RICHMOND, VA. — Enterprise Community Development (ECD) has completed construction of The Rosa, an affordable seniors housing community in Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. Partners on the project include the City of Richmond, the Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority, Virginia Housing (formerly VHDA), the Federal Home Loan Bank, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Truist Financial Corp., Enterprise Housing Credit Investments and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Grimm + Parker served as the project architect, while Harkins Builders was the general contractor.
The four-story building features 82 mixed-income apartments, including 36 affordable units designated for workforce housing. The Rosa is named after the former school on the site.
Although primarily new construction, the project included the adaptive reuse of a historic convent into eight of the multifamily units, as well as the preservation of a garden established by the Catholic Diocese to commemorate the former site of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, believed to be the first Catholic congregation for African-Americans in the South. The complex also features 6,000 square feet of retail space.
All residents of The Rosa previously lived in Fay Towers, a 200-unit senior community built in 1976. The ribbon cutting of The Rosa marks the completion of the second phase in a three-part process of enabling Fay Towers residents to move into new, modern homes. The first stage of the process was completed in 2016, when 77 seniors moved into the former Highland Park Public School, which ECD fully renovated. The final phase, currently under construction, is the adaptive reuse of the former Baker School into 50 additional homes, with an expected completion in early summer 2021.