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Developer seeks more units for mixed-use project in Jackson Ward

Jonathan Spiers December 22, 2016 1

The Franciscan Covenant building anchors the site at First and Duval streets. (J. Elias O'Neal)

The Franciscan Covenant building anchors the site at First and Duval streets. (J. Elias O’Neal)

As its first Richmond development wraps up in Northside, a Washington, D.C.-based developer is moving forward with plans for its next residential project – the second of its trio of projects with the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Community Preservation and Development Corp. (CPDC), which this week started moving residents into its Highland Park Senior Apartments, a rehab of the old Highland Park Public School, will go before the city planning commission in January to request a revision to its plans for a mixed-use, mixed-income development in Jackson Ward.

The $32 million project, which would fill most of the city block bordered by First and Second streets and Duval and Jackson streets, is already approved for 182 apartments, 72 of which would be designated for replacement housing for residents of RRHA’s Frederick A. Fay Towers, across the interstate from the site near Gilpin Court.

While that number for replacement housing would not change, CPDC is seeking to increase the number of apartments to 194 and revise certain parts of the approved development plan. The remaining 122 apartments would consist of studios and two-bedroom units that would be a mix of affordable housing and market-rate rents. The development also would include 6,000 square feet of commercial space, 13 surface parking spaces and a 139-space parking deck on the 2.5-acre site.

A rendering of planned developments. The 2.5-acre site fills most of a city block.

A rendering of planned developments. The 2.5-acre site fills most of a city block.

The revised plans would lower the building height at the corner of First and Jackson to a one-story storefront, and remove two floors of residential units above that were in the original plan. The changes are meant to match the building height with existing two-story buildings on opposite corners of the intersection, according to documents filed with the city planning department.

The request is scheduled to go before the planning commission at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Called Jackson Place, the development would be the second of three CPDC-RRHA projects to relocate a total of 200 residents from Fay Towers, which is being eyed for redevelopment. The other projects are Highland Park Senior Apartments, unveiled last week, and a redevelopment of the Baker School at 100 W. Baker St. into 48 apartments for seniors. CPDC closed on the properties in 2013 and aims to bring the remaining two projects to market in 2019.

Jackson Place would be within blocks of the planned GRTC Pulse rapid transit route along Broad Street. CPDC also notes in its request to the city that Jackson Place would provide infill development and involve the rehab of the former Franciscan Covenant building at the corner of Second and Duval. It also would incorporate the adjacent memorial bell garden with surrounding greenspace.

The architect on the project is Maryland-based Grimm and Parker, which also worked with CPDC on the Highland Park apartments.

The memorial gardens on the site would be incorporated into the development. (Jonathan Spiers)

The memorial gardens on the site would be incorporated into the development. (Jonathan Spiers)

CPDC plans to finish the Highland Park apartments by the end of January. Funding for that project, totaling $11.4 million and involving low-income housing tax credits and state and federal historic credits, came from several sources, such as the Low Income Investment Fund and a bridge loan from Community Housing Inc.

Jackson Place would add to several developments underway and completed in the Jackson Ward district. A group of row houses was recently added at the corner of First and Jackson, across the street from the site. A block away, the 31-apartment Eggleston Plaza is rising at Second and Leigh streets.

Douglas Development, the D.C. firm behind the Central National Bank building’s conversion into apartments, recently picked up a property at Second and Marshall streets. And a Pennsylvania developer last month purchased a surface parking lot at 200 E. Marshall St.

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One Comment »

  1. Bruce Milam December 22, 2016 at 8:26 am - Reply

    CPDC is making its mark in the City. It’s great to see what appears to be quality low income housing in areas accessible to services. I understand that Mayor -elect Stoney will put an emphasis on low income housing to assure the city’s working poor will not be forced out of the urban area.

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