Tuesday’s vote will use $3.75 million of it to construct 190-units. The remainder will be funded with low-income housing tax credits and private debt.

Known as Blocks 19 and 20, the buildings planned to be built along Wood Street and Fenchurch Street, next to Fire Station 1 and the HRT transit center, will offer mixed-income senior and family housing. Ground could be broken on the current parking lot land in 2021, according to the city manager’s office.

The land in the center of the photo is “Block 20” with “Block 19” making up the parking lot to the left across Posey Lane. (Brinshore Development)