Fairfield Innovation Corridor
The Fairfield Innovation Corridor is one of the components of the Huntington Innovation Project or HIP Plan which won the $3 million grand prize in the America’s Best Communities national competition. The winnings were awarded to the Foundation for the Tri-State Community as steward of the funds which are designated only for the HIP Plan projects. The ABC funds will be used to leverage other dollars to carry out this and the other HIP projects. To date, over $3,000,000 has been leveraged for this project.
The Fairfield Innovation Corridor is a complete and holistic revitalization of the Huntington area from 8th Avenue to I-64 and from 12th Street to 28th Street. The Fairfield effort identifies specific projects and steps to help implement visions and initiatives developed through extensive input from members of the Fairfield Neighborhood as part of the America’s Best Communities HIP Plan and the HUD Choice Neighborhood Master Transformation Plan. .
The initiative’s success relies on:
Including residents, businesses, the faith community and anchor institutions in the planning process
Strengthening existing community entities that provide services
Developing a master transformation plan that focuses on all challenges that face Fairfield
Maintaining the culture and heritage of this traditionally African American community
Key initiatives involve the following, all of which are catalytic in nature:
Creation of a fully developed Master Transformation Plan
The redevelopment of the old Northcott Court public housing project as a mixed-use development with a grocery store
Creation of a land-use redevelopment plan including an arts district and a sports/wellness district
The redevelopment of Hal Greer Boulevard into a complete street with access points for the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health (PATH)
Remodeling, strengthening and expansion of A.D. Lewis Community Center and growing its programs
Organization of a community development corporation to help carry out these initiatives
New in-fill housing
Removal of blighted housing
Landscaping and improved lighting
Urban agriculture project
Special programs at Spring Hill Elementary School
Restoration of the Memphis Tennessee Garrison House owned by the Carter G. Woodson Foundation
The creation of jobs and programming designed to uplift residents and allow them to achieve their full potential
Most Recent Progress
Northcott Court Redevelopment
The City of Huntington received approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to demolish Northcott Court, which was built in 1940 and consisted of 13 buildings and 130 housing units on approximately three acres. The plan called for rezoning the property along Hal Greer Boulevard into a commercial area. Community input has resulted in a mixed use plan which would include a grocery store, affordable and market housing and some retail and/or office space on this site.
The City of Huntington in partnership with the Huntington Housing Authority received a HUD Choice Neighborhood grant to develop a Master Transformation Plan. This plan is now complete. You can find this plan here. A Request for Proposal (RFP) has been issued for a developer for the property.
More information can be found at:
Northcott Court Fact Sheet
A.D. Lewis Community Center Programming
The A.D. Lewis Community Center provides a safe place for gathering, recreation and education for the entire Fairfield community, especially children and young adults. With a wide range of facilities, the center also offers programs, meals and after-school mentoring. The A.D Lewis Community Center continues to offer free COVID-19 vaccine clinics each Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Expanding the education programs is one of the benchmarks for the center and several steps are underway using a $1 million endowment gift donated by Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation to the A.D. Lewis Community Center Fund of the Foundation for the Tri-state community for STEAM Education. A.D. Lewis has taken the following steps:
A program coordinator was hired to coordinate STEAM activities in the afternoons/evenings and summer.
Marshall University work-study students visit and work in the Center to support the STEAM activities.
A modular classroom was donated by Marathon and, with the help of additional contributors, installed behind the Center to provide space for this programming.
Programming activities have begun and also include field trips and excursions to Heritage Farm, the Butterfly Garden at Marshall, Carter Caves, the Clay Center, Columbus Zoo, Beech Fork and horseback riding.
Activities are planned for the upcoming months and planning is underway for a Fairfield Job Fair.
CARES funding is being implemented for a children’s meal program that is being delivered by A.D. Lewis staff.
A new passenger van was purchased for resident/meal transport.
Numerous upgrades have been made to the Center’s facilities with City CDBG Funds:
A new roof has been put on the Center
A new fence has been erected
With the help of Marshall University, a new running track has been installed
Entrance improvements including a new concrete pad and ADA ramp
Private donations have allowed for additional updates including:
- New bleachers
- New signage
- New playground equipment
- New ramp to comply with ADA
Hal Greer Boulevard Redevelopment
A corridor management plan that covers from the I-64 Interchange to Third Avenue has been completed by the West Virginia Department of Transportation. See details here. A plan for street level lighting and more walkability has been adopted. There are plans in place to connect the PATH to this area and across Hal Greer Boulevard.
Organization of a community development corporation
RaShad Sanders was hired as the first executive director of the Fairfield Community Development Corporation. A graduate of Marshall University and former employee of MU and Special Metals, he is a native of the Fairfield area. Sanders has created a Facebook page to keep residents informed about progress. Follow https://www.facebook.com/fcdchuntington.
Removal of blighted housing
From 2017 through Mid-2020, 162 blighted structures have been demolished in Fairfield.
Memphis Tennessee Garrison House Restoration
Two National Park Service grants have been awarded – the first to underwrite an oral history project which is ongoing and the second to begin restoration work on the House. For details see Grant to help restore historic Huntington house.
A former 225-unit public housing project, the Fairfield Innovation Corridor Plan calls for Northcott Square to be overhauled into a mixed-use development.
Affordable Housing Program
The Fairfield Community was chosen to help pilot a new lending program for specific geographic areas. Fairfield CDC is partnering with Huntington Bank which will loan 80% of the home price in a conventional loan with 15% as a no-payment, interest-free loan, and the borrower will put down 5% toward the purchase price.
For example, a purchase price of $100,000 would look like this:
- $80,000 loan (assume 3% interest rate) – principal and interest payment - $337/month for 30 year loan
- $15,000 (0 payments and 0%) - $0 payment (principal due when the home is sold)
- Received $65,000 in CARES funding for a meal program for children that will be delivered by staff of the A.D. Lewis Community Center to provide assistance to 30 families
- Received $40,000 donation for signage and new playground equipment at A.D. Lewis Community Center
- An ADA accessible ramp has been added off the gym at A.D. Lewis Community Center to the track by Collins Career Center and staff and A.D. Lewis
- A new passenger van was purchased by the City of Huntington for resident/meal transport for A.D. Lewis Community Center.
MOST RECENT PROGRESS
The historic Memphis Tennessee Garrison House in the Fairfield community is undergoing a transformation that will eventually create a museum to honor her contributions to the local African American community.
The award money, as well as any funds donated from individuals/businesses/organizations, is given to the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, our region’s community foundation that controls the allocation of the funds to the projects as required by competition parameters.
Donations may also be made by check. Please make payable to The Foundation for the Tri-State Community, Inc. and mail to:
Foundation for the Tri-State Community, Inc.
916 5th Avenue, Suite 403
P.O. Box 7932
Huntington, WV 25779-7932
Please put "ABC Fund" as well as the specific project name in the memo line.