Courtesy Fairstead

When Fairstead acquired the Atlantis Apartments last year, the company committed to preserving the affordability of the historically disinvested property for the next 50 years.

Built in the 1970s, the development is home to about 600 residents, including 300 children, in the Seatack area of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

With the aging 208-unit property in need of rehabilitation, Fairstead is upgrading the kitchens and bathrooms, appliances, and flooring as well as installing new windows, roofs, and improved HVAC systems. The team is also adding a community garden, a new playground, as well as setting aside space for a fitness center, a library, a computer lab, and a resident lounge within the community building. Fairstead has also hired the development’s first full-time resident services coordinator to conduct social services programming for its residents at no charge.

“What makes us passionate about Atlantis is not just all the renovations and the improvements to the hardware,” says Estelle Chan, director of development. “We wanted to be part of the community. We were not here to upgrade our residents’ apartments only. We were here to change hearts and minds. It was thinking about Atlantis as their homes.”

Courtesy Fairstead

As part of the effort, Fairstead has partnered with the Youth Opportunities Office of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation to create programs specifically for children at Atlantis.

Families will also realize a cost savings with energy-efficient upgrades helping to cut their monthly electric bills.

The $52.8 million project crossed the 64% completion mark in June, with construction on pace to finish this fall.

In addition to making the needed physical improvements, the team has ensured that the properties’ one-, two-, and three-bedroom units will stay affordable for decades to come with a renewed project-based Section 8 contract from HUD.