‘It’s a rebirth:’ New apartment complex in Newport News marks exciting new chapter for residents

'It's a rebirth:' New apartment complex in Newport News marks exciting new chapter for residents

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A brand new apartment complex is marking a new chapter for the Southeast Newport News community.

On Thursday, June 15, some of the first residents of the Lift & Rise apartment complex off Jefferson Avenue moved in.

News 3’s Penny Kmitt spoke with the excited residents as they began settling into their new living spaces. One of those residents, Shantell Williams, said her family is thrilled to be moving in.

“I’m at home, my kids are happy, the whole family is happy,” said Williams.

Williams said the new home is more than just an apartment: it’s a chance to improve the lives of her and her family.

Life & Rise is part of Newport News’ Choice Neighborhood Initiative, which aims to improve neighborhoods by rebuilding distressed public housing, improving services and more. In 2019, the city received a $30 million grant to revitalize the neighborhood. This funding was used to construct Lift & Rise.

Eleven of the families moving into Lift & Rise are from the Ridley Circle neighborhood, which was torn down for the new project. starting from scratch was a necessary step since the site needed extensive work. Williams has taken note of the new space.

“From Ridley Place to this is a totally different environment,” she said.

The project created 81 apartments and townhomes within the complex. In addition to the newly-constructed living spaces, residents have access to the complex’s numerous amenities, including a fitness area, a play area and more. There are also nearby businesses – a perk Williams is excited about.

“We got the grocery store, the Dollar Store, everything is right here,” said Williams.

Williams said the new complex also makes her feel safer.

“Right now with the gun violence that’s going on, this means a place of security and privacy in my home. I love it. we have the Brooks Crossing building across the street where [my kids] can get into programs. It keeps them out of trouble so, we love it,” she said.

She said the new home is setting her three children up for an exciting and prosperous future. Creating optimism for a brighter future is an objective of those involved with the project.

“It’s a rebirth, knowing that they have an opportunity to accept change and see change and see it fulfilled it is absolutely amazing we are so excited for them,” said Tyishua McCoy, a Senior Project Manager with Urban Strategies Inc.

Work on the city’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative is ongoing. The next step includes opening a new early childhood center.

For more information about the initiative, click .

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