VSU buying property in Ettrick neighborhood for expansion

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Meg Thalhimer - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -It's just a matter of time before Virginia State University moves into one Chesterfield neighborhood.  The university is going to expand and it needs more space.  Right now it's working to buy 175 properties in a neighborhood off of Chesterfield Avenue and East River Road in Ettrick, but some people don't want to move.

You can tell when Virginia State University's purchased a home by the sign that goes on the front door. The university's in the process of buying up an entire Ettrick neighborhood.

John Farrar maintains his home with no plans to move.  "I'm not interested in selling my house, so I haven't called no one," said Farrar.

The retired man has been in his home for more than 30 years.

"Just think, 80-year-old people going to pack up and move out of their home this late in life," said Farrar.  "It's bad."

But VSU spokesman Thomas Reed says the expansion is good news.  "It's going to transform really, the community of Ettrick and Southern Chesterfield County," said Reed.

VSU wants to buy all 175 homes in the neighborhood. They've already purchased 49. Each of them are set to be flattened.

A multi-purpose center complete with new retail locations and campus apartments will transform Chesterfield Avenue by 2020.

"We're working with the village," said Reed.  "We're working very closely with the residents. We're working with the county to do this in an orderly fashion."

The school also has the state's support. Fourteen-million in tax dollars will cover the buy-outs.

"Right now the average price I believe is $125,000 that we're offering," said Reed.

Anita Thompson knows her rental house will be Trojan territory.  "Officially I still haven't been told, but I know it's coming down," said Thompson.  "This is all I want: for somebody to come and explain to us what is going on."

VSU hopes it can strike a deal with all 175 homeowners. However, the state has the option of using eminent domain.

For information about VSU's expansion: 804-524-5000.

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