Apartments at their genesis

A $12.5 million development in Union Hill is moving ahead and will likely break ground in October.

Developer Ron Hunt and his company Genesis Homes are building a 151-unit, 173,000-square-foot apartment complex at Cedar and 19th streets, according to a development plan submitted last week to the city.

The four-story development sits on 3.5 acres and will be known as Cedar Street Apartments. The existing Jefferson Town Homes will be torn down to make way for the new Genesis project.

Hunt purchased the townhouses and their land in 2007 for $1.5 million and renovated part of the complex in a low-income housing tax credit deal.

BizSense reported in February that Hunt was seeking a rezoning permit on the property and that one of the conditions agreed upon between the developer and the city was that Genesis could not use vinyl siding.

According to the plan, the Cedar Street Apartments will feature 111 one-bedroom and 40 two-bedroom apartments. The structure will be closer to the sidewalk than the existing townhomes and will have 96 parking spots in the rear of the building, along with a clubhouse.

The project is being financed through the Virginia Housing Development Authority, Hunt said.

“I’ve had the property for five years, and the plan all along was to tear this section down and build new apartments. But we had to wait for the financing to become available,” he said.

The rents will range from about $600 to $1,200. Walter Parks is the architect.

The property’s view of downtown from atop Union Hill is what caught Hunt’s eye.

“The view is really what drew me to the location. It’s as pretty as any you can find in Richmond,” Hunt said.

The 58 townhomes on site are occupied but have relocation clauses in the leases, so Genesis will pay for those costs.

Hunt is also finishing construction on 39 apartments at 616 Hull St. in Manchester. Six of the apartments have been leased, and Hunt expects to have the certificate of occupancy in September.

A deal that could have brought a new microbrewery to the commercial space in the front of the Manchester project fell through, Hunt said, and the space is still available.

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