Louis Salomonsky and David White of Main Street Realty are proposing two 10-story towers totaling 258 residential units at 1400 Roseneath Road that would convert from apartments to condominiums over time.
The towers – the tallest proposed in Scott’s Addition so far; four stories taller than the nearby 3600 Centre building on West Broad Street – would be built along West Clay Street where the Broad Street exit for Interstate 195 northbound spills into the neighborhood.
The rest of the 2.5-acre property would be filled with a parking deck, surface parking, a community building and swimming pool, and a smaller commercial or office building at the corner of Clay and Roseneath. The property, which takes up about half a block, is directly across Clay from Spy Rock Real Estate’s Preserve at Scott’s Addition apartments.
The $60 million project, called Roseneath Towers, would add 422 parking spaces and homeownership options to the fast-transitioning, rental-heavy neighborhood. Where the Preserve, 3600 Centre and other redeveloped buildings have added hundreds of apartments, the Roseneath Towers apartments would convert to condominiums after about three years, Salomonsky said.In a presentation Wednesday to the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association, Salomonsky said the market is right for condos in the city, citing demand for more homeownership options in the city’s urban core.
“It’s time for condominiums in the city of Richmond,” he said. “To us, it’s a dangerous commodity – we’ve never done it before, and Richmond is mainly a single-family detached home market. But there is an accelerated demand among the older set, as well as some of the younger people, to own their own apartment.”
With a total building footprint of 94,300 square feet, the towers would include 180 one-bedroom units, 42 one-bedroom units with dens and 36 two-bedroom units, split evenly between the two buildings.
Units would be designed with home office spaces in mind, and rents would range from about $1,200 to $2,000 per month, with a weighted average closer to $2,000, Salomonsky said. When the apartments convert to condos, he said the initial surge of sales would likely be fueled by existing tenants.
White, who described the units as high-end, said those rents would be justified by the height of the buildings, which he said would serve as a billboard for urban living in Scott’s Addition.
“You hear a lot about ‘upscale’ and ‘luxury’ – we have decided to really go all the way with this product,” White said. “It’s really been designed around what we think is the next generation of apartment-condominium occupants.“One of the things that we think is really important to attract this kind of clientele is the views, and we’re achieving that with the height of the building,” he said. “It’s the way we can get the rents that we’ve got to get to be able to attract the tenants we’re trying to attract. It’s very expensive to build what we’re doing.”
Much of that expense would result from the parking deck, which Salomonsky said would be usable to nearby businesses during the day and restricted to residents overnight.
“That’s an expensive item, but if we’re going to do the condo conversions, it’s vitally necessary for the success of the project,” Salomonsky said. He added that initial plans called for about one-third fewer parking spaces, but the number was increased following feedback from the neighborhood association.
The developers have secured financing through M&T Bank. They purchased the property, formerly the site of an asphalt operation, in 2012 for $550,000 through Asphalt Plant LLC. Salomonsky’s SWA Architects is designing the project.
Salomonsky said the building at the corner of Clay and Roseneath was originally planned for a Dunkin’ Donuts or other food-service retail. He said the building could also be used to house office space.
“We have been enchanted by the fact that the demand for office space is accelerating in the area,” he said. “What that means to us is these high-tech firms that have large payrolls are the 100-percent candidates for a condo conversion.”The developers have presented the plans to city officials and plan to file a request for a required special-use permit. Salomonsky said approval could come by late May, after which construction would start mid-summer and complete in about a year.
Meanwhile, the other half of the block along West Leigh Street is also slated for redevelopment. Urban Core Development is planning a project for that property, which currently houses three commercial buildings.
Andy Beach of Urban Core said the firm is currently assessing the site and could not release details at this point. Salomonsky said he and White are talking with Urban Core about incorporating its project, which he referred to as offices, into a joint site plan that would integrate parking.
Urban Core is redeveloping the ARC Richmond building on the Boulevard and opening its second Gather co-working space in a building on West Broad Street – the same building that will house the Richmond location for Charlottesville-based Three Notch’d Brewing Co.
Across Leigh Street, Thalhimer Realty Partners is planning a mixed-use development on a 106,000-square-foot property that covers nearly the entire block. And Spy Rock is in the midst of its next Scott’s Addition project: three buildings that will house 190 apartments and commercial space on the site of the former Symbol Mattress Co. facility.