The cohousing trend is popping up again in Richmond, this time on North Arthur Ashe Boulevard.
D.C.-based Outlier Realty Capital is planning a six-story cohousing project at 1101 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. The site is adjacent to the Starbucks and Growlers To Go building, and formerly was home to McCauley’s Paint & Body shop.
Plans call for a 64,400-square-foot structure with 29 apartments totaling 148 bedrooms with shared kitchen and living areas. It would include 1,500 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor along with 30 parking spaces.
Outlier is seeking a special-use permit for the project. The city’s Planning Commission is set to hear the matter at its July 20 meeting.
Cohousing buildings typically are laid out so residents have their own personal bedroom and bathroom, but share dining and living areas with a handful of other tenants, similar to a college dorm suite. Many cohousing units have an ownership model akin to a condo complex, and the residents pay an association fee for upkeep of the rest of the building.
The trend has gained steam in bigger markets nationally and arrived in Richmond about two years ago with a condo-based approach by local developer Robin Miller in Manchester. That complex began moving in residents last month.
Outlier is listed on the application as its “contract purchaser” for the 0.3-acre site on Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Warwick Park LLC owns the property. It most recently was assessed by the city at $817,000.
The land’s zoning, TOD-1, allows for mixed-use projects up to 12 stories, but Outlier is seeking a special-use permit because the cohousing units “do not meet the traditional definition of dwelling units in the City of Richmond’s Zoning Ordinance,” per its application.
The project would be Outlier’s first in the Richmond region. The firm has 21 multifamily properties in its portfolio, most of which are cohousing projects in the D.C. and Maryland area.
Outlier founder Peter Stuart was not available for comment by press time. It’s unclear what the rent rates would be at Outlier’s project. The special-use permit application states that the units’ rent periods would be at least 30 days.
Walter Parks Architects is listed as the architect, and Lory Markham of Markham Planning is representing Outlier in the application process.
The project would be adjacent to The Scout, a new mixed-use project by Spy Rock Real Estate at 947 Myers St. Richmond 300, the city’s recently released draft master plan for the city, envisions Arthur Ashe Boulevard as more accommodating of pedestrians and other modes of transit.
Another residential project is in the works around the corner from the Outlier site. In the spring, Bank Street Advisors filed plans for Soda Flats, a 73-unit apartment project adjacent to the Hofheimer Building.