Shalom Project wants to bring workforce housing to W-S

Shalom Project wants to bring workforce housing to W-S
December 01
09:00 2016



The site of the Budget Inn on Peters Creek Parkway may be transformed into workforce housing.

That’s the hope of the Peters Creek Community Initiative PCCI, which is a subsidiary of the Shalom Project. The Shalom Project at Green Street Church is well known for its outreach programs to the economically disadvantaged.  The PCCI has been working for years to revitalize the section of Peters Creek that runs between Silas Creek Parkway and Broad Street.

Last week, the city approved $15,000 for a feasibility study PCCI wants to do on the corner of Peters Creek Parkway and Academy Street, which currently contains the Budget Inn and a former Ford dealership currently being leased by the Salvation Army. The motel has had issues with crime and urban blight for years.

PCCI would like to acquire both properties, which are up for sale. It would like to use the properties for workforce housing, some retail space and a new location for the Shalom Project and its services, like its free medical clinic, pharmacy and food pantry.

“The hope is we’d be removing a really negative aspect along Peters Creek and replacing it with something positive,” said Shalom Project Director Lynn Brown at a Nov. 10 City Council finance committee meeting.

PCCI has helped businesses acquire funds from the city’s Revitalizing Urban Commercial Areas (RUCA) program to help make improvements. PCCI Chair Kelly Mitter said those funds stimulated investment in the West Salem Shopping Center, resulting in improvements at the plaza. There’s a push at the plaza to try to attract new businesses, like a grocery store, to serve neighborhoods near it.  He said that the presence of the Budget Inn across the street is making it hard to convince businesses to locate there.

Mitter said that the project would act as a catalyst for development around the intersection. It’ll also provide workforce housing near downtown, which he said is greatly needed.

“One of the criticisms of downtown’s revitalization is that there hasn’t been a lot of housing developed for folks who work downtown or who work in our community,” said Mitter.

“We’ve developed an awful lot of high end lofts and that kind of stuff, which is great, but we also need to create housing for folks who are working there who can’t afford that. So this is a missing piece, I think, in the housing picture around downtown.”

The city grant, along with a $5,000 BB&T grant and possible additional funds, will pay for a feasibility study by the National Development Corporation, which will work in collaboration with the North Carolina Housing Foundation. The study will begin this month and is expected to last sixth months. It will be used to determine what form the project will take, including how many units of housing might be put on the property.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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