A real estate firm is expanding its Southside holdings, adding to a portfolio that includes the bulk of a big box retail center on Forest Hill Avenue and a 13-acre site in Manchester.
Harper Associates last month purchased the former Dilligaf Tanning, Tattoos & Piercings building and surrounding 0.33-acre property at 6935 and 6935-A Forest Hill Ave., according to Richmond property records.
It paid $525,000 for the site in a deal that closed June 30. The quarter-acre property includes a 2,000-square-foot vacant tattoo parlor. It was most recently assessed for $409,000.
The property sits near the entrance of the Shops at Stratford Hills shopping center, a 220,000-square-foot retail center at 7101 Forest Hill Ave. anchored by a Martin’s grocery store and a Target.
Plans filed with the city for the tattoo parlor building show AutoZone and Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations fronting Forest Hill Avenue.
Harper Associates controls much of the leasable property in the retail center, including several outparcels fronting Forest Hill Avenue that house retailers and restaurants such as O’Charley’s Restaurant & Bar, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks and Gamestop. The group does not own the center’s anchor buildings.
Tenants in others portions of the center include Office Depot, Tuesday Morning, America’s Best Wings, Jason’s Deli, Dominos and Dickey’s Barbeque Pit.
Harper also owns a nearly 26,000-square-foot shopping center at 2621 Shelia Lane, as well as a shopping center and several outparcels at 7319 and 7339 Forest Hill Ave., where an Aldi and Burger King are located. The company previously owned much of the neighboring Chippenham Forest Square shopping center along Shelia Lane, anchored by a Lowe’s and a Wal-Mart.
Preston Lloyd, an attorney with Richmond-based Williams Mullen who represents Harper, said the overall plan is to make the acquired property part of the Shops at Stratford Hills development.
City zoning designates the Shops at Stratford Hills as a community unit plan, or CUP, which allows for the construction of large regional shopping centers and mixed-use developments on properties greater than 10 acres regardless of existing zoning on the property.
A master plan must be submitted for the site, and the project must be approved by city council before work can move forward. City review would also include any amendments to the overall CUP, including potential boundary expansion to add other parcels.
Lloyd said Harper has submitted its plan to incorporate the future AutoZone and Valvoline locations into the Shops at Stratford Hills CUP – a process he said could take months to complete.
The seller – Stuart Rolfe, owner of Midlothian-based Stuart Rolfe Muffler & Automotive – said he sold the property to unload his Richmond holdings.
“I was tired of paying city taxes so I decided to sell,” Rolfe said, describing the transaction as 18 months in the making.
A brokerage flier for the site shows a second phase for the shopping center, with retail sites ranging from 1,200 to 30,000 square feet to be constructed on much of the center’s 6.5 acres. No timeline for the second-phase expansion has been specified.
The project would include updated signage and enhanced landscaping where trees and brush beside the center have been removed. Lloyd said the vegetation was cleared to combat homeless camps that had set up in the area.
Harper’s other Southside holdings include a swath of warehouses at 1802 Semmes Ave., which has been floated as a potential mixed-use development provisionally dubbed Manchester Town Center.