Story by Melissa Murray | Marion & Taylor County Reporter, WBOY
Virginia Avenue in the city of Fairmont has seen its fair share of community blight.
In recent years, one organization has spearheaded construction projects, meant to target that community blight and revitalize the area.
"We saw an opportunity to obtain some properties, multiple properties at one time, and really make a collective impact on this neighborhood," said Andrea Salina, Executive Director of the Fairmont Community Development Partnership.
Two new duplexes will soon add to the six that stand on the 800-block of Virginia Avenue. Fairmont Community Development Partnership Executive Director Andrea Salina said they bought the properties then tore down the dilapidated buildings that once stood to create new affordable housing.
"I think some of these properties were probably on the BAD building inventory at one point and we've been able to eliminate some of that blight so I think we're contributing to the greater good and as we continue throughout our target areas, I think we'll be able to work in line with the BAD buildings team and help eliminate more blight and create more development," Salina said.
The FCDP is also looking to tackle the 900-block of Virginia Avenue, along with the Ogden Avenue-Maple Avenue and Walnut Avenue-Albert Court areas.
"We've got a lot of work to do to identify property owners and identify which structures are owner-occupied, which ones are empty,” Salina said. “It’s a lot of mapping, a lot of picture taking and just going around and getting an inventory of those to see what we can do."
Salina said they are hoping for these four new units to be move-in ready in about a year.
"I think as you see this progress happening it sort of creates a positive domino effect so with us in this block, you can see that once we started out effort, it just continued to move forward," Salina said.
While addressing the BAD buildings problem in Fairmont is a big one, Salina said progress is progress.
"Going forward, we're just going to continue to revitalize these neighborhoods piece by piece so we can make as much impact in one section as possible," Salina said.
For more information on available properties through the FCDP, contact Property Manager Mike Walker at 304-366-7600.
Original article with video: http://www.wvalways.com/story/31359041/fairmont-community-development-partnership-adds-to-affordable-housing-stock