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Old 03-12-2012, 06:31 AM
 
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Back in the day, my young hubby and I thought Peachtree was THE place to be, but we were young and poor and renting a place an apartment on Canal Drive (for $160 a month!!).

We'd drive out to Peachtree and admire the pretty houses and the community pool and the clubhouse and we loved it.

And then by the late 1980s, something bad had happened to Peachtree. Somehow, it had become mostly low-rent, low-income rental property and there were a lot of vacant houses and tall weeds and it was a mess.

Does anyone remember what happened out there at Peachtree? How did it go from being so nice to so crummy so fast?

Rose
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Beaver County
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I never really thought it was that nice. My sister bought out there whrn they were new and the places were very cheaply made. She lost her house in the early 90's after becoming disabled and I know the area was declining then. Alot of foreclosures followed by alot of renters....does not usually result in good things. I have not been there in years so I can only imagine how it looks now.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:39 AM
 
Location: Roanoke, VA
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If you do a Google search of "Peachtree Portsmouth Virginia" it will bring up a real estate broker's page of numerous properties for sale. Most look dated.

There is a Peachtree Community Association. It has a Facebook page.

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Old 03-14-2012, 10:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by hinsey86 View Post
I never really thought it was that nice. My sister bought out there whrn they were new and the places were very cheaply made. She lost her house in the early 90's after becoming disabled and I know the area was declining then. Alot of foreclosures followed by alot of renters....does not usually result in good things. I have not been there in years so I can only imagine how it looks now.
For the area it actually was fairly decent. If you go to the back of Peachtree where the houses aren't as "cookie cutter" they are comparable to homes in the nicer areas of Churchland and Western Branch. Peachtree though just was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

First, the neighborhood was built adjacent to a railroad track with almost no buffer. The houses were contemporary and funky when new, but became "dated" and undersized fairly quickly. Also, due to the military the area actually prospered in the 1980s while other metro areas suffered. Therefore a lot of military and shipyard workers living in Peachtree were able to move into larger and newer homes in Long Point, Edgefield, neighborhoods of Western Branch but particularly new subdivisions that sprouted up in adjacent Suffolk that had been previously undeveloped.

A low-income population already lived nearby in Old Churchland and quickly moved in to Peachtree, Churchland West, and surrounding areas. So the new shopping center that was built across from Peachtree in the late 80s (1989?) only remained viable for a few years. And the fact that Peachtree was built without sidewalks and a massive ditch was in front of the neighborhood did nothing to help its visual appeal. And many of the houses were painted in horrendous 1970s color combinations of yellow, brown, and orange. Some neighborhoods just weren't built to stand the test of time and Peachtree was one. But yeah, in its early days it was quite a diverse, vibrant, bedroom community, particularly for its time.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:26 PM
 
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I've been here for over 20 years and I never remember Peachtree being a nice place. It's always been a major ghetto.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
I've been here for over 20 years and I never remember Peachtree being a nice place. It's always been a major ghetto.
Because you have only been there for 20 years. Thirty years ago and earlier it was still fairly nice.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:24 AM
 
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Because you have only been there for 20 years. Thirty years ago and earlier it was still fairly nice.
Well, I guess so!

Even Portsmouth was nice at one time, I guess.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Coconut1 View Post
Well, I guess so!

Even Portsmouth was nice at one time, I guess.
Yeah, believe it or not Portsmouth was voted an All-American City in 1976. I remember as a young grade school student Portsmouth had an All-American City Field Trip that area kids would go to. It was similar to how students would go to Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, or Jamestown. Newport News had the Mariner's Museum, Norfolk had the Chrysler Museum, but Portsmouth had stuff like the Children's Museum, that red boat (lightship?) with "Portsmouth" painted on the side and the school bus would drive down George Washington Hwy. and Victory Blvd. (I guess because that sounds "All-American").

As you can see, it wasn't much of a field trip. But Portsmouth was a pretty okay until the early 80s until the crack trade hit it pretty hard. Yeah there were housing projects, but they were only 20 years old at the time rather than 40 or 50 when they finally got torn down. Before the city of Chesapeake was formed cutting off further Portsmouth annexations, the city was able to annex Churchland. Peachtree was built on one of the last available parcels of land that P-Town had. In the 70s it was one of the few brand new subdivisions in which to live in "suburban" Portsmouth. But once it got old and kinda corny and the last neighborhoods went up in undeveloped Churchland, that was pretty much the end of any prospects the city had to grow its tax base. P-town has been feeling the effects of this for the past 20 years or so.

And Chesapeake Square Mall destroying all three of Portsmouth's retail areas (downtown, Mid City, and Tower Mall) didn't help either. It was pretty sad to see how hard the city fell over the course of 30 years when it used to be a pretty prominent American city. Now a lot of young people have never even heard of Portsmouth!
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:01 AM
 
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Default yep

I remember when the houses at Peachtree were first built in the late 1970s and they WERE nice.

They were the latest and greatest style of architecture (kind of a funky contemporary) with skylights and steeply pitched roofs and vertical-lined siding.

But it sure went downhill fast.

Thanks for the comments.

The comments about the low-income renters pouring in from other areas in Churchland rings a bell. That sounds like what I remember - NOW.

It sure went from pretty to real bad in a blink.

Steelers, put my post on your name. Everything you said is spot-on. I was 17 years old in 1976, and I remember what a big deal it was when the city was named "All American City." Portsmouth got hit hard on so many sides. Very, very sad.

People trash-talk Portsmouth but it has MANY very nice neighborhoods, like Waterview - where I grew up. Waterview was - and is - one of the best neighborhoods in Hampton Roads. I grew up on Nansemond Street (off High Street, before the Churchland Bridge).

I still love Portsmouth, but you have to be in the RIGHT area - or you're in for some headaches. Sadly.



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Old 08-09-2014, 08:46 AM
 
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I moved to churchland in 1979 and you could tell the difference between downtown Portsmouth and the churchland area that was separated by either the churchland bridge or west Norfolk bridge, it seemed at the time that families with hard working parents lived in churchland and the not so well to do families lived on the opposite side of the bridge (downtown Portsmouth) churchland including peachtree was always tolerable but it didn't become the sewer it is now until the projects of downtown Portsmouth got torn down back in the late 90' s early 2000 ' s and that's about the time that Shaneeka and Lori who were 16 and 17 yrs old respectively had 13 kids between the two and 5 different baby daddies realized they could use their welfare vouchers to leave public housing and get into single family homes and churchland was were they headed to put those vouchers to use, and so begins the decline of churchland, peachtree, churchland west, long point, Merrifield, included, yeah the cracks game played a part in its present condition but not as big of a part as the welfare system..
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