Two local developers known for height are sticking to the surface with their latest project near Shockoe Bottom.
Developers C. Samuel McDonald and Charles Macfarlane this month purchased a 1.6-acre site at 323 and 325 S. 14th St. from Norfolk Southern Corp. for $1.6 million, where they’re planning to improve an existing empty surface lot into a parking haven for commuter and business parking.
“The city’s parking studies show there is a critical shortage of attractive parking options in Shockoe Bottom,” McDonald said.
McDonald, who with fellow developer Mark Scordo runs Property Results, is a prolific multifamily developer in Manchester. Macfarlane, of Macfarlane Partners, has completed several apartment projects in and around Manchester and Shockoe Bottom.
Through its 14th Park LLC, the transaction was recorded Dec. 12, according to city property records. The parcel most recently was accessed for about $1.8 million.
McDonald said they did not consider building a residential structure on the site since it’s located on the river side of the flood wall.
The site is zoned industrial, which can accommodate parking, and is surrounded by property that the city’s public works department owns.
They’re finalizing plans for the surface parking site, including the number of spaces and a management firm to run the facility, McDonald said. The project is set for an early summer delivery.
Plans call for the parking grounds to be landscaped and lit to accommodate monthly and daily commuters, McDonald said. The new lot also will accommodate bus parking, river canoe and rafting guide operators, and connect to commuter lots on Mayo Island.
As part of the site improvements, McDonald said a landscaped buffer and trail is slated to be installed at the edge of the James River on the property.
He said the trail will connect to a planned extension of the Virginia Capital Trail that the city is eyeing across Chapel Island.
First adopted by the city council in 2012, the city’s Riverfront Plan envisioned a series of recreational improvements to Chapel Island, which includes a “universally accessible shared-use pathway that will connect 14th Street to Great Shiplock Park,” according to the master plan document.
City and Capital Trail representatives are identifying a route for the path.