Feb 6, 2024 - Business

Virginia Union University will develop Northside housing

Image shows a map of VUU's current campus with labels for its future plans

Virginia Union University big deal plans. Image: Courtesy of Virginia Union

Virginia Union University is getting a $40 million infusion from a New York investment firm to help develop the university's Northside real estate.

Why it matters: The investment will create a new revenue stream for VUU, plus potentially bring home ownership opportunities for graduates, university president Hakim Lucas said in a statement.

What's happening: VUU plans to use the funds from Steinbridge Group to build 130-200 market-rate housing units on around 100 acres it owns at Brook and Overbrook roads.

  • The university and the investment firm will co-own the properties and share in any profits, a VUU spokesperson tells Axios.
  • It's unclear how much of the housing will be apartments vs. single-family homes, or if some of the development could become commercial space. A detailed plan is in the works, and construction should begin this year.

Context: This is Steinbridge Group's first outlay as part of the firm's $100 million commitment to helping HBCUs develop underused real estate holdings.

The big picture: The partnership is VUU's first step in implementing the $500 million, 10-year master plan the school unveiled last month.

  • A key part of that plan is creating an identity for the campus-adjacent Chamberlayne corridor that is inclusive of the HBCU that anchors the neighborhood and the Black middle class families that have long called it home, BizSense reported.

Worth noting: VUU was founded in 1865 to give educational opportunities to formerly enslaved Virginians.

  • Last fall it enrolled more than 2,000 students, the highest enrollment in the school's history.
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