Saturday, June 15, 2024

What’s going on with the Sun Trust building and the old Post office? Apparently nothing, CNU says

Screenshot of the proposed dorms for fourth year students at Christopher Newport University (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Glave & Homes Architecture)
Screenshot of the proposed dorms for fourth year students at Christopher Newport University (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Glave & Homes Architecture)

NEWPORT NEWS — Christopher Newport University submitted a conditional use permit to the city in 2017 to create new dorms for seniors.

Two years later, the university has not started construction on the parcel of land which housed the Sun Trust building and the Hidenwood Post Office.

“There is no housing plan in the works at this moment for housing to be built on that land,” said Jim Hanchett, spokesman for the university. “What may have been anticipated in 2017, as far the construction of housing on that land, is not part of the university’s immediate plan.”

Hanchett wrote in an email the Real Estate Foundation owns the former Post Office land and the former Sun Trust building, now known as CNU North, in addition to owning the adjacent shopping center, Hiden Shopping Center, which currently houses the Post Office.

The Real Estate Foundation is a nonprofit corporation which advises the university in regards to making decisions about real estate such as securing real estate, assessing real estate value and other information. In addition, the foundation also manages off campus properties.

In May 2017, City Council approved the Christopher Newport University Real Estate Foundation’s plan to demolish the Sun Trust building and the former Post office to create housing for fourth year students, allowing them the option to reside on campus rather than in the surrounding neighborhoods, according to the city’s news release.

Screenshot of the rendering for Shenandoah River Hall apartments for fourth year students (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Glave & Homes Architecture)
Screenshot of the rendering for Shenandoah River Hall apartments for fourth year students (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Glave & Homes Architecture)

“The construction of this dormitory will allow students to live on campus throughout their college career. It is anticipated that students living on campus instead of renting homes in the surrounding neighborhoods will aid in reducing conflicts and stresses generally associated with student lifestyles occurring in established family oriented communities.”

In the real estate foundation’s application to the city’s planning commission, the foundation stated the 7.31-acre property would be known as Shenandoah River Hall and accommodate 212 students and 21,000 square feet of office space.

In total, 125,000 square feet.

“The shift of students from neighborhoods to campus housing is expected to reduce the stresses and conflict that may be generated by student rentals in adjacent neighborhoods,” according to the executive summary. “It is anticipated that the development will be completed by 2019.”

It is not clear how much the new dorm would cost.

Hanchett said the foundation is not affiliated with CNU yet when WYDaily reached out to the Real Estate Foundation for comment, Doug Hornsby, CEO of the foundation forwarded WYDaily’s request to Hanchett.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

Related Articles

MORE FROM AUTHOR