After eight years, a Chesterfield County mixed-use development is finally building some momentum.
Ironbridge Corner, a 23-acre project at Ironbridge Road and Ironbridge Parkway, scored its second land deal of the year last month to further breathe new life into the long-delayed development.
Consisting of a mix of retail, residential and office space, Ironbridge Corner was started in 2007 by Thalhimer Realty Partners.
“Then a typhoon came through the real estate business in 2008,” said Mark Slusher, a Thalhimer senior vice president.
The recession-induced delays have since subsided, and in the last six months Thalhimer has sold off two parcels of the project, the latest coming on July 15 when Iron Bridge Road Apartments VA LLC purchased 8 acres of the development for $920,000. That follows the purchase of 1.4 acres by O’Reilly Automotive Stores Inc. in February for a retail store.
“We are seeing an upturn in the economy, and these two sales in the last six months are indicators of that,” Slusher said. “We have a lot of forward momentum.”
One of Ironbridge Corner’s first tenants was a Primrose School location, which purchased 2 acres in 2008. Since then, a Waffle House and an El Patron Cantina Mexican Restaurant joined the development, purchasing land in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
About 7,500 square feet has been built at the site so far, and plans call for up to 24,000 square feet of retail or office space total.
The most recent sale of 8 acres to Iron Bridge Road Apartments will be the first and only residential piece of Ironbridge Corner.
The LLC is made up of Virginia-based Surber Development and Consulting and North Carolina-based HEGM Corp.
Jen Surber of Surber Development and Consulting said the group plans to add 80 units of low-income housing, meaning residents must earn less than 60 percent of the area median income for Chesterfield County.
“It’s an attractive site; we’re excited about the restaurants and other businesses that are coming up around the site,” Surber said.
The plans include building five two-story walk-up garden buildings with one- and two-bedroom units. The entire project should cost about $11.8 million, Surber said. Community & Southern Bank is providing the financing, and the developer is also seeking low-income housing tax credits.
Work on the apartments is slated to start mid-September with a 10- to 12-month construction period, she said. Mills Construction is the general contractor, and Wayne Jones of Jones Architecture is designing the project. Both firms are based out of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Surber said the partners involved in the apartments have worked together for more than two decades, owning and managing more than 10,000 units throughout seven southeastern states.
Their current projects include complexes under construction in Chesapeake and Charlottesville, and two ready to start in Newport News and Harrisonburg after work begins in Chesterfield County.
About 6 acres are still available for sale at Ironbridge Corner, and Slusher said he has had a lot of interest, though he did not go into detail.
“We like the property a lot – it’s in the path of growth,” he said.
That path includes plans that were recently filed for a new Aldi grocery store just up the road from Ironbridge Corner, and a new Kroger is setting up shop nearby. A Walmart Supercenter is right around the corner, and another Walmart location is under construction farther up Iron Bridge Road at the new Watermark Town Center.