Riverfront land in Manchester sells for $4M per acre; twin tower apartment project planned

The River’s Edge II apartment project facing the James River. (File renderings courtesy Cornerstone Architecture/Ratio PC)

A $75 million apartment project in Manchester is a step closer to going vertical.

The 2.2-acre riverfront parcel at 301 W. Sixth St. that eventually will house the twin tower River’s Edge II development has sold for $8.7 million.

The buyer was the project’s development group, consisting of Purcell Construction CEO Mark Purcell, CMB Development’s Guy Blundon, and Charlottesville-based Keith Woodard and Ludwig Kuttner. The seller was City View Tower LLC, an entity tied to Thalhimer Realty Partners.

The deal closed May 13, city property records show. The land most recently was assessed by the city at $3.42 million.

River’s Edge II, which the development group began planning last year, calls for 344 apartments across two 11-story towers connected by a sky bridge. It will rise next door to Blundon and Purcell’s original River’s Edge, a 10-story apartment tower at 505 Porter St.

The two buildings that make up Rivers Edge II will be connected by a 2,500-square-foot skybridge lounge on the top level.

Blundon said they’re preparing to go before City Council in June as they seek a special-use permit for the Rivers Edge II site.

The project initially was slated to break ground in early 2020, with eyes on a summer 2021 opening. That schedule’s now been pushed back.

“If it breaks ground this year, we’d be pretty happy,” Blundon said.

The deal for the land for River’s Edge II was structured differently from that of River’s Edge I. While Blundon and his group purchased the land outright for River’s Edge II, they bought Thalhimer’s interest in the entity that owned the land for River’s Edge I.

“In the first one we bought (Thalhimer’s) interest in the entity … it was not the sale of land, it was a sale of the interest in the entity that owned the land,” Blundon said.

And the group has more land yet to purchase for River’s Edge II. Blundon said they’ve got an agreement with Norfolk Southern Railroad to buy a nearby roadway that would act as an entryway to the building.

“We are still preparing to buy that piece. We haven’t closed yet but have an agreement on it,” Blundon said.

In addition to the apartments, River’s Edge II will house a two-level parking garage at its base with 372 spaces. About 80 percent of the 344 apartments units will be one bedrooms, and other amenities include a pool, gym, interior dog walks and bike parking.

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William W Willis
William W Willis
4 months ago

Love the development of riverfront properties, but say good bye to the iconic panoramic city and river view from Legends Brewery’s patio. Hope they do something with the canal area there to match the canal walk on the city side and tie it into the floodwall walk some how.

Sam Nelson
Sam Nelson
4 months ago

It would be great if the developer cold work Legends into its plans, keeping the Legends deck alive.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
4 months ago

Actually, Legends view of downtown will not be blocked. The developers purposely considered that view and demonstrated it to the owners of Legends prior to finalizing their plans. That area will have a parking garage only. Legends also will have a view of 500+ new prospective customers, so everyone wins.

Dan Warner
Dan Warner
4 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

That’s the claim, but looking at the map it seems like the view from Legend’s patio will be from the Federal Reserve west, with everything to the east blocked, including the islands. So instead of being able to enjoy a panorama of the river, you’ll enjoy the Manchester Bridge off to the left and a closeup of these apartments straight ahead. The developers are welcome to release a rendering showing that view if they disagree.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
4 months ago
Reply to  Dan Warner

Ask Legends if you question it. They know.

Sam Nelson
Sam Nelson
4 months ago

Looks like another quality project by Mark Purcell and friends!

Christian Nulty
Christian Nulty
4 months ago

Am I the only one that finds this architecture offensive? I’m all for development, but wow this is an eye sore on one of the most prominent parts of the river.

Patrick Farley
Patrick Farley
4 months ago

No. You are absolutely not…

Jason Burke
Jason Burke
4 months ago
Reply to  Patrick Farley

From what I understand this project is on the consent agenda for a special use permit in the coming weeks because it exceeds the height and setback requirements of the current zoning which is RF-2. RF-2 is a pretty current zoning designation…maybe circa 7 or so years ago with much input from the manchester district in a series of neighborhood charrettes. One of the points made for RF-2 is to preserve river view sheds and street sheds from public spaces. I guess legends deck is considered private and not public in their interpretation. It’s laughable to think that view is… Read more »

John Lindner
John Lindner
4 months ago

That sky bridge looks pretty sweet! Let’s hope it’s a has a restaurant in it that’s open to the public.

DIanne L Sentner
DIanne L Sentner
4 months ago

More reason to have a grocery store chain in the area.

Frank Gomez
Frank Gomez
4 months ago

How does it work that a building like this can be built in a flood zone? How are the residents going to be insurable? OR even get mortgages?