A real estate developer is looking to buy and renovate the Virginia Beach housing community where singer Pharrell Williams lived as a child.
Atlantis Preservation LP, an entity of the New York-based company Fairstead, has its eyes on the Atlantis Apartments complex, a sprawling subsidized-housing community of 19 buildings with more than 200 apartments. That’s where the Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer lived until he was 7.
It made such an impression on him that Williams was said to have been co-producing a movie musical inspired by his childhood there called “Atlantis.” He still occasionally visits residents, The Virginian-Pilot reported, and has sent turkeys to be delivered there at Thanksgiving.
The housing community, which was built in 1970, is currently owned by a real estate firm based in New Jersey. The sale to the other firm is expected to close in the spring and the planned renovations will cost nearly $15 million.
“The plan is to commence a pretty substantial rehabilitation of the entire project — living units, common areas, grounds and community building,” Fairstead spokeswoman Estelle Chan said Tuesday at a city meeting.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority on Tuesday approved up to $39 million in bond issuance for the project, the newspaper said. They have the ability to issue revenue bonds to finance affordable housing projects without affecting Virginia Beach’s debt limit. Senior City Attorney Alexander Stiles said the city is facilitating the transaction but “not taking a financial risk.”
Sale of the bonds will finance a government-sponsored loan for the project, which the city council is expected to vote on next month.