Former auto shop at edge of Church Hill slated for condos, townhomes

A rendering of the proposed residential project, as seen from East Broad. (Courtesy city documents)

After a years-long plan for a commercial project at the edge of Church Hill stalled out, Zac Frederick is shifting gears and instead looking to build a for-sale residential project in the neighborhood.

Frederick’s Crescent Development is planning a mix of condos and townhomes at the former Duke’s Auto Electric & General Repair shop at 2018 E. Broad and 304 N. 21st streets.

The existing Duke’s building, which sits in the Shockoe Valley City Old and Historic District, would be renovated into 10 condos with an option to use one as a commercial space. The project also would add eight new-construction townhomes facing 21st Street.

The Duke’s Auto Electric & General Repair building has been vacant for years. (Mike Platania photo)

Upon purchasing the half-acre assemblage in 2017 for $925,000, Frederick envisioned a commercial project for the site but nothing ever materialized.

“The plans for the property have evolved since we purchased it,” Frederick said. “Since the first user we had in mind didn’t come through, this was the next best option. We kind of pivoted and I’m really excited about this project.”

The land is currently zoned M-1 Light Industrial, so Frederick is seeking a special-use permit for the site to allow for the mix of uses. Lory Markham of Markham Planning is representing Frederick in the SUP process.

An aerial view of the project. (Courtesy city documents)

Along 21st Street, the townhomes would rise three stories and have their own garages. Frederick said the condos will use a surface parking lot. The project is being designed by 510 Architects. Frederick said a general contractor has not been selected.

He said if all goes well he’ll look to break ground in late 2021 or early 2022. Price ranges for the units have not yet been determined.

Crescent is busy elsewhere in the city and in Henrico on several collaborations with Spy Rock Real Estate. The duo are working together on the Hardywood-anchored, mixed-use project near The Diamond and Scott’s Addition as well as the 152-unit School Street Apartments that are going vertical in Northside.

They’re also in the early stages of a 580-home project on the site of the old Henrico Plaza near the intersection of East Laburnum Avenue and Mechanicsville Turnpike.

A rendering of the proposed residential project, as seen from East Broad. (Courtesy city documents)

After a years-long plan for a commercial project at the edge of Church Hill stalled out, Zac Frederick is shifting gears and instead looking to build a for-sale residential project in the neighborhood.

Frederick’s Crescent Development is planning a mix of condos and townhomes at the former Duke’s Auto Electric & General Repair shop at 2018 E. Broad and 304 N. 21st streets.

The existing Duke’s building, which sits in the Shockoe Valley City Old and Historic District, would be renovated into 10 condos with an option to use one as a commercial space. The project also would add eight new-construction townhomes facing 21st Street.

The Duke’s Auto Electric & General Repair building has been vacant for years. (Mike Platania photo)

Upon purchasing the half-acre assemblage in 2017 for $925,000, Frederick envisioned a commercial project for the site but nothing ever materialized.

“The plans for the property have evolved since we purchased it,” Frederick said. “Since the first user we had in mind didn’t come through, this was the next best option. We kind of pivoted and I’m really excited about this project.”

The land is currently zoned M-1 Light Industrial, so Frederick is seeking a special-use permit for the site to allow for the mix of uses. Lory Markham of Markham Planning is representing Frederick in the SUP process.

An aerial view of the project. (Courtesy city documents)

Along 21st Street, the townhomes would rise three stories and have their own garages. Frederick said the condos will use a surface parking lot. The project is being designed by 510 Architects. Frederick said a general contractor has not been selected.

He said if all goes well he’ll look to break ground in late 2021 or early 2022. Price ranges for the units have not yet been determined.

Crescent is busy elsewhere in the city and in Henrico on several collaborations with Spy Rock Real Estate. The duo are working together on the Hardywood-anchored, mixed-use project near The Diamond and Scott’s Addition as well as the 152-unit School Street Apartments that are going vertical in Northside.

They’re also in the early stages of a 580-home project on the site of the old Henrico Plaza near the intersection of East Laburnum Avenue and Mechanicsville Turnpike.

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Hunter Wilson
Hunter Wilson
1 year ago

Hardy wood is off Hermitage Road, far from Scott’s Addition.

Justin Fritch
Justin Fritch
1 year ago
Reply to  Hunter Wilson

Per the Richmond 300 and other city projects, the area known as “The Diamond,” of which this project resides, is now part of “Greater Scott’s Addition.”

Hunter Wilson
Hunter Wilson
1 year ago
Reply to  Justin Fritch

Yea that’s a cop out in my opinion, Hardywood is closer to Carver or Chamberlayne than Scott’s Addition. If city wants to rebrand they should refer to it as Diamond District or something similar. I think the sub-area plan calls this ‘Ownby District’ which is at least new.

But whatever – at least the article should say ‘Greater Scott’s’ rather than simply Scott’s Addition, which is a defined neighborhood.

Last edited 1 year ago by Hunter Wilson
SA Chaplin
SA Chaplin
1 year ago

That tiny “eighth condo” seems to be typical of what developers in Church Hill are doing (and the City is approving). It shoe-horns in one more unit at the expense of two desperately needed parking spaces. Otherwise, it looks like an excellent, well thought out project.

Hunter Wilson
Hunter Wilson
1 year ago
Reply to  SA Chaplin

i’d rather have whatever frontage we can get along Broad than a couple more parking spaces. It also serves to shield the alley from the street.

Peter James
Peter James
1 year ago
Reply to  Hunter Wilson

Fully agreed. I’m not thrilled that there’s less brick and mortar facing Broad (than in the previous renderings) in favor of parking spaces. Parking can still be integrated into the project without leaving an open gap on Broad Street.

Patrick Sullivan
Patrick Sullivan
1 year ago

Excited to see this project take shape. Great team working together on this project to create a respectfully modern design and more for-sale housing that we desperately need in our neighborhood. Great job Zac and 510!

Kay Christensen
Kay Christensen
1 year ago

A welcome addition to the neighborhood as the current building and parking lot has been an eyesore for decades. Hopefully the hideous billboard is removed pronto!

Sean Stilwell
Sean Stilwell
1 year ago

New life for Mad Man Dapper Dan’s!

Peter James
Peter James
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean Stilwell

Eons ago, my father loved Mad Man Dapper Dan’s. Didn’t they used to be in “midtown” on Broad Street way back when?

Sean Stilwell
Sean Stilwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter James

Yes, they were at this location in the mid-50’s and moved down broad by the 70’s. All of which was before my time.

Don O'Keefe
Don O'Keefe
1 year ago

Good news overall, but it seems a shame that this scheme still leaves surface parking (and a curb cut) exposed to broad street. I suppose it can be fixed a decade or two down the line, if need be. Cities take time.

Peter James
Peter James
1 year ago
Reply to  Don O'Keefe

100% agreed. Previous renderings had the lot configured slightly differently and that open surface parking wasn’t so exposed along Broad. What a shame.

John Lindner
John Lindner
1 year ago

Yea! Glad to see for-sale residential coming to the area! I agree with Don though, I wish the parking lot didn’t face Broad. Still a nice project.

Justin Dooley
Justin Dooley
1 year ago

Project looks nice. The area desperately needs a small hardware store. Always thought it would be a great location for one.

Tyler Malkus
Tyler Malkus
1 year ago

Maybe I’m in the minority here but I live right by this building and I’m gonna miss it after they cover it up with some bland looking townhomes. I always thought this space should become a restaurant, there’s a decently sized bit of field space next to it (where the townhomes will now be) that would have been perfect for ourdoor seating. I’ve seen a picture looking down broad street from 22nd taken 100 years ago and this building was in it, now from the same angle it will be obscured. Everyone’s saying the building is ugly and praising the… Read more »

Joshua Bilder
Joshua Bilder
1 year ago

Looks like a great project and a welcome addition to the gateway of Church Hill.