Housing developers like Monument Companies, Whitmore Company, LLC and The Breeden Company are targeting young professionals and empty nesters with tasteful, new or historically rehabilitated construction of studios, one and two-bedroom units.
More and more, when young professionals and step-downs or empty nesters look where they want to live, they search for walkable and bikeable communities. They are finding this in Portsmouth.
Residents are enjoying this type of neighborhood. Access to services and entertainment are close by, as are the benefits of a close proximity to work. Government-related workplaces like Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, US Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command and City Hall are all nearby as are other businesses like WAVY News 10 and FOX 43, ship repairers, as well as several banks and independently-owned restaurants and retail shops.
“We are very excited for the Seaboard and Governor Dinwiddie projects. While each is unique, they both will attract more residents and businesses downtown, contributing to the continued revitalization of an already vibrant and growing community,” said Chris Johnson, principal at The Monument Companies, developers specializing in historic rehabilitation of properties. They are using federal and state historic tax credits for the projects, which keep much of the buildings’ original historic exteriors intact as well as interior floors and windows.
When completed, the Governor Dinwiddie Hotel (below) will have 46 apartments and the Seaboard Building will boast 81 apartments and ground floor commercial and restaurant space in Downtown Portsmouth. Both will be available for lease in 2016.
Peyton Tata, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Breeden Company said, “One of the strengths of the Breeden Company is to have the foresight to identify a great area like Portsmouth. It’s unique, has a waterfront and has history.”
Montgomery Square, one of The Breeden Company’s recent acquisitions at the corner of High and Effingham Sts., was developed by its prior owner with 69 units offering 67 different floor plans. These units stay rented with nearly a 100% occupancy rate. The building includes available space on the ground level. Their two new construction properties, Harbor Vista and North Pier, will have 134 units and 187 units, respectively. Harbor Vista will be ready for occupancy in late 2016 and North Pier will break ground shortly thereafter.
Residents Chris Smiley and Brandon Watts have enjoyed the convenience and camaraderie of living in The Quarters at Park View developed by the Whitmore Company (below) which opened in phased beginning in August 2014. “This is the nicest community I’ve ever lived in. I love the amenities of a pool, free fitness center, washers and dryers in a spacious unit and being close to Olde Towne restaurants and businesses. My fellow residents are great and I’m close to work, too,” said Smiley.
“I work for the government and I’m near work now. No tunnels and hardly any traffic. I’ve lived here just over a year and it has everything on my checklist. I’m close to the businesses in Olde Towne and can grab the ferry or make a quick drive to check out downtown Norfolk. I hope more people jump on board,” said Watts.
The Quarters at Park View (below) property manager, Jeanie Gordon, happily reports, “We’re fully occupied. The majority of our residents are professionals like engineers, doctors and the military. We have some empty nesters as well.”
The other two properties under development by the Whitmore Company are Kings Court with 46 units and Sterling Court with 67. They are targeted to be move-in ready during mid-2016. “These projects are in the Downtown historic district and offer quality housing. There are so many jobs in this area and living close by takes away the unpredictability of traffic congestion. Residents can get to work on time and still be near the convenience of services and local businesses,” said Dan Aston, principal at the Whitmore Company, LLC.
Portsmouth Vice Mayor Elizabeth Psimas is feeling optimistic about the strategic growth of her city. “This influx of new residents comprised of young professionals to retirees and empty nesters helps to stimulate growth of new businesses like the soon to be opened Little Shoppes on High — many permanent little businesses within a large space. In the storefront immediately next to it look for a new party supply store.”
Olde Towne resident, former Economic Development Authority member, and the founder of the Portsmouth Olde Towne Farmers Market, Terry Danaher, is “seeing a positive shift in mindset. This a great place to live as it offers terrific restaurants and services close by. Things are happening. The Farmers Market will be one of the Little Shoppes businesses this winter. If we’ve seen what’s showing down the street at the Commodore (Theater), we can drive about 10 minutes west, not pay any tolls, and enjoy a movie Harborview in Northern Suffolk.”
Moving to Portsmouth for affordable and superior living sounds like a move in the right direction. With 770 apartments available in Portsmouth by the end of 2016–which equates to $99.3 million in private investment–life just became a little more conducive and convenient for professionals where there’s “90 miles of shoreline and 360 degrees of opportunity.”