As 2014 comes to a close, Richmond BizSense is taking a look back at the neighborhoods that gained momentum over the year, driving development, retail and dining and carrying the districts into a promising 2015.
In trying to sum up the buzz in Scott’s Addition in 2014, Roger Bouchard, president of the Scott’s Addition Business Association, said it best.
“From our perspective, the area is really becoming a neighborhood,” Bouchard said. “And I think that that has shown more this year than any other time. It’s becoming a community.”
What not long ago was a drag of aging industrial properties now has residences, retail storefronts, breweries and more restaurants, and 2014 marked big steps in the neighborhood’s continued evolution.
The year saw a new wave of development get underway in Scott’s Addition, with hundreds of new apartments in the works to bring even more residents into the area.
Full-on construction is underway on Spy Rock Real Estate’s 194-unit transformation of the former Coca-Cola bottling plant. Thalhimer Realty Partners should finish up 90 new units in July, and the Cookie Factory is set to open up its 178 units in the coming weeks.
Main Street Realty’s 42 units at its 1 Scott’s Addition project were entirely leased out before the project was even completed.
This round of development is pulling in a vital addition to the community: more people. And the promise of residents began to attract more businesses into the neighborhood in 2014.
For starters, booze-related businesses are hitting the Scott’s Addition market hard. In June, Ardent Craft Ales became the second brewery to open in the neighborhood in nine months, after Isley Brewing Co. It will be followed by Black Heath Meadery, which should start concocting its sweeter brew in January.
And Richmond’s newest cidery has its eye on Scott’s Addition to set up shop.
Bill Cavendish of Black Heath Meadery said the neighborhood is becoming increasingly appealing to new businesses, especially breweries.
“It’s been booming over the last couple of years as a startup location for craft industries,” he said. “There’s a good camaraderie between businesses. There’s support in the area that’s aimed at making it the best it can be.”
Urban Farmhouse Market and Cafe chose a space next to the 1 Scott’s Addition apartment project for its latest location. Founder Kathleen Richardson said the restaurant was set to open Dec. 26.
Other sorts of businesses are following the restaurants and breweries into the neighborhood. A Charlottesville consignment store opened its doors in October, following Paisley & Jade, a furniture store that set up shop there earlier in the year.
All that activity has been keeping the Scott’s Addition Business Association busy, too.
Traditionally, its boundaries extended between North Broad Street, Boulevard and Interstate 195, but this year it extended them to Hermitage Road, then north to the I-64 and I-95 interchange.
Bouchard said the association worked with other neighborhood groups to ensure those boundaries did not cross into another’s territories.
And the extension was made with more growth in mind for Scott’s Addition.
“In the next five years, this is going to be the new hot, trendy area,” Bouchard said.