City planners favor $10M Hayden Village Center

Published 10:08 am Friday, November 16, 2012


FRANKLIN—Franklin Planning Commission member Bobby Tyler believes the Hayden Village Center is a good project that will positively impact the area.

“I would also like to say in terms of the financial aspects of this project, I don’t think they would invest the kind of money that is necessary to get this off the ground unless they thought it was going to fly,” Tyler said during a Wednesday planning commission work session.

During the work session, planners agreed to support rezoning the old Hayden School property for the potential $10 million renovation. The rezoning will be part of a Monday, Nov. 26, public hearing at City Hall. City Council will make the final decision on the zoning from residential to business.

Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia wants to convert the historic black high school into a 62,000-square-foot, government-subsidized housing complex for seniors. There would be 25 apartments, with 10 in the original building and 15 in a new wing.

The complex would include a community center that could provide 60 jobs. Also included in the project would be an adult daycare center, black history museum, café and Head Start facility.

“At this point, it’s either tear the building down or get something really good for the community,” said Planning Commission Chairman Daniel Peak Jr. “From a land-use standpoint, it seems like a great idea to me.”

“Whenever you bring the elderly together with young children that synergy seems to benefit both parties tremendously,” Tyler added.