The Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority hosted a dedication ceremony Monday in honor of former executive director Daryl Dalton for his work on transforming the Seeland Crossing area of Danville.
The authority officially named a newly constructed office building at 299 Garfield St. as the W. Daryl Dalton Building.
The transformation process started in 2000, when a $20 million HOPE VI grant was received from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Using the grant funds and leveraging an additional $15 million, it allowed local authority to transform the area formerly known as Liberty View into today’s Seeland Crossing neighborhood.
It was Dalton’s vision of what the neighborhood could become and his dedication to marshaling all the resources, plans and documents that would be needed for a successful HOPE VI grant application.
The Liberty View project had 250 units of densely built apartment units with more than 1,000 residents. Built and originally occupied in 1951, by the late 1990s the apartments were becoming obsolete. Due to so many people packed into such a confined area there were problems in managing the units. In addition, the units were costing evermore to maintain.
A solution was needed.
Though it took four applications to gain HUD approval, the grant finally was received.
Upon approval of the grant, vacant units were not reoccupied. The remaining residents were given vouchers and assistance to move to other rentals.
Then, demolition of the buildings began.
In 2002, a manufactured building, meant to be temporary, was moved on the property at 299 Garfield St. as the construction and administrative center for the project. Highlighted on the building were the words: “There is HOPE in Danville.”
Demolition was completed by 2004 and new construction started. There were four phases of construction, and additional land to build upon was acquired. Townhouses and some duplexes were built to replace the demolished apartment buildings. Twenty-five homes were built for homeownership opportunities.
In November 2005, with two phases completed, Dalton resigned as CEO/executive director of DRHA for a position with the Spartanburg, South Carolina, Housing Authority. Two other phases were completed under the direction of the DRHA’s selected replacement, Gary Wasson. By the end of the project 167 newly constructed houses had been built as well as 11 houses purchased and rehabbed.
Dalton continued helping people in his work at Spartanburg from late 2005 until 2016.
Dalton died April 20, 2016.