NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- Current and future small business owners are a step closer to having a community-based resource for technical assistance, businesses management workshops, and expert advice on various topics.

It all begins with a vacant building.

As part of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI), the city is looking to transform the property at 2506 Jefferson Ave. into a co-working/makerspace/business incubator in -- and for -- the Southeast Community

CNI is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and gives grants to communities to transform them into "places of choice." The work can include rebuilding distressed public housing and assisted housing, improving and expanding services within a community, expanding learning opportunities, creating ways to employment, and strengthening families.

The 5,419-square-foot building that is the proposed site of the incubator is owned by the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NNRHA). The city's Economic Development Authority (EDA) will find a design/architecture firm to help configure the space while preserving the building's architecture.

The city is looking for additional funding that would assist in making the vision for the space a reality.