A Richmond firm is working a deal to buy in to and lead the apartment build-out at one of Short Pump’s newest real estate projects.
Veteran developer Bob Atack has selected Commonwealth Properties to be the apartment developer for his 70-acre mixed use project near the Goochland County line on West Broad Street in Henrico.
Steven Middleton and his company Commonwealth Properties has 20.5 acres of the project under contract where he plans a $43 million, 320-apartment complex that he hopes to get started by the end of the year.
“We’d like to be able to deliver by summer 2014,” he said.
Middleton is still lining up financing, but he said it would likely be a combination of private equity and bank loans. Commonwealth has not selected a contractor.
Commonwealth Properties has several large apartment projects under its belt, including North Pointe Commons in Durham, N.C., and CrossRoads Commons in Raleigh. Middleton also developed the Overlook townhouses in Oregon Hill.
Atack’s project is going to be anchored by a Bon Secours facility on the scale of the 100,000-square-foot St. Francis Watkins Centre, a free-standing emergency room and medical office building off Route 288 in Chesterfield.
The agreement with the health system hasn’t been finalized, Atack said, but he’s moving ahead with the master plan. The Henrico County Board of Supervisors approved zoning for the development in October.
Atack’s deal with Commonwealth is part of almost $124 million worth of pending apartment projects within about two miles of Short Pump Town Center.
Atack said the need for apartments around Short Pump is driven by the commercial and retail presence in the area.
“Absorption for multifamily properties in the northwest quadrant is among the best in the region, not just the Richmond area,” he said.
The Breeden Company is working on a 420-unit, $55-million development off of the North Gayton Road extension called Marshall Springs.
And Kassinger Development Group is building 254 units just over the Goochland County line at the Notch at West Creek. That project is being developed by West Creek Associates, which is run by Tommy Pruitt.
Chip Kassinger, head of Kassinger Development Group, said he hoped to start laying down foundations in June for the development. The project, named Retreat at West Creek, will run about $26 million and will have nine buildings and a clubhouse.
“We hope to have residents moving in by the fall,” he said.
Despite the competition coming out of the ground, Middleton said he’s confident the demand is there.
“Henrico County has a pretty restrictive apartment zoning, so I don’t anticipate a whole lot more apartments beyond these three communities,” he said. “So while there may be a little bit of a supply bubble at the moment, we feel good about the location in the long run.”
Also nearby, Markel | Eagle Partners is working on its plans for the 75-acre Nuckols Farm property on West Broad Street near North Gayton. It bought the land late last year for $8.5 million.
J.B. Gurley, principal with the private equity firm, said the company was still in talks with the county but that the development would be focused on single-family properties.
“We’re going to be building homes,” Gurley said. “We’re not going to have any multifamily.”
The firm, fresh off a $53 million capital raise, is also eyeing a commercial component for the Nuckols property, he said.