Local builder gives Centerville site a second look

The proposed Tuckahoe Bridge subdivision would connect Manakin and Rockville roads. (Photos courtesy Main Street Homes)

A nearly 100-acre tract in eastern Goochland County previously floated for residential development is being given another go.

Midlothian-based Main Street Homes has stepped up as the latest local developer to seek rezoning for a 98-acre site near Centerville – land that local developer Hank Wilton pitched for a comparable project in 2015.

Main Street is seeking county approval to build up to 157 houses on the site, which extends between Manakin and Rockville roads just northeast of Sycamore Creek Golf Course, between Broad Street Road and Interstate 64.

A rezoning request was set to be heard by the county planning commission this week, but Main Street President Vernon McClure said he’s requesting a deferral to the commission’s next meeting in February.

While Main Street is proposing fewer homes than Wilton, who had sought as many as 193 lots before withdrawing his request amid local opposition, the number still exceeds the one-house-per-acre density advised for that area in the county’s land use plan, which McClure described as more of a guideline than a requirement.

McClure said the higher density is needed to be able to afford a connector road and bridge that would extend through the property to connect Manakin and Rockville roads. Wilton had cited similar economics in his proposal, which likewise included a new road and bridge to fulfill the county’s road connectivity requirements.

“The cost of that is about 40 lots’ worth of profit, so we’re asking for a little more density to be able to help pay for that,” McClure said, putting the cost of the bridge project at about $1 million. Main Street’s proposal also includes cash proffers of $12,586 per house, an amount that would add up to $1.97 million if all 157 homes are built.

McClure put the overall cost to develop the site at $17 million. Main Street would develop the site in addition to building the homes, which typically would start at just below 3,000 square feet and be priced in the upper $500,000s.

4 parcels under contract

Main Street is under contract to purchase four parcels that make up the site, which McClure said he was alerted to by Long & Foster agent Bonnie Agee. Three trustees and Nuckols Family LLC own the parcels, according to county property records, which list the parcels’ combined assessed value at about $2.5 million.

While Main Street is active building homes in Goochland, in communities such as Lanes End, McClure said the project, called Tuckahoe Bridge on submitted plans, would be the company’s first development project in the county.

Main Street Homes President Vernon McLure

“We’ve been looking for home sites in that area,” McClure said, mentioning an opportunity last year to buy about 40 lots nearby that he said didn’t materialize.

“We’re anxious to build in that area. We thought it would be a perfect fit for us,” he said. “What we’re finding now is there’s just less and less developed lots. You have to go develop and build on them now.”

Noting the site’s proximity to Route 288 and western Henrico, as well as its location in Goochland’s water and sewer district, McClure said, “It was a perfect location for us, and there’s a lot of demand for homes in that area.”

McClure said the project takes into account feedback the county received from Wilton’s proposal.

“We took what he did, or didn’t do, and tried to rework it,” McClure said. “We read all the comments from the local residents and talked to the county a couple times, and put together this new proposal.”

About 90 people attended a community meeting in late November, according to a county staff report, which said no one in attendance spoke in favor of the project. Hirschler attorney Jim Theobald is representing Main Street in its application.

“I think the big questions are just the density,” McClure said of the site. “We feel like it’s going to be developed over the next couple years. It just depends on who it is and what’s going to be there.”

Development interest in Centerville has picked up in recent years. Nearby, at the intersection of Manakin and Broad Street roads, a group of businessmen, including developer Scott Gaeser, are proposing a mixed-use project initially proposed for more than 250 homes and 80,000 square feet of commercial space.

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