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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA-Groundbreaking on Jefferson Ridge Apartments, a $25-million luxury residential complex, has taken place and development is on target, with site work and utility installation currently under way. Clark Realty Builders is heading up construction of the 234-unit complex, which is a project by local developer Neighborhood Properties Inc.

Located in Thomas Jefferson’s hometown near the sprawling University of Virginia and within view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson Ridge will occupy a 23.8-acre parcel of land in the Albemarle County college town. The property will consist of 11 buildings of two and three stories, as well as four detached parking garage structures. Project architect Mitchell/Matthews of Charlottesville designed the complex to accommodate the needs of the area’s more affluent residents, leaving room for a fitness center, theater and meeting rooms on the property.

The project will help fill a real estate void described in the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s most recent Analysis of Housing Needs in the Commonwealth report: “Rapid household growth has exceeded housing growth, exacerbating already tight housing market conditions,” the study concludes. “During the 1990s, the Charlottesville area experienced household growth well above the statewide average. The rate of household growth exceeded the increase in housing units. Consequently, both homeowner and rental vacancy rates declined, exacerbating an already tight market situation.” And while the city suffers from a dearth of affordable housing, the demand for luxury residential options is pervasive. “The Charlottesville area experienced very high employment growth in industries that supported large increases in household and per capita income,” the report notes. “As a result, incomes for average households have risen faster than either rents or home prices.” Jefferson Ridge is scheduled for full completion in January 2004, with the first apartments being made available in February of next year.

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