For its latest project, a local development company eliminated a Church Hill eyesore while trying to balance the old and the new.
Seven Hills Construction is nearing completion on two new homes at 510 and 510 ½ N. 31st St., where a run-down, out-of-place house once stood.
With the help of Long & Foster agent Tim Dunkum, Seven Hills Construction purchased the property in May. At the time, the lot was home to a one-story, 1,300-square-foot Cape Cod-style house built in 1950 that starkly contrasted its early 20th-century neighbors that line the street.
“It didn’t go with the architecture in the area,” Dunkum said.
Seven Hills’ Thomas Smith and Bryan Traylor, along with Traylor’s company Unlimited Renovations, tore down the building and split the property into two lots.
Sitting on the property nine months later are two new, four-bedroom homes each at around 2,750 square feet and listed at $399,950. The two are connected in town house fashion on the property that’s only 0.16 acres.
Neither Dunkum nor Smith would share the cost to buy or develop the lot.
The houses’ facades mimic the architecture of the other homes nearby but use some modern materials to cut down on maintenance.
“We wanted it to fit in,” Smith said. “We’re looking to better the community as a whole, and we want to, if it’s new construction, definitely see the history of the neighborhood kept up and not try to introduce new styles.”
The houses have HardiePlank siding, which resembles wood but won’t rot, and shingles with the dimensional scalloped look of old slate but without the associated cost or maintenance.
Seven Hills has one other ongoing project in the works, an empty lot under development in the Southside. Unlimited Renovations is working on a few projects throughout Church Hill.
Seven Hills plans to keep an eye out on other Richmond neighborhoods that it sees as up-and-coming. Smith predicts that other areas like Battery Park or Highland Park could see Church Hill-scale growth in the next 10 years.
“We definitely have our eye on those. But really, the sky’s the limit,” Smith said. “Richmond’s just an ever-changing city.”