Shelling out millions for the former Oasis Sports Park property, a Midlothian-based builder is setting the stage for hundreds more homes along a fast-developing stretch of Hull Street Road.
Main Street Homes closed last week on its purchase of the shuttered driving range and 9-hole golf course property just east of Cosby High School, where it’s planning a residential development of up to 400 townhomes and potentially a 175-bed senior living facility.
County property records show the company paid $7 million for the 47-acre site at 15230 and 15300 Cosby Road in a deal that closed April 30. The two parcels were most recently assessed by the county at about $1.62 million combined.
The seller was Oasis Sports Complex LLC, which had purchased the parcels in 1997 for $330,000. It was represented by Ellen Long with Taylor Long Properties and Phil Blythe of Realty Investments.
MSH had been under contract to purchase the property since last year, when it filed an initial rezoning request to develop the site. Oasis closed for business in 2019.
The company’s latest proposal for the site went before the county Planning Commission last month, but was deferred 30 days to allow MSH to address concerns from the community regarding traffic and project density. The request is now scheduled for the commission’s May 18 meeting.
While such land deals are typically contingent on a rezoning approval, MSH President Vernon McClure said he went forward with the purchase due to the contract stretching out over the course of the pandemic.
“We’re so confident in that area that we’re going to get it done and we’re going to build it one way or another,” McClure said, noting that county planning staff is supportive of the proposal.
Called Oasis Park, the development would add to MSH’s activity in the area, where it has been planning and developing the 68-acre Cosby Village community on the other side of the high school for well over a decade.
Retail and apartments have been taking shape there in recent years, with MSH starting construction on its Cosby Village townhomes late last year.
The company also is preparing to start construction later this year on Cosby Village Square, a commercial section set to fill nearly 20 acres along Hull east of Otterdale Road.
McClure said the townhomes at Oasis Park would be similar to Cosby Village, with two-, three- and four-story units ranging in size from about 2,000 square feet and in price from $300,000 to $400,000.
While the rezoning would allow up to 400 townhomes, with building heights up to four stories, McClure said he’s planning for 340 primarily shorter units if the senior living facility is built. If it isn’t, he said the townhome tally could total 400.
“We’re trying to leave it open, because Cosby Village, we got that zoned in like 2005 and it’s taken until 2020 to get the townhomes going,” he said. “Things change over years, so we want to be able to meet the needs out here.”
Noting the area’s demographics are trending older, with residents transitioning to smaller homes with maintenance-free living, McClure added, “We’re trying to meet that need, and the age-restricted gives us that.”
In either scenario, half of the Oasis Park townhomes would be restricted to residents 55 and older, while the other half would not be age-restricted and would be built in phases, with only 50 of those units buildable per year over the course of development.
Units would include front- or rear-loading garages, and community amenities planned include a pool and clubhouse, pocket parks, trails, a dog park and pickleball courts, and green spaces between buildings. A quarter of the site would be kept as open space, with an existing pond and trees retained, McClure said.
If built, the senior living facility, which would include independent and assisted living, would be located on the site’s south side along Cosby Road.
The development also would include sidewalks and landscaped areas, and MSH will add a roundabout at the intersection of Fox Club Parkway and the school’s south access, along with what McClure described as several million dollars’ worth of area road improvements.
Overall, McClure put the cost of the development at $160 million. Pending zoning approval, he said construction wouldn’t start until 2023, with buildout expected to take several years.
MSH is working with HG Design Studio on its site plan and landscape design. Andy Condlin, a local attorney with Roth Jackson Gibbons Condlin, is representing MSH in its rezoning request.
‘We need those housing options’
At Cosby Village Square, McClure said he expects to deliver the project’s first commercial pad sites next summer. He said they have two tenants signed up to take some of the space and are fielding interest from several national names, with plans to also include local restaurants and businesses.
As for Cosby Village, McClure said they’ve already sold 40 townhomes in the first section, which is planned for just over 100. Six initial buildings are under construction, and the first model is scheduled to open this month.
Overall, Cosby Village is zoned for up to 775 multifamily units, 305 of those making up the apartments from Alabama-based Liv Development, called Livingston Apartment Flats. Beside that is a Publix-anchored shopping center, which was developed by North Carolina-based Harris Development Partners.
McClure, who said he shops at the grocery store regularly, described the developments as a realization of more than a decade’s worth of planning and increasing market demand in his company’s backyard.
“This is our home area, I live in the area, and for years and years I’ve talked to people and we’ve wanted restaurants and different options, and we’d like our young people to stick around and not move to the city or somewhere else,” McClure said. “We need those housing options for them.”
“And people who have big houses in Woodlake and Hampton Park and Foxcroft, they don’t need that space if it’s one or two people. They’re fine with 2,000-square-foot, not 5,000, so we need these different house types and price points,” he said. “We’re building it because there’s that demand out there.”
Founded in 1996, MSH branched out from single-family houses to include townhomes in recent years, with Winterfield Park its first townhome development. Adding to its workload, it’s also signed on to build townhomes across the river in Henrico, as part of Rebkee Co.’s latest proposal for a site on John Rolfe Parkway.