An out-of-town builder is preparing to put the finishing touches on its first Richmond project.
Construction is underway on the last leg of Virginia Beach-based Kotarides’ 368-unit Clairmont at Chesterfield apartment complex just outside the Chesterfield Towne Center.
Clairmont is one of only two projects Kotarides has under its belt in the Richmond market and is slated for completion this summer. The other project will build nearly 200 townhomes in Henrico County.
Clairmont will cover almost 25 acres of the Woodlands mixed-use development, which currently supports a Costco and an Express Oil Change and Service, with several more acres available for development.
Construction at Clairmont has been ongoing since November 2013, and it opened its completed buildings to residents in November of last year. The 439,000-square-foot complex consists of 19 two-story buildings and a clubhouse. Right now it is only 20 percent leased.
The apartments are made up of a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units between 800 and 1,200 square feet. Leasing rates range from $1,000 to $1,600.
Kotarides was founded in 1963, and has since built 4,000 units in Virginia and North Carolina, including single-family homes and townhomes as well as apartments. It has focused its efforts in Eastern Virginia and North Carolina, reaching down to Raleigh.
The company has only recently ventured into the Richmond market, but it has already made a substantial investment in the area. Clairmont at Chesterfield is Kotarides’ second-largest project in terms of number of units, and according to the most recently provided figures, should cost more than $30 million.
Hirschler Fleischer attorney Jim Theobald represented the seller when Kotarides purchased Clairmont’s 25 acres for $6.7 million in 2011.
“I think that when they come up here, it’s because of the stable economic environment in the Richmond area,” Theobald said. “They’re a high-quality builder with the financial wherewithal to deliver a high-end product and to compete toe-to-toe with some of the local builders … They built some very high-end apartments there, and I think that’s going to be a great project for them.”
Theobald said that apartments are in high demand in Chesterfield County. Proffers are around $18,000 per unit, but Kotarides doesn’t have to pay those fees because the property was zoned several decades ago. That high price tag up-front may be preventing many developers from building in the county.
“It’s an economic disincentive for that kind of development,” Theobald said.
Despite the high costs of development, companies are still getting in on the demand in Chesterfield County. The CenterPointe development, owned by Riverstone Properties, supports two major apartment projects, one headed by Robinson Development Group and the other by HHHunt.