On top of its usual hard hat, a local general contracting firm’s newest project will allow it to also don the owner’s cap for the first time.
Chester-based Canterbury Enterprises is set to start work on a 40-unit townhome development at Old Warwick Road and Labrook Concourse in the south side of the city.
The $6.7 million project, called the Townhomes at Warwick Place, marks the first time Canterbury will retain ownership of a project it has built. It typically builds homes designated for low-income residents for nonprofits like the Better Housing Coalition, Southside Community Development Corporation and Richmond Affordable Housing.
“As a general contractor, we work with all the nonprofit agencies in the area,” said Junior Burr, Canterbury’s president and CEO. “We were building the units, so we thought, why not own it and develop it?”
The Warwick Place development will be built on 4.6 acres that Canterbury bought for $43,500 in 2007. Burr said the goal is to have the units ready for residents by December.
Like its previous projects, the town houses will be offered to residents whose wages are at or below the median income level.
Canterbury is financing the project through loans from the Virginia Housing Development Authority and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Virginia Community Development Corp., a local nonprofit, is acting as the equity investor.
Canterbury will be eligible for low-income housing tax credits on the project, federal credits that developers can sell to investors to counter development costs. Eligible developments must keep rent and utility at certain levels for low-income units for at least 30 years.
The Warwick Place units will all be three-bedroom with an average size of 1,450 square feet, and 10 will be handicapped-accessible. They will be marketed for rent, and 50 people have already requested applications, Burr said.
Walter Parks Architects designed the project.
“This product is going to be brick, with some HardiePlank siding, possible hardwood, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances,” Burr said. “I want someone to come into this development and think, ‘Is this really affordable housing?’”
The development is next to the Richmond Outreach Center, which Burr sees as an added amenity. The facility provides classrooms, open fields and workout facilities. The city recently purchased the center and is planning to make improvements.
Canterbury was founded in 2004. One of its most notable projects was done alongside the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority and involved general maintenance on Creighton Court, a low-income neighborhood in the East End.