Robert S. Jervay Place
The area around what is now Robert S. Jervay Place was developed to meet the needs of working-class families in 1941, and was converted to public housing in the 1950s. The 250 units replaced the concentration of substandard wood-frame homes that were destroyed as part of a slum clearance program. Jervay Place was named in honor of the publisher of the Journal, Wilmington's black newspaper. By the 1990s the area was in distress, its infrastructure not modernized since its construction, and utilities become obsolete and unsafe. Poverty, crime, and antiquated design contributed to resident and community fears and apathy.
In 1996, a HOPE VI grant was received for the property’s redevelopment, which took place from 2001 to 2004. The rental units on the rehabilitated four-site Jervay property are a mixture of single family, duplex, and townhouse-style homes ranging from one to three bedrooms. The homeownership units are primarily three-bedroom units.
Jervay Place also features an airy and sun-filled community center, and outdoors recreation areas. The community was designed in keeping with the principals of “new urbanism,” creating walkable neighborhoods that provide housing of choice and easy access to neighborhood employment and cultural attractions. Sites incorporate a variety of amenities in order to promote public safety and a sense of ownership and community.