Manchester site sells for $2M ahead of planned RiverHaus development

The 2.2-acre site at the southern end of the Lee Bridge. (Greg Montalto)

Another chunk of what is becoming one of the fastest-growing intersections in South Richmond has been snatched up by an out-of-town developer.

Ohio-based Brickhaus Partners last month purchased a 2.2-acre tract on the west side of Cowardin Avenue at the southern end of the Robert E. Lee Bridge for $1.9 million.

Brickhaus principal Andrew Brickman confirmed the deal, which clears the way for its first Virginia project – RiverHaus – to take shape on the site.

Plans for the $40 million development call for 21 for-sale townhomes on the outer fringes of the property along Riverside Drive and Cowardin Avenue. A seven-level apartment building also is planned, which will include two levels of parking below five levels of 130 or 140 apartments. Several two-story townhome units would be constructed at the base of the building to hide the parking garage.

Several of the townhomes would have views of downtown Richmond’s skyline and the James River. Townhome prices are still being determined, Brickman said. The apartments are slated to be market rent.

The undeveloped site at 700 Cowardin Ave. (Jonathan Spiers)

The property consists of five parcels at 1701 Stonewall Ave., 700 Cowardin Ave. and 701, 705 and 715 W. 19th St. A city assessment most recently valued the parcels at $2.8 million.

Ryan Fanelli and Sam Worley with Commonwealth Commercial Partners represented the seller, Charlotte-based Northwood Ravin, during the transaction.

Jeremy Connell, whose nearby developments include the 7West townhomes along West Seventh Street, placed the site under contract about three years ago in a deal with Northwood Ravin.

Connell rezoned the site during summer 2018 to the city’s RF-2 Riverfront District, a change that allows for buildings up to 13 stories in height. Proffers included with the rezoning restrict building heights along 19th Street to 35 feet.

The city’s planning division is reviewing RiverHaus’ plans.

Brickman said the firm hopes to break ground on the project by the fourth quarter of 2019. It hasn’t chosen a general contractor for the project. Walter Parks Architects is designing RiverHaus, while Lory Markham, owner of local land-use consultancy Markham Planning and a One South Commercial agent, is overseeing its development application.

RiverHaus is slated to become one of the largest projects in decades to hit the Springhill neighborhood – a 28-acre former suburb of Manchester in the early 20th century that’s bounded by West 19th to West 22nd Streets, and Riverside Drive to Semmes Avenue.

Big changes

Much of the surrounding area of Semmes and Cowardin avenues is quickly transforming.

KBS Inc. has begun site work on a 7.3-acre site across from RiverHaus for Riverview Apartments, a 270-unit apartment and townhome development by Alabama-based LIV Development at 1401 Railroad Ave. The company paid about $8.2 million for the site last spring.

Across Semmes Avenue from LIV’s site, work is underway on the Riviera at Semmes on the site of the former Muse Buick property at 1414 Semmes Ave. The Monument Cos.’ Chris Johnson and Tom Dickey, along with Howard Kellman of The Edison Co., paid $3.1 million in February for the property that ultimately will house 180 apartments and commercial space.

Richmond-based Harper & Associates has cleared out several metal warehouses at 1802 Semmes Ave. to make way for its mix of 106 townhomes and commercial space.

Meanwhile, the former Citgo gas station at 418 Cowardin Ave. that had captured the attention of Wawa for a potential location remains on the market.

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