A trend of modern-design residential infills is continuing in Richmond’s Northside, where a local developer is planning a cluster of new townhomes on the edge of the Highland Park Southern Tip enclave.
Richmond-based Dorado Capital, led by developer Harsh Thakker, is planning a dozen modern townhomes on just over an acre at 2705 Fifth Ave. in the neighborhood, also known as the Chestnut Hill/Plateau Historic District.
The for-sale homes would replace an existing building to be razed and would be divvied between two six-unit buildings bookending a central lawn with community amenities including a fire pit and tree swing. The three-bedroom, 2½-bath homes would average 1,700 square feet and be priced north of $350,000, each with a balcony and ground-floor alcove connecting to the lawn.
Called Chestnut Flats, the development would be the first of its kind locally for Thakker, who resides and grew up in the Richmond area but has been developing primarily condos in the D.C. area since graduating from Georgetown University. The 24-year-old said his local work so far has been single-family residential infills.
Thakker said he started Dorado with two partners in 2019 with a focus on the modern-design aesthetic. He said the Fifth Avenue property came to their attention via a listing from One South Commercial’s Tom Rosman and Justin Sledd. One South Realty Group’s Andrea Levine and Michelle Rosman are working with Thakker to market and sell the homes.
“We saw some good opportunity in Richmond with people moving down here and the housing inventory being low,” Thakker said. “We wanted to bring something walkable and new with an emphasis on greenspace, and that lot ended up being suited for that.
“The location is up-and-coming, but we thought it would be the right time,” Thakker said, noting modern-design homes that have been popping up and filling in parts of Northside’s largely established neighborhoods, along with renovations and flips of existing homes.
An entity tied to Dorado purchased the site in November for $300,000, city property records show. The latest city assessment valued the 1.2-acre property at $190,000.
The 17,000-square-foot building on the site was built in 1953 and formerly housed the 59-bed Crawley’s Nursing Home, according to One South’s listing, which had marketed the property as a redevelopment opportunity eligible for historic tax credits. It also noted the new development potential, with existing zoning allowing for up to 12 new residences.
Walter Parks Architects’ Nate Goodenow is designing the development, and Richmond-based Fall Line is the landscape architect. Petersburg-based The Site Design Co. is handling civil engineering and development consulting.
Thakker said a development cost is being finalized and they plan to work with a bank to finance the project. He said they expect to have a contractor lined up in about a month.
Thakker said Walter Parks introduced the central lawn concept, which he expects will appeal along with the homes to younger and first-time homebuyers.
“All around it is very quiet communities, nothing that would disrupt the peaceful environment of this kind of greenspace and the ambience of being able to take it in without too much noise,” he said. “There’s no major roadways nearby, and the site’s shape was well-suited. It already has an alley on one side, and we can add an alley on the other.”
Thakker said they’ve submitted a development plan to the city and expect to start construction in September, with the development finishing in spring 2022.