The Retreat at Harbor Pointe

WINNER: Best Affordable Development (Over 100 Units)

Affordable Multifamily Housing Projects
Contact: Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards

Nominated by: Lawson
Location: Norfolk, VA
Developer: Lawson
Architect: TS3 Architects
General Contractor: The R A Lawson Corp
Interior Designer: Define Design
Project Website:

Project Statement

The Retreat at Harbor Pointe is a 246-unit Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) 100% affordable multifamily community on the historic Elizabeth River waterfront developed to provide Class-A living for families in need of affordable housing.

The Retreat offers 150 two-bedroom, two-bath and 96 three-bedroom, two-bath apartments, comparable in size to market-rate units to families earning 60% area median income (AMI) or below. Fifty units include Section 8 Project Based Vouchers, and 13 are Section 504-compliant ADA units for residents with disabilities.

The Retreat shatters many people’s perception of affordable housing. This modern riverfront community features EarthCraft Certified energy-efficient construction and high-end amenities, including a resort-style pool with pergola, sundeck and river views, clubhouse, state-of-the-art fitness center, elevators, modern kitchens, energy-efficient appliances, granite countertops, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring, water-conserving fixtures, and a patio or balcony. Many apartments feature views of the river and Norfolk skyline.

Active lifestyles are encouraged with an accessible playground for residents with disabilities, bicycle storage, and direct access to an elevated riverfront boardwalk with handicapped access. Proximity to buses and The Tide light rail makes downtown Norfolk, shopping, dining, culture, entertainment, and employment accessible.

The Retreat is eco-friendly, replacing non-native plants with salt-tolerant native reeds, adding riprap for erosion prevention, and oyster castles under the boardwalk to help naturally cleanse the river. Cleanup projects organized by Lawson removed more than 3,400 pounds of trash and debris from the riverbank. Conservation efforts resulted in The Retreat being recognized as an Elizabeth River Project 2021 River Star Business.