Officially, the prime spit of waterfront property off the Campostella Bridge – valued at $1.6 million – has been vacant for years.
A plan to build 246 apartments there, approved by the city in 2011, fell through.
But unbeknownst to the owners, the land has already been occupied.
Gina Gallegos and her boyfriend, ____ ____, arrived 18 months ago and claimed a large clearing in the trees. Gino Linn Reid has lived next door, deeper into the woods, for four years.
By most definitions, they’re homeless. But the homes they’ve made just east of the bridge on the south side of the Elizabeth River go far beyond tents in the woods.
____ built a shack out of leftover pallets from cabinet and lumber stores down the road and bought a gas generator for power. ____, a registered sex offender who’s spent 16 years in prison , made a frame from driftwood and draped it with tarps. Inside, he has carpets, a gas grill, two couches, a sink, a battery-operated TV and a small tent – where he sleeps. Outside are stone steps and a brick walkway. Full Article