While a long-delayed decision on a neighboring mixed-use development looms later this month, a companion apartment project is moving forward at the site of the once-named Midlothian Town Center.
Developer Guy Blundon plans to start construction this summer on 238 apartments covering 8 acres at 1300 Winterfield Road, adjacent to the much-debated Winterfield Crossing development proposed for 25 acres along Midlothian Turnpike.
Blundon is awaiting a decision on a loan by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that would finance about 80 percent of the $30 million project. Because the project impacts wetlands, HUD recently issued a notice soliciting public comments on the project, which it determined has no practicable alternative.
The project already passed muster with the Chesterfield County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, which held hearings on the wetlands impact several months ago. Blundon said there were no objections.
He described the issue as a change in HUD rules, since the project was first proposed a decade ago. He said the changes put one of the project’s 10 apartment buildings in an encroachment area that required a modification to what HUD defines as its resource protection area.
“We swapped an encroachment into what they call the resource protection area,” Blundon said. “The law has changed since the first time this deal was approved, and suddenly one of our buildings was in an encroachment that, when the first time it went through the process in ’07, there was not an encroachment.”
With that process wrapping up, Blundon said he expects to start construction in July or August.
The builder on the project is Purcell Construction, which also is working with Blundon on a $40 million, 10-story residential tower in the City View Landing development in Manchester. Richmond-based Winks Snowa Architects is designing the apartments, described in county documents as Midlothian Town Center Apartments.
The previously proposed Midlothian Town Center project went into foreclosure in 2009. Blundon bought the 8-acre site in 2015 for $3.35 million.
Pieces of the rest of the town center site have since been picked up by Midlothian-based developers Rebkee Co. and Blackwood Development. Rebkee is developing the nearby Winterfield Park, while Blackwood is behind Winterfield Crossing – a mix of 250 age-restricted apartments and 100,000 square feet of commercial space.
Despite an endorsement by the county planning commission in late 2015, Winterfield Crossing has dragged on since being proposed, with the latest version receiving a thumbs-down from the commission earlier this year. Following numerous deferrals, the project is scheduled to go before county supervisors for a final decision June 28.
Blundon said his project is designed to complement Winterfield Crossing, which would be connected by roads and pedestrian trails but separated by a lake.
“It’s going to very nicely go hand in glove with the development on the other side of the lake,” he said. “There’ll be a restaurant, a lot of walking trails, boulevard trees and whatnot on the Blackwood development site. The two are really designed to go hand-in-hand together.”
The apartments will range in size from 686 square feet for a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit to 1,287 square feet for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with a den. Monthly rents will range from $1,000 to $1,400, Blundon said.
The units will include balconies and come with community amenities such as a pool, clubhouse, outdoor grill and activity areas. Blundon said the apartments will be grouped in 10 or 11 two-story buildings. While approved for 254 units, he said the project is set at 238 apartments.
If construction starts this summer as planned, Blundon said he expects the project to be complete by fall 2018.
Across the turnpike to the west, another project would add more apartments to the corridor. Midlothian West, proposed by BWS Enterprises LLC, is planned to consist of 445 apartments and townhomes.