Friendship Court

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400-426 Garrett Street, ca. 2019
Friendship Court Redevelopment Schematic Landscape Plan, dated June 13, 2018

Friendship Court Apartments, formerly known as Garrett Square, is a 150-unit apartment complex of 22 buildings on 11.75 acres southwest of Charlottesville’s downtown business district and within the City’s Strategic Investment Area (SIA). The property was built in 1978 with project-based Section 8 assistance. In 2002, Piedmont Housing Alliance and National Housing Trust/Enterprise Preservation Corporation (NHT/E) partnered to acquire and renovate the property.[1]

The site is jointly owned by the National Historic Trust and the Piedmont Housing Alliance until their contract is up at the end of 2032. [2] [citation needed]

Redevelopment of Phase 1 had been expected to break ground spring of 2020, but has been delayed multiple times due to the COVID-19 Emergency. [3]


In 2019, Piedmont Housing will become the managing partner for the community, and will have decision-making authority with regard to property management, services, and the business affairs of the partnership, and will have the opportunity to acquire the property.[4]

Redevelopment by Piedmont Housing Alliance

The first funding (Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) application for the Friendship Court redevelopment was completed in March 2018.

In March 2016, PHA announced they had been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Jessie Ball DuPont Foundation. [5] City government gave PHA a $350,000 for the effort. [6]

The firm Stantec created the original master plan. [7]

The architectural firm Grimm and Parker was hired in March 2017 to implement the plan. [8] As part of the plan, PHA is proposing amenities such as an early childhood program and a daycare. [9]

Advisory committee members

Since February 2016, the Friendship Court Advisory Committee, with nine elected resident members and six members of the at-large community provide guidance to Piedmont Housing Alliance. The Friendship Court Advisory Committee generally meets on the fourth Thursday of every month. The location varies and meetings are held in the evenings at Friendship Court and other locations around town.

  1. Kathy Galvin, member of Charlottesville City Council
  2. Mike Murphy, Assistant City Manager
  3. Bill Edgerton, FAIA of the Oak Hill Fund
  4. Kevin White, an assistant vice president at National Housing Trust (NHT-Enterprise)
  5. Sarah McLean, RN of the Adiuvans Foundation
  6. Myrtle Houchens, a former resident and a member of First Baptist Church

Residents were elected from among current tenants.

  1. Sheri Hopper, Resident
  2. Angela Brooks, Resident
  3. Crystal Johnson, Resident
  4. Zafar Khan, Resident
  5. Betty Lowry, Resident
  6. Tyquan Mayo, Resident
  7. Daemond Nowlin, Resident
  8. Yolonda Ross, Resident
  9. Tamara Wright, Resident

Former advisory committee members

  • Daphne Kaiser, PhD, principal of Clark Elementary School
  • Quanelius Tinsley, Resident

Advisory committee members in 2018

  • Susan Dewey, Executive Director, VHDA
  • Melissa Yuille, Housing Counseling Manager, PHA
  • Erica Johnson, Director of Development, PHA
  • Crystal Johnson, Friendship Court Advisory Committee and Resident
  • Angela Brooks, Friendship Court Advisory Committee and Resident
  • Sunshine Mathon, Executive Director, PHA
  • Frank Stoner, Board President, PHA
  • Karen Klick, Deputy Director, PHA
  • Erik Johnston, Director, DHCD

Draft plan

An early draft plan was released on June 16, 2016. [10] However the project is under review and is changing as Piedmont Housing gets closer to taking the property over in November 2018. [11] [12]

Friendship Court Phase 1

Phase 1 will consist of three buildings that will create 106 units constructed on the existing open space at the community. The buildings will be broken out as outlined below: [13]

  • Buildings 1 & 2: 35 stacked, 2-over-2 townhomes and stacked flats. 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom units, each with a individual front and back doors to the outside, dedicated surface parking spots near the back doors. (Buildings 1 will contain maintenance offices for the entire property.)
  • Building 3: 71 apartment units, covered parking garage beneath the building, 9,000 square feet of amenity and office space. Apartments will be single story units, arranged along central corridors on four floors served by 2 elevators.

On June 13, 2018 a preliminary site plan for the entire 11.75 acre site was submitted to the City of Charlottesville. This is the first of many submissions that will be made to the City for review and approval.

Friendship Court Phase 2

Phase 2 will also be 106 units and will be built following the demolition of 46 existing units. A hundred will be affordable rental units and six will be for home ownership. There will be tiered layers of affordability. Tier one will consist of 54 Section 8 units. Tier two will consist of 23 units for households making between #30 and 60 percent of the area median income. Tier three will be for households between 60 percent ad 80 percent of AMI. [14]



  2. Web. Temporary housing: Will Friendship Court stay affordable without federal funding?, Laura Ingles, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, May 28, 2013, retrieved May 28, 2013. Print. May 28, 2013 .
  3. Web. Friendship Court Redevelopment Update: Phase 1 Construction to Begin in the Fall, Piedmont Housing Alliance, June 4, 2020, retrieved June 11, 2020.
  5. Web. Piedmont Housing Alliance gets grant for Friendship Court engagement, Staff reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, March 8, 2016, retrieved December 31, 2016.
  6. Web. Council set to adopt SIA action plan, Chris Suarez, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, April 3, 2016, retrieved January 2, 2017.
  7. Web. Friendship Court architect: Urban density increases vibrancy, but must be made equitable, Aaron Richardson, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, November 10, 2016, retrieved June 26, 2017.
  8. Web. Architectural firm hired for Friendship Court redevelopment, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 13, 2017, retrieved December 28, 2017.
  9. Web. Friendship Court planning early childhood, workforce development programs, Josh Mandell, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 31, 2017, retrieved December 28, 2017.
  10. Web. Draft master plan for Friendship Court revealed, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 16, 2016, retrieved January 11, 2017.
  11. Web. Piedmont Housing Alliance re-examining Friendship Court plans, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 13, 2017, retrieved March 5, 2018.
  12. Web. PHA to consult every resident of Friendship Court on redevelopment, Julie Zink, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 24, 2018, retrieved March 5, 2018.
  13. Web. [ A Glimpse at Friendship Court’s Future from the Outside], LaTasha Durrett, Blog Post, April 30, 2019, retrieved September 1, 2019.
  14. Web. Support for Friendship Court Redevelopment – Phase 2, Brenda Kelley, Resolution, February 1, 2021, retrieved January 31, 2021.