Officials say Union Mission deal is 'dead'

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 26 at 7:25 AM

UPDATE 6:24 p.m.: Officials tell 13News Now the Union Mission deal is dead.  The property will now go back on the market.  Nicholas Kahn says he depends on the Union Mission.
"We're all here on mats and it's overcrowded, you can't hardly walk through the hallways at night there's so many people," he said. "The new building would provide a bed for just about everyone."

Union Mission spokeswoman Linda Jones emailed 13News Now this morning with this statement: "We are disappointed that the sale of the Brooke Ave building did not go through. It does create a challenge for us as the funds are needed to complete construction of the new Men's shelter, however, God has been faithful to this ministry for over 121 years and we know he has a plan for us. Moving forward, the Harvey Lindsay Group will list the building again and we will be praying for a new buyer." She says the Mission has over 115 men sleeping on the floor nightly and having to turn away women and children daily for lack of beds, the need to complete the new building is great."

NORFOLK - The deal to sell the former Union Mission building downtown is in trouble. 

“We are not anxious because we believe very strongly that God has a plan for all of this,” Union Mission public relations director Linda Jones said.

For the past four years, U.S. Development company planned to remodel the former homeless shelter at Boush Street and Brooke Avenue.

Tuesday night, Jones explained the developer had a meeting about losing financing for the project.

“There is a possibility another investor will help them; we will know for sure in the next day or two,” she added.

In 2009, Union Mission moved its shelter to 5100 E. Virginia Beach Blvd. in Norfolk. The biggest problem is the space is too small.

“Right now, we are sleeping between 100 to 115 men on the floor because of lack of beds and the number of people seeking our help has increased dramatically,” Jones stated.

Construction on a larger men’s shelter is more than halfway finished. However, if the $6 million sale to U.S. Development falls through, Union Mission won’t have enough money to complete the men’s shelter.

“It’s a growing need in our community. We need this new shelter; if the deal doesn’t happen for U.S. Development, we will see what the next step will be.”

News that the sale might not happen is disappointing to folks in downtown.

"I was hopeful because not only does it add residential downtown, but it preserves a historic building," said Downtown Civic League president Kevin Murphy remarked.

 

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