NORFOLK -- A former Norfolk homeless shelter will soon be turned into apartments.

Developer Buddy Gadams just purchased the iconic, century old, Union Mission building for $4 million.

He broke ground on 86 luxury apartments there at Boush Street and Brooke Avenue on Monday. He also bought a nearby parking lot, where he'll build a 50 unit apartment complex.

The Union Mission has been trying to sell the building for the past five years.The nonprofit's spokesperson Linda Jones said the money from the sale will help finish construction of its new homeless shelter on East Virginia Beach Boulevard.

'We are very excited. It's been a long time coming. We knew it would happen. We believe God's timing was perfect,' Jone said.

The new apartments will be called 'The Rockefeller,' and should be finished in about a year.

Gadams is working to add 660 new apartments to downtown Norfolk. His other projects include the 'Metro on Granby,' the Wainwright building, the former James Madison hotel at 345 Granby, and the old Trader Publishing building at Plume and Granby.

'I think it's a critical component, having more 24-7 people downtown,' Gadams noted. 'The residential will help turn downtown into a neighborhood. You can already see more life on Granby Street on Saturday and Sunday.'

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