The Fairgrounds Redevelopment and Revitalization Project as approved by SRHA Board of Commissioners in September 2003 and amended in April 2007. The creation of the redevelopment plan and revitalization plan was part of a continuous effort to revitalize neighborhoods in the vicinity of downtown Suffolk. The creation of the plan was an important step in the community revitalization process to transform, restore and review the fairgrounds community.
The objectives of the plan are as follows:
- To eliminate the existing blight and deterioration in the project area by the acquisition of blighted properties including unsightly vacant lots, vacant and abandoned residential housing units, substandard residential housing units, blighted commercial properties, and residential housing units of non-conforming zoning use and by correcting the environmental and functional causes of blight;
- To improve the existing mixture of residential, commercial and industrial uses through rezoning while maintaining a balance of mixed uses that will promote economic development, commercial revitalization, new and infill housing development and industrial expansion;
- To redevelop all land acquired through proposed project activities and establish an attractive and viable residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional area and to provide for the re-adaptive use of existing structures, as appropriate;
- To make improvements to public facilities to include attractive open spaces, an improved street grid system, creation of a well designed and aesthetically pleasing community gateway into the Fairgrounds community, modernize public utilities to effectively foster commercial and residential development;
- To create employment opportunities for community residents through redevelopment of land for commercial, office and institutional use and adaptive reuse opportunities; and
- To revitalize a community that has long served as a commercial, residential and social locus for Suffolk's proud African-American community.