Just months after Innsbrook’s largest property owner announced plans for a massive development at the office park’s northern end, another major landlord is setting the stage for a series of infill projects that would add nearly 1,400 apartments in coming years.
Lingerfelt Development, a subsidiary of Innsbrook-based real estate firm Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners, is looking to add hundreds of apartments and structured parking beside five office buildings it owns across the park.
The new structures would fill existing parking lots on those sites, which are scattered along the length of Cox Road in the park and total nearly 30 acres.
Each of the projects would involve five-story apartment buildings, while a 10-story option is being considered for the site of Lingerfelt’s headquarters at 4198 Cox Road, where it shares a building with property management arm Commonwealth Commercial.
The other properties include the Innsbrook Commons building at 4121 Cox Road, directly across from Lingerfelt’s HQ; the lakefront Rowe Plaza building at 4510 Cox; Liberty Plaza I at 4801 Cox; and 4880 Cox, another lakefront building on the north side of Nuckols Road.
The latter two sites are across the park’s northern lake from where Highwoods Properties is planning a 34-acre mixed-use development that’s envisioned for a mix of retail, office and multifamily residential development, as well as a potential hotel.
With that plan in the works, and with other infill developments in the pipeline or underway across the park – including the nearly finished Innslake Place apartments next door to Lingerfelt’s office – President Ryan Lingerfelt said the company determined the time was right to move forward with its plans.
“We wanted to see proof of concept, and WVS showed that,” Lingerfelt said, referring to developers WVS Cos. and WAM Associates LLC’s lease-up of the 220-unit Innslake Place.
“They leased up an apartment building in a pandemic and exceeded their expectations,” he said. “The market is ready for it.”
Hundreds of units per site
Lingerfelt in recent weeks filed plans with Henrico County seeking rezoning for the properties under its Urban Mixed-Use district, which has been infiltrating the office park since the county started allowing it on smaller parcels through the creation of its Innsbrook Redevelopment Overlay District.
Plans call for hundreds of apartments at each of the five sites, with the mostly five-level parking decks replacing the number of surface parking spaces that would be lost for the buildings. Plans also show a pool amenity for each site.
At Lingerfelt’s HQ site at 4198 Cox, the company is considering a 10-story tower or two five-story buildings. In either scenario the site would total 250 apartments, with 110 of those units two-bedroom floorplans and the rest one-bedrooms.
A three-level garage would provide 306 parking spaces, adding to 102 surface spaces that would be retained with the 10-story option. In addition to a pool, plans also show a clubhouse on the site. Lingerfelt would remain headquartered in its existing building.
Across the street at 4121 Cox, plans call for two five-story buildings that would flank the existing office building and connect with a central parking deck. The buildings would total 320 apartments, with 105 two-bedroom floorplans and the rest one-bedroom. The five-level parking deck would provide 465 spaces.
At 4510 Cox, where mortgage lender CapCenter is headquartered, plans show three five-story buildings that would wrap around a pool and five-level parking deck with 450 spaces. The apartment buildings would total 310 units, 75 of those two-bedroom.
North of Nuckols Road, 4801 Cox would involve a five-story building with 295 units and a five-level garage with 500 parking spaces. Seventy-five of the units would be two-bedroom floorplans, with the rest one-bedroom.
And just north and across the street, 4880 Cox would see a five-story building with 200 units and a five-floor garage with 500 spaces. Forty of those units would be two-bedroom apartments.
Virginia Beach-based Saunders + Crouse Architects is designing the apartments for Lingerfelt, which is working with local attorney Andy Condlin of Roth Jackson Gibbons Condlin in its rezoning applications. The Henrico Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the requests at its July 15 meeting.
‘There’s demand for it’
Second only to Highwoods in land ownership in Innsbrook with 11 of the park’s buildings in its portfolio, Lingerfelt selected the five sites for their proximity to the park’s lakes or, in the case of the southern-end sites, the nearby Innsbrook Shoppes fronting Broad Street.
Brian Witthoefft, the company’s managing director of leasing and marketing who’s heading up the effort, said the sites and Innsbrook at-large can accommodate the additional density. He contrasted Innsbrook with the ballooning Scott’s Addition neighborhood in Richmond.
Where he said Scott’s Addition has several thousand apartments in the pipeline, in an area about a quarter of the size of Innsbrook, Witthoefft said the office park’s size and infrastructure lend an appealing alternative to the urban mixed-use concept.
“We won’t have the industrial feel, but we have five lakes, seven to eight miles of walking trails. You can’t replicate that right now,” he said.
Between other projects approved or proposed, Witthoefft said about 1,000 apartments are currently in play for Innsbrook, not counting the 1,375 in Lingerfelt’s proposals. He said that total remains well below what’s recommended for Innsbrook in the county’s comprehensive plan, which he said calls for as many as 8,000 apartments.
Lingerfelt stressed that their projects, if approved by the county, would be built incrementally over a span of five to seven years, starting with the HQ site as early as next summer. The order of development would likely go south to north, he said.
“Developers, we’re economic animals. We want to build,” Lingerfelt said. “But we’re going to be smart about it. It’s going to be market-driven.
Witthoefft added that the infills are being designed to complement the existing office buildings and would not alter those structures or affect existing tenants.
“We’re cognizant of not affecting the quality of life of the existing buildings. That just won’t be compromised,” Witthoefft said. “This is progress and development not to the detriment of the existing companies but to the benefit of them.”
$250 million investment
Lingerfelt said the company would retain ownership of the properties post-development. He said they’re budgeting at a cost of about $200,000 per unit, with a total development estimate of more than $250 million.
The plans remain in a conceptual stage, with the requested zoning their initial priority. Lingerfelt said they’re not planning for the projects to include any office, retail or for-sale homes, though he said that could change. He said an approach could be to design some of the apartments to be converted to condos over time.
He also said it’s too early to know what the apartments would rent for, including whether any would be below market rate or targeted to lower-income renters.
Witthoefft said the company started planning the projects over a year ago, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While not a response to it, the apartments are being shaped with designs that include home office setups and other pandemic-era concepts, he said.
Lingerfelt said his company would remain in its current digs, reflecting its long-term investment in Innsbrook.
Lingerfelt’s plans add to other residential development in the works for Innsbrook.
Beyond Innslake Place, other projects include Robinson Development Group’s plans for up to 700 apartments and nearly 28,000 square feet of commercial and amenity space on a 13-acre tract at 4359 Sadler Road.
Dominion Realty Partners is looking to develop a mix of apartments and for-sale townhomes totaling 360 units on about a dozen acres at 5000 Dominion Blvd., beside Dominion Energy’s Innsbrook operations center. And Edwards Communities Development Co. plans to construct 252 apartments on a 3.3-acre tract at 10945 Nuckols Road.