Note: See correction at the bottom of the story.
A group of out-of-state developers with a focus on commercial and mixed-use projects is planning what it calls “Chesterfield’s new downtown” in the heart of the suburban county.
Documents submitted to the county show a mixed-use development with a hotel, 400,000 square feet of retail and office space, and hundreds of new homes planned for 122 acres southeast of the Route 288-Iron Bridge Road interchange, on undeveloped land between the interstate and Courthouse Road east of Iron Bridge.
Called Courthouse Landing, the development would consist of 350,000 square feet of retail space, a 65,000-square-foot medical office building, 65,000 square feet of additional office space, a 150-room hotel, and up to 650 multifamily homes – half of those apartments, and the rest townhomes and condos.
The project is a joint venture between Dunphy Properties, a Florida-based firm primarily active in that state, and Atlanta-based Shuler Properties, whose retail developments in Virginia have included the Bed Bath & Beyond-anchored Towne Crossing shopping center at Courthouse Road and Midlothian Turnpike.
The firms are working on Courthouse Landing with Atlanta-based investment group Batson-Cook Development Co. and NAI Dominion, a commercial real estate brokerage based in Hampton Roads and Richmond.
A marketing flyer posted with a project overview on Dunphy’s website describes the development as Chesterfield’s “new downtown” and “downtown destination.” Plans filed with the county describe the mix of uses as “providing residents and customers a sense of Urban Living in a Suburban setting.”
The group is seeking a rezoning with conditional uses through an entity called 29:11 Chesterfield LLC, which lists Dunphy’s Florida address as its principal office. The case was set to go before the county Planning Commission at its Oct. 15 meeting, but it’s being deferred to Nov. 11, said Andrew Condlin, a local attorney representing the group in its application.
Condlin, a partner with Roth Jackson Gibbons Condlin, said the group requested the deferral to meet with area residents who are interested in the case but were not able to attend or weren’t notified of a community meeting held two weeks ago.
Reached Friday, Dunphy principal Jim Dunphy declined to comment on the project beyond written statements provided by Condlin. Condlin said the project is designed around the surrounding road network, existing wetlands and a sizable gas line that runs through the property.
“These features dictated in large part the design of the project,” Condlin said.
“We are proposing a mixed-use project with a focus on common gathering spaces, public spaces and pedestrian connections,” he said, adding that design guidelines submitted with the case detail “the integration of the commercial areas and residential sections by use of connecting streets, common spaces, open areas, public spaces and walkways…”
The group is under contract to purchase the land, which is mostly vacant except for a closed gas station along Iron Bridge Road that would be replaced. The eastern portion of the site wraps around part of Gates Elementary School.
Located just north of the Chesterfield County courthouse and government complex, the site consists of three parcels, two of which are owned by the county. The parcel closest to the interstate is owned by an entity called WSWL Properties LLC.
The latest county assessment valued the LLC-owned parcel, totaling nearly 65 acres, at $2.33 million. The other parcels are included in multi-parcel assessments involving county-owned land not involved with the site.
The site would be accessed by three entrances off Courthouse Road and a right-in-only entrance off Iron Bridge Road. Plans show office and retail uses would be located closer to Iron Bridge, while residential buildings would be centrally positioned. Open space with walking trails and recreational uses would wind through the property and around two stormwater retention ponds.
Renderings show a proposed self-storage building, a gas station and various multi-story office buildings. Three-story townhomes would include front-loaded garages, and “two-over-two”-style condos stacked in four-story buildings would have rear-loaded garages. The plans do not mention price ranges for the for-sale homes or monthly rents for the apartments.
Community amenities would include a central pavilion area called The Landing and at least five of a variety of options listed in the plans, including a multipurpose lawn, fitness stations, a wetlands footbridge, birdwatching areas and dog stations.
The apartments would include a 5,000-square-foot clubhouse with fitness center and at least four of other amenities such as a pool, fire pits, outdoor grills, and bike racks and storage. The townhomes and condos could have a playground, dog park, pond overlook and community gardens, while amenities in the commercial area could include walking trails, plazas and picnic shelters.
The plans do not specify an overall cost for the project.
The group is working on the project with Cuhaci & Peterson, an Orlando-based architecture, engineering and planning firm. Richmond-based CiteDesign is handling landscape architecture and conceptual planning, while Midlothian-based Townes Site Engineering is handing civil and environmental engineering. Green Light Solutions of Mechanicsville is the traffic engineer.
Courthouse Landing is the second large-scale mixed-use development proposed in Chesterfield in recent weeks. Last month, Swift Creek Station – a 230-acre development proposed for nearly 800 homes south of Brandermill – went before the Planning Commission and was recommended for approval. That project now goes to county supervisors for a final vote.
Correction: The overall assessed value for the project site could not be determined because the two county-owned parcels are included in multi-parcel assessments involving other county land. An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed those multi-parcel assessments as the value for the two individual parcels that make up part of the site.