Another massive development is in the works in Mechanicsville and is twice the size of another recently proposed project a few miles away.
Edge Development Partners is proposing a “commercial village” concept on 120 acres at the northwest corner of Mechanicsville. The multi-use project would include a grocery-anchored shopping center and hundreds of residential units at Chamberlayne and New Ashcake roads.
The company, which will likely seek rezoning on the property later this spring, envisions a grocery store, restaurants, and retail and office uses in about 200,000 square feet of commercial space. The yet-to-be-named development would also consist of 539 residential units: 130 townhomes behind the commercial area, 295 multifamily homes and 114 single-family detached houses.
It’s at least the second large mixed-use development on the drawing board in Mechanicsville; a 63-acre project called Big Oak at Bell Creek has been proposed by a different developer.
The two projects are the first to involve the county’s “multi-use” land use designation, according to the Hanover planning department. The use was added in 2012 to accommodate high-density commercial projects with a mix of other uses, including residential.
Craig Kilpatrick, a managing partner with EDP, said there is plenty of demand for these sorts of projects in that area of Hanover County.
“Central Hanover has excellent traffic infrastructure, is close to downtown and other major employment centers and has some of the best schools in the region,” Kilpatrick said in an email. “There is strong market demand for all of the uses planned in the development.”
The property EDP has in mind consists of 15 parcels. Jesse Clark, co-managing partner with EDP, said the firm is under contract to purchase the land.
The single-family portion of the development would be at the southern end of the property, and the commercial area and attached homes would be closer to the intersection of Chamberlayne and New Ashcake roads.
Clark said the multifamily units would include amenities such as a clubhouse, pool, business center, fitness center, coffee bar and attached garages.
The townhomes would include a central park area and be located behind the shopping center, off the south side of New Ashcake Road. A creek would separate the single-family neighborhood, but trails and sidewalks would connect all of the areas – a feature Clark said would encourage walkability.
“All of these areas are connected with sidewalks and trails so residents can walk to dinner, the grocery store or the office and back home without having to drive,” Clark said.
The single-family homes would range from 2,200 to 3,000 square feet, with price tags starting in the low $300,000s. Homes could be listed in the $400,000s and $500,000s, depending on add-on options.
The townhomes would range from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet, with prices in the mid- to upper-$200,000s. The multifamily units would be 800 to 1,100 square feet and lease for $950 to $1,750 a month.
The project is being designed by Poole & Poole Architecture with an English village concept in mind. Nea Poole is the principal and architect on the project. Jos Biviano is lead designer.
Biviano said the buildings would resemble a rural village more so than a modern-day shopping center.
“It’s not going to look like a typical strip mall,” he said.
On the commercial side, Clark said his firm has been in talks with “several upscale neighborhood grocers” and other tenants for the center, but he said he couldn’t share any names yet.
He said several builders have expressed interest in the project, but the developers haven’t settled on a firm.
Edge Development Partners, which is also led by Nolan Felts, is working with engineering firm Bowman Consulting on the project. Cite Design assisted in land planning, and Jim Theobald and Jeff Geiger of law firm Hirschler Fleischer are representing the project.
Clark said he couldn’t comment on the projected cost of the development.
If the project receives rezoning approval this spring, construction could start once plans are finalized – a process Clark said he said could take six to 12 months.
He said “substantial segments” of off-site sewer and water services would also be involved and would need to be constructed before the first units are filled.
Depending on market conditions, Clark said he anticipates the development wrapping up by 2021.
EDP’s other projects include an apartment complex and single-family development on the Southside. Poole & Poole’s portfolio includes a clubhouse at the Hallsley community in Midlothian but consists primarily of out-of-state projects.
Elsewhere along Chamberlayne, 40 single-family homes and a retail and office building have been proposed on 12 acres between the Royal Glen and Crown Colony neighborhoods.