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Downsized apartment project begins to rise

Katie Demeria June 26, 2015 1

The Matrix Midtown building is taking shape downtown. Photo by Katie Demeria.

The Matrix Midtown building is taking shape downtown. Photo by Katie Demeria.

A new downtown apartment complex is going vertical, but with about half the number of units originally planned.

Work on the Monument Cos.’ 47-unit Matrix Midtown at First and Canal streets is underway and should wrap up by the spring of 2016.

The four-story project is being developed in partnership with Marc Galt of Sensei Development.

Before work could begin in April, the developers had to jump through a few hoops during the rezoning process for the site, during which the plan was reduced from 93 units to 70 units before it was finally approved.

A further reduction to 47 units came during the engineering process, when the developers found that the previously planned underground parking structure would have been situated on top of a water table.

Monument Cos. principal Chris Johnson said that would have made the plan “prohibitively expensive,” and they scrapped the underground parking in favor of a surface lot.

The entire project should cost about $6.5 million, and Union Bank is providing the financing. Walter Parks Architects is designing Matrix Midtown, and Monument Construction is doing its own general contracting.

“It’s going to be a really neat building and a great addition to that area,” Johnson said. “The units have great views, they’re nice luxury units, and we’re excited to get wrapped up.”

The site was not initially zoned for any residential use, but Johnson said the developers thought the location was perfect for apartments – the parcel sits directly between the Fan and the Central Business District and offers quick access to Interstate 195.

“We really like this location. That mid-town area is just great – it’s quieter than places like Shockoe Bottom and still close to a lot of amenities,” Johnson said.

Johnson and fellow Monument Cos. principal Tom Dickey partnered with Galt to purchase the 0.4-acre parcel in February 2014 for $545,000, city records show.

Plans call for a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 550 square feet up to 1,500 square feet. Many will have access to private balconies. Pre-leasing should start in mid-February.

Some of Monument Cos.’ other recent projects have included work on the new Julep’s space at 420 E. Grace St., the Massey Energy building at 4 N. Fourth St. and the old Jefferson Bank building at 115 E. Broad St.

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One Comment »

  1. Bruce Milam June 29, 2015 at 7:18 am - Reply

    Monument is another of Richmond’s homegrown development businesses, filling vacant lots with quality construction. The two principals met their first day as frosh at Virginia Tech and continue to be best friends today. It seems they liked the same rock bands. One never knows how one’s life will turn and where it may lead. Congratulations on another fine project.

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