Four local developers are teaming up to erect yet another apartment building in Shockoe Bottom.
Phil Roper, George Emerson, Charles Bice and Amy de Venoge are planning a five-story $24 million project that will bring 160 new apartment units to the block between Franklin and Grace streets and North 19th and 20th streets, replacing an existing parking lot.
The project brings together Roper and Emerson, who are constant collaborators on projects in the area, with Bice and de Venoge, who work together at real estate firm Secam Properties. The foursome is working on the new project as Valley West LLC.
“We’ve known Phil and George a long time and have crossed paths through a variety of real estate contacts, particularly in the Shockoe Bottom area,” Bice said. “We were able to pool our resources and put our properties together and come up with this valuable apartment complex.”
Bice and de Venoge own part of the parking lot, and Roper and Emerson own the remainder. A smaller plot of about 0.25 acres at North 19th and Grace streets, owned by Sterling Bilder Developers, is not included in the plans.
Roper and Emerson’s Shockoe Center Apartments also sits on a corner of the block. Roper said the developers plan to put a pool on the roof of the Shockoe Center garage that will be available to the tenants in both apartment buildings. The new building will feature a rooftop lounge looking toward the downtown skyline.
“I think this project will encompass the best amenity package in the marketplace,” Roper said. “The pool will be hard to beat, and the skyline lounge on top of that – that will do it.”
Four of the building’s five stories will be above ground. That will include apartments on the upper three floors, a layer of ground-level parking and additional parking below ground.
The apartment units will have one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans, ranging from 650 to 1,200 square feet.
The project, which has yet to be formally named, is still in the early stages of the development process, Roper and Bice said. They already received approval from the city’s commission of architectural review for the development and said they will work with the city to secure building permits. They hope to break ground by the end of the year.
The developers are financing the project through a loan from Wells Fargo.
Poole & Poole Architecture is designing the building, and a builder has not yet been selected. According to its architectural review application, the building has been designed to fit in with other Shockoe Bottom structures with a warehouse or factory aesthetic.
Valley West’s development will join another new project in the neighborhood – Historic Housing’s eight-story 76-unit development at 1817 E. Main St., dubbed Canal Lofts V. That $12.5 million project received the green light from Richmond City Council this month.
“I think we’re all excited about the potential of Shockoe Bottom for Richmond, and all the indications show that Richmond’s a dynamic and growing city,” Bice said. “We’re just pleased to be able to be part of putting in place some of the infrastructure the city’s going to need for the future.”