178-unit Vida East project comes alive in Shockoe Bottom

Floor plans for Vida East range from 351-square-foot studios to 1,192-square-foot, two-bedroom apartments. (Charlotte Woods)

A developer from the coast has brought his first Richmond project to life two years after buying an empty lot in Shockoe Bottom.

Seacoast Builders, which has operations in Charleston, South Carolina, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, recently completed its $25 million, 178-unit Vida East development at 1903 E. Marshall St.

Rick Banning is Seacoast’s owner. Vida East is owned under his Shockoe Ventures Realty LLC.

“I chose Richmond for my newest development site because of its historic character, thriving economy, and access to nature and recreation,” Banning said. He noted that “Vida” means life, and that he hopes residents will enjoy the neighborhood ties, businesses and history that “makes RVA unique.”

Banning’s company purchased the 1-acre lot, which sits at the base of Jefferson Park near Church Hill, for just over $2 million in 2016. Floor plans for the apartments range from 351-square-foot studios to 1,192-square-foot, two-bedroom apartments.

KBS handled construction and leasing availability began on Oct. 1. So far five leases have been signed.

Seacoast hired Dodson Property Management to manage the property.

Tara Carter, a president of Multi Family Management with Dodson, said the primary demographics of building residents include millennial VCU medical campus students and employees, people who work downtown and want to live closer, and baby boomers looking to let go of yard work.

Vida East’s rooftop deck has views of the downtown skyline. (Charlotte Woods)

The building offers several communal patios throughout, including a rooftop deck with skyline views of downtown, access to the community events room and an AV room that converts to a communal theater.

“We’re going to have an 80-inch television and theater seating, and of course blackout curtains so that if folks want to watch the Super Bowl or have a movie night with friends, they can come in here,” Carter said.

Other amenities include an on-site gym and swimming pool. There is also a room that includes a Smart Board that can be used as workspace for residents that might operate small businesses and work from home.

“This is a spot where if you work from home and want to meet with a client, this is a private office space that people can overflow into that just gives them some flexibility,” Carter said.

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