what is cni?

In 2016, the City of Newport News and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NNRHA) were awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to develop a community-driven Transformation Plan for the Marshall-Ridley neighborhood. CNI leverages public and private investments to replace distressed public housing and transform neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity. The Transformation Plan focuses on four critical areas: people supportive services), education, housing, and neighborhood (safety, economic development, workforce development).


How long will it take for us to see changes in the neighborhood?

NNRHA and the City of Newport News are committed to finding resources and funding to implement the Transformation Plan. We have already started implementation on those actions for which existing resources and funds exist. Examples include improvements along Jefferson Avenue, at King-Lincoln Park, and along Bates Drive. A workforce development center will be located on the ground floor of the new building going up at Brooks Crossing, and a co-working space is in the works at 2506 Jefferson Avenue.


Who is the transformation plan for and why?

The neighborhood planning area boundaries are 39th Street to the north, Hampton Roads harbor to the south, I-664 to the west, and Marshall Avenue and the Chase Bag property to the east. The target public housing site is Ridley Place, a 64-year old barrack-style severely distressed development which would cost almost as much to modernize as it would to demolish and rebuild. The neighborhood has many needs, but also some great assets to build on including its people, history, location, and opportunity sites. 


I am a resident of the Marshall-Ridley neighborhood. How can I get involved with CNI?

We are forming a Citizen Advisory Committee that will help guide implementation of the Transformation Plan. There are also opportunities to volunteer and support CNI in other ways throughout implementation. Keep track of opportunities here on the Newport News Choice website. Also, if you are interested in signing up for the Neighborhood Leadership Series, please contact Latara Branch at 757-926-8081 or branchls@nnva.gov.


The Transformation Plan is complete and has been adopted by Newport News City Council. We have transitioned into implementation, focusing on community improvements and services for which funding and other resources are available. NNRHA and the City will continue to seek funds to implement all actions in the Transformation Plan over the next 5 to 10 years.

Where are we in the overall cni process?


Are there still opportunities for the public to provide input on the transformation plan?

The Marshall-Ridley Transformation Plan has been adopted by City Council and submitted to HUD. Any adjustments to the plan’s strategies during implementation will be coordinated with the Citizen Advisory Committee and HUD.


The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) administers state and federal laws and regulations for air quality, water quality, water supply and land protection. It is responsible for issuing environmental permits to businesses throughout Virginia, and regulating compliance to protect people and the environment. To find out more about a permitted facility or specific regulations, go to www.deq.virginia.gov or call the Tidewater Regional Office at 757-518-2000.

Is the coal terminal in compliance with air quality regulations?


Did air pollution factor into the decision not to rebuild on the Harbor Homes/Dickerson Courts site?

Air pollution did not factor into the decision to demolish Harbor Homes and Dickerson Courts. HUD approved demolition of the apartments because the units were obsolete and the cost to modernize them far exceeded the cost of new construction, along with the fact that the housing density was at least 2 to 5 times the recommended density for affordable housing. All the information we have about air quality in the area indicates that it meets DEQ standards.


The State Air Pollution Control Board establishes and oversees regulations for the control and abatement of air pollution throughout Virginia. Information on air quality regulations are found at:

www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air or through the Tidewater Regional Office at 757-518-2000.

What are the air quality regulations?


Commercial real estate: Contact the Newport News Department of Development at 757-926-8428.

Residential real estate: Contact the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority at 757-928-2620.

I am a residential/ commercial real estate developer. How can I purchase, lease and/or develop property in the CNI area?


The housing component of the Transformation Plan calls for the demolition of Ridley Place and the construction of new mixed-income housing at various sites within and outside of the neighborhood. Two phases of mixed-income housing are proposed for Ridley Place and will occur as financing is secured. We anticipate that demolition and construction will occur between 2 and 4 years from now.

Will Ridley Place be demolished? When will this happen?


Visit our events page, sign up to receive the newsletter by email or check out our blog. You can also find hard copies of the newsletter at rental offices and public facilities throughout the neighborhood. Follow NewportNewsChoice on Facebook and Instagram, email questions or comments to newportnewschoice@nnva.gov, or call 757-926-8761.

How do I get updates and information on the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative?


The Southeast Community Plan, adopted by City Council in 2011, recommends commercial development on the site because of its location near the interstate and need for economic development opportunities in the community. This recommendation was considered during the CNI planning process; however, the market study indicates that highest and best use of the site in support of Transformation Plan goals is light industrial/manufacturing use.

Why have we not rebuilt on the Harbor Homes/Dickerson Courts site?