Strategic Investment Area (SIA)
What is the Strategic Investment Area?
The Strategic Investment Area (also referred to as the “SIA”) is an approximately 330 acre area south and east of downtown, including portions of the Ridge Street, Belmont Carlton, North Downtown, Martha Jefferson and Fifeville neighborhoods. This target area was identified by the City as a potential “growth” area due to its low density and available land areas, and its location as a gateway to Downtown, including pedestrian connections to the Downtown Mall area.
Where is the SIA?
The SIA is bounded approximately by the CSX Buckingham Rail Line, Rialto Street, Ridge Street, and Palatine Avenue and extending north to include a small area bounded by East High, 8th Street NE, and 10th Street. (SIA Boundary Map PDF)
What is the Purpose of the SIA Plan?
“To initiate a transformational process to engage stakeholders, city staff, and members of the greater community in the future of the Strategic Investment Area.”
The purpose of the SIA is to enhance the quality of life for the people who live there now and to help guide private and public investments in the future. What does this mean?
First, let’s look at the meaning of "enhance the quality of life." Today, in spite of the fact that the SIA is a stone’s throw from the city’s downtown mall, this area lacks job opportunities for residents, has no public parks, is referred to as a "food dessert" and has one of the lowest median incomes in the City. The SIA Plan will help the City:
- Expand choice and economic mobility by promoting access to more housing, employment and educational opportunities without displacing current residents and by honoring the "Residents’ Bill of Rights for Redevelopment".
- Create a healthy and safe neighborhood that enables an active lifestyle and expands access to healthy food for all residents with great public parks and streets, and affordable grocery stores.
Second, let’s look at what it means to "guide private and public investment." With a master plan in hand, the City will know how to focus its efforts and resources and developers will know what the city wants in terms of land use, income mixes, character, size and scale of buildings. The SIA Plan will help the City:
- Make capital investments in the neighborhood, including improvements to streets and intersections, as well as investments in people through education and workforce development.
- Partner with the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Piedmont Housing Alliance, and above all their residents to meet the City’s affordable housing goals.
- Implement both physical and community development goals through a better zoning code that reflects the community’s values for a sustainable, equitable and beautiful neighborhood for all of its residents regardless of income level.
What is the SIA Plan designed to do?
The Plan designed to guide redevelopment of the SIA area, referred to as the SIA Plan, is intended to provide guidance for targeted investment and improvement in the target area and for improved urban design to create a better quality of life. It also anticipates redevelopment of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the Friendship Court sites. The Plan was initiated in order to create a transformative process for redevelopment and to identify key strategies for both public and private development.
What the SIA Plan will NOT do...
- Displace or relocate people
- Deny residents the opportunity to participate in the planning process
- Encourage incompatible development/redevelopment
- Demolish Public Housing Units and not replace them in FULL
- Encourage a system of economic injustice