Scott’s Addition may have grabbed more attention in recent years when it came to real estate development, but Manchester stole the show in 2020.
The Southside neighborhood saw more development action and investment this year than just about any other area of the region.
Here’s a run-down of what you missed and what’s to come:
Thousands of new apartments in the works
The year opened with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe announcing that it’s considering a $350 million casino and resort on the outskirts of Manchester. There’s still a lot of municipal red tape to get through before such a vision could come to life, but that hasn’t stopped the tribe from assembling land in the area, including a $4 million deal for 12 acres on Gordon Avenue.
Another major project that came to light in 2020 was the planned redevelopment of the Southern States silos site. Hourigan Development is looking to raze the vacant, riverfront silos to make way for a new building that could reach 16 stories and total nearly 600,000 square feet.
Right near the Manchester Bridge, Brent Graves is working on a mixed-use project at 201 W. Commerce Road that’s likely to reach over a dozen stories high and would add 250 apartments. Below all those apartments would be a 25,000-square-foot commercial space that’s already caught the eye of a grocery tenant.
Veteran Manchester developers stayed busy as well. Tom Papa filed plans for The Box, a 118-apartment mixed-use building on Decatur Street, while Robin Miller and Dan Gecker got to work on a 75-unit project near the intersection of Porter Street and Commerce Road.
The neighborhood also caught the eye of some new-to-market developers. South Carolina-based The Beach Co. filed plans for a 6-story mixed-use building that would add 230 apartments on a piece of Semmes Avenue near Legend Brewing.
Maryland-based Haris Design & Construction Co. has two projects in the works for Hull Street. Haris bought the former Lighthouse Diner at auction from embattled businessman Michael Hild and is working on building 24 apartments above ground-floor retail space on the site. A block away, Haris is planning to replace a garage and vacant site at 1114 Hull St. with 85 apartments.
Work also kicked into high gear on The Current, a project from Lynx Ventures that’s adding hundreds of apartments along with office and retail space across two buildings on Hull Street. This fall, the development inked a big restaurant tenant in Hatch Local, a planned food hall.
Real estate in Manchester continued to fetch a premium in 2020, with multiple deals eclipsing eight figures.
One of the bigger deals came at the start of the year when Green Leaf Medical of Virginia’s new cannabis processing facility sold to a West Coast REIT for nearly $12 million. The facility opened just weeks ago.
The Perry Place apartments were one of Manchester’s earlier apartment rehab projects in 2009, and in November they sold to a D.C.-buyer for $11.4 million.
A new high price was set for Manchester on a per-acre basis when two acres at 301 W. Sixth St. sold for nearly $9 million. The site will eventually house River’s Edge II, a twin 11-story tower, 344-unit project from local developers Mark Purcell, Guy Blundon, Keith Woodard and Ludwig Kuttner.
Blundon, Purcell and Woodard also spent $4.1 million for a similarly-sized parcel on Cowardin Avenue near the Lee Bridge. Plans for that site have not been filed.