Developers scale back proposed Scott’s Addition towers

Roseneath Revised Elevation

A rendering presented to the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association shows one of two proposed six-story buildings with two-level parking decks and residential units above. See full rendering >>

One of the most talked-about projects proposed in Scott’s Addition has been revised with a new look and fewer stories.

Plans for two 10-story towers proposed for a 2.5-acre site at 1400 Roseneath Road have been revised and reduced in height by developers Louis Salomonsky and David White of Historic Housing LLC.

The latest proposal, presented last week to the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association, calls for two U-shaped buildings six stories tall, which would bring them in line with the current tallest building in the fast-transforming district: the nearby 3600 Centre building on West Broad Street.

1400 Roseneath

(From April) The site at 1400 Roseneath Road. Photo by Jonathan Spiers.

Association president Roger Bouchard said the changes were made in response to feedback from the group, which received the initial proposal at a meeting in April.

“He’s redesigned the project,” Bouchard said, referring to Salomonsky. “He took into account a lot of the feedback from the community.”

The initial proposal called for 258 residential units that would convert from apartments to condominiums after about three years. The rest of the property was to 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 Roseneath and West Clay Street.

Called Roseneath Towers, the $60 million project included a total building footprint of 94,300 square feet and was proposed to include 422 parking spaces. The property, formerly the site of an asphalt operation, is located beside the Downtown Expressway at the foot of the Broad Street exit that spills onto Clay Street.

The latest number of units proposed in the revised plans could not be confirmed, but Bouchard put the number at approximately 300 units.

Reached last week, Salomonsky said he was working with Bouchard on a revised letter of support but would not discuss the revisions or the presentation made to the association.

At the initial presentation in April, association members expressed concerns about the buildings’ effect on area traffic, particularly at the signalized intersection of Clay and Roseneath, and on Belleville and West Leigh streets on the opposite side of the block. Bouchard said the revised proposal addresses some of those concerns, including the removal of proposed on-street parking along Clay.

“He’s working on a possible solution coming in on West Leigh Street, so that should help with the whole traffic flow,” Bouchard said.

Bouchard said the new proposal also addresses concerns about the building’s aesthetics. He said the façade features brick, metal and glass panels to bring it in line with the area’s industrial aesthetic, and he said more balconies were added to the buildings as well.

Rather than a standalone parking deck on the site, Bouchard said the new version would have parking decks making up the first two floors of both buildings, with four floors of residential units above them. He also said a commercial component along Clay Street would serve to screen the parking decks from view from that street.

The developers have secured financing through M&T Bank. They purchased the property in 2012 for $550,000 through Asphalt Plant LLC. Salomonsky’s SWA Architects is designing the project.

Main Street Realty, the developers’ real estate management arm, also manages the 1 Scott’s Addition apartments on Summit Avenue and the nearby Todd Lofts apartments on Hermitage Road.

Bouchard said the developers are trying to work with Urban Core Development, which is planning a project for property on the other half of the block that currently houses three commercial buildings. Salomonsky has referred to that project as offices that could be incorporated into a joint site plan with integrated parking.

Andy Beach of Urban Core said in April that the firm was assessing the site and was not at a point where it could release details about a project. A message left for Beach on Wednesday was not returned.

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.

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 Real Estate, which developed the Preserve at Scott’s Addition apartments on the other side of Clay Street, 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.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
5 years ago

It’s good to hear that the developers and the Scotts Addition Business Asscociation have reached an accord for this valuable property. The new look makes it a bookend of sorts with the Cookie Lofts. I still think more height could be achieved in this area and we’ll look back in 20 years and wonder why we didn’t just “go for it” instead of pegging the height of new buildings to that of the old ones. Cities are built with bold moves.

Jay Nathan
Jay Nathan
5 years ago

I don’t think I heard a single complaint about the height of the building; personally, I would welcome a pair of 10 story mid-rises to the neighborhood.

I think the complaints were mostly about the design of the buildings being aggressively mediocre at best and not at all congruent with the design language of the neighborhood.

In that regard, this new proposal is scantly better.

This project has transformed from two generic mid-90s NOVA residential buildings to what could easily be mistaken for an extended stay hotel.

Morgan Pierce
Morgan Pierce
5 years ago

I applaud the continued growth in this area of town but am puzzled by the architectural mediocrity being perpetuated in a neighborhood awash with creative enterprises. Richmond has the talent, vision and capacity to realize a design renaissance of sorts which is currently being played out in other projects around the city. It is time to embrace a new vision for development and to discard the tired model that has ruled the region for decades.

Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
5 years ago

yeah, I liked the height, though I’m sure some opposed it. It was the NOVA ugly that bothered me.

Jason Muir
Jason Muir
5 years ago

Well, it’s a bit better in the mix of design materials, but still pretty mediocre. Maybe it’s the meticulously centered alignment that still makes it look like a NOVA box. A more interesting collection of shapes and alignments would reduce the massing and make it look as if it grew up more organically in the industrial neighborhood.

C-

Please see me after class.

Richard rumrill
Richard rumrill
5 years ago

Amen to the comments about height. When neighborhood associations shoot for the trifecta of lower density, less profits for the developer, and great design the result is slightly lower density with more rentals, slightly better design, and mixed results on the questionable good of reducing a developer’s profits. Had the height been reduced less, this could have had better design and a lower percentage of rentals. This project could have really encouraged home ownership around Scott’s addition, now it could be a shockoe bottomesque situation where few will live for more than three years.

Kyle McKenna
Kyle McKenna
5 years ago

A remarkably handsome scheme, and I’m usually among the first to criticize architectural proposals. Just go for the ‘options’ shown, if possible, and re-think having parking levels right along street frontages. Parking kills street life. The retail/commercial indicated for Clay St is better.