NEWPORT NEWS — The total cost to renovate the building at 2506 Jefferson Ave. is around $1.7 million.
That’s according to Kim Lee, the city’s communications manager.
The building will be transformed into a co-working space providing multiple resources for small business owners and local entrepreneurs.
“While preserving the building’s façade, the building’s interior, roof, and building systems will be completely rehabilitated/renovated through this project,” Lee wrote in an email.
Lee said this project is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2020.
“We have just started the design phase of the project and expect construction to begin sometime in the spring,” Lee wrote in a text message.
In July, the city and the economic development authority received a $480,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to help renovate the structure as part of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative‘s Transformation Plan for the southeast Marshall-Ridley neighborhood.
In addition to the federal grant, the city will use money in the form of bonds or contract loans, from the its Capital Improvement Plan to help finance the project.
Lee said the city sells these general obligation bonds to potential investors or stakeholders to get money for certain city projects and the city typically uses the operating budget funds to pay back the loan over 20 years — with interest.
Those bonds can be limited-tax or unlimited-tax, which means depending on the type, the city can possibly dip into taxpayer dollars to help pay back the stakeholders.
It remains unclear who the stakeholders are for this project, what funds will be used to pay the bonds back, and the duration of the bonds repayment term.