Suffolk, Va. - A major project to revitalize an entire block of Downtown Suffolk is moving forward.
Eight buildings on West Washington Street will be restored and turned into 68 lofts and 5,000 square feet of retail space by two Richmond firms- The Monument Companies and Sensei Development.
Kevin Hughes, Director of Economic Development for the City of Suffolk, says the buildings have been vacant for nearly 30 years and the investment is a major win for downtown.
"It represents a vitality that we want to bring to downtown Suffolk - it's really huge in all capital letters for us," Hughes explained. "What we've really been focusing on the past few years is bringing more bodies - more people living in downtown Suffolk - because if you bring more people then you bring the commercial aspect."
The project must still win the approval of the city's planning commission, which was delayed at the request of the Monument Construction company to allow more time to get approval for historic rehabilitation work.
Tom Dickey, co-owner of Monument Companies, says they hope to begin construction in mid-July with work being done next spring.