A local nonprofit’s conversion of an old West Broad Street hotel and a new-construction mixed-use building from two well-known local developers each took a step forward toward city approval Monday.
The Better Housing Coalition’s $30 million plan to convert the former Quality Inn & Suites at 3200 W. Broad St. received unanimous approval from the Richmond Planning Commission, which granted BHC a special-use permit to allow for a mixed-use, mixed-income housing development.
The new development will include up to 210 housing units, 44,000 square feet of proposed commercial space and roughly 325 parking spaces. Each two-bedroom unit is proposed to rent between $700 and $1,000 monthly.
The nonprofit bought the building for $5.9 million last September. The planned conversion is the largest single investment BHC has made in Richmond in its 28-year history.
The commission also gave the go-ahead for a new mixed-use development along Shockoe Bottom’s Tobacco Row, allowing developers Charles MacFarlane and Sam McDonald to exceed zoning height restrictions.
Their planned building at 2515 E. Main St., dubbed Main2525, would be six stories, with the top story set back from the street to appear as if the building is five stories. The 216 market-rate apartments will sit atop roughly 8,000 square feet of commercial frontage.
The building will also include a parking structure with upwards of 240 spaces to accommodate the commercial and residential parking.
Despite some questions directed toward the projects’ developers, commission members spoke in favor of the higher density housing developments on Monday’s agenda.
Commissioner David Johannas remarked on the “philosophical shift” occurring in many U.S. cities toward high-density developments and public transit, adding that the city and the commission desired higher-population density.
Two more Shockoe Bottom projects also received the commission’s blessing. A special-use permit was granted for 1717 E. Cary St., a building purchased by Capital One earlier this year that is being converted into a startup incubator space.
The permit would allow the building’s mezzanine level to be converted to a full sixth floor during the renovations.
The commission also granted a request to rezone a property at 2213 E. Franklin St. to allow for business use. The 1.3-acre plot includes the former Wolff-Fording & Co. building, a property that is being redeveloped alongside buildings at 2201 and 2220 E. Franklin St. by Marc Galt of Sensei Development and Chris Johnson and Tom Dickey of The Monument Cos.
A resolution to auction surplus city-owned land adjacent to Oregon Hill’s new Overlook condominiums also unanimously passed the commission . The 0.6-acre property at 816 Riverside Park is set to be sold via public auction. An appraisal valued the property at $80,000.
All of the items require approval by City Council, which is set to hear them at its July 24 meeting.