A year after the project changed hands between developers, a long-planned apartment building near the foot of Libby Hill is beginning construction following a redesign to add more units.
Guy Blundon’s CMB Development has started site work on Shiplock Views, which will rise beside the existing 51-unit Shiplock Watch apartments in the 2800 block of East Main Street, just east of its intersection with Pear Street.
A new building totaling 180 apartments will be constructed at the corner of Main and Pear. Blundon said Shiplock Watch will also be branded and marketed as part of Shiplock Views.
Blundon had originally planned the new building for 144 units, but he said a redesign allowed for that number to increase.
“We redesigned the building, eliminated the drive under and some of the parking decks, and got more space in the building,” Blundon said.
The height of the new building – which had been a point of contention for nearby residents with previous development proposals – remains five stories on the Main Street side and nine stories above ground on the river side of the sloped site.
Blundon took over the project last year from Historic Housing’s Louis Salomonsky and David White, who secured zonings for the apartments in 2017 after a previous proposal for a 13-story condo tower was withdrawn due to concerns from neighbors.
Parking lot included
Blundon is under contract to purchase the two parcels, along with a triangular-shaped lot that’s planned for 70 surface parking spaces, in a deal that he said is set to close by year’s end. The latest city assessment valued the three properties collectively at $7.3 million.
Units will range from 670 to 950 square feet, with monthly rents ranging from $1,300 to $2,300. Blundon said 75 percent of the units will be one-bedroom floor plans, while the rest will be two-bedroom residences.
New with the redesign is a rooftop deck at the river end of the building, with a clubhouse room flanked by two patios with gas grills and seating areas. Other community amenities include a pool and fitness center.
“That’s going to set us apart, I think,” Blundon said of the rooftop deck. “That’s going to be a pleasant amenity.”
Blundon put the development cost at about $35 million. He said he’s talking with Atlantic Union Bank to provide financing.
New renderings of the building by Richmond-based RenderSphere show a building façade predominantly made of glass and brick. Proffers included with the site’s zoning require a minimum of one parking space and one window per apartment.
Blundon worked with Walter Parks Architects on the design, and Purcell Construction is on board as the general contractor. HG Design Studio designed the landscaped parking on the triangular lot.
Site work on that lot got underway in recent weeks, and Blundon said he’s aiming for completion in spring 2021.