Plan for 210 townhomes would add rooftops to Westchester Commons

Most of the four-level townhomes would include rooftop patios. (Courtesy of Poole & Poole Architecture)

Continuing the residential infill of Westchester Commons, an area homebuilder is looking to add hundreds of townhomes to the shopping center that’s transitioning to a mixed-use hub.

Lakeside-based StyleCraft Homes is seeking approval from Chesterfield County to build 210 townhomes on multiple pad sites within the nearly 800-acre commercial development at Midlothian Turnpike and Route 288.

The four-story townhomes would fill the vacant sites around the center’s Panera Bread, Bank of America, Gold’s Gym and Plaza Azteca locations. The sites total just over 13 acres.

Called Westchester Towns, the townhomes would continue the residential infill that started in recent years with The Vue at Westchester Commons, a 236-unit apartment complex overlooking 288 that was developed by George Emerson and Phil Roper. Emerson had previously collaborated with Casey Sowers on the project.

Where the apartments brought rental units into the mix, the townhomes would add a for-sale housing product to Westchester Commons, which opened in 2009 as a cinema-anchored commercial center.

The 786-acre site was zoned in 2006 with the goal of developing a “mixed-use lifestyle center” under the county’s Conditional Use Planned Development designation. StyleCraft is requesting an amendment to that zoning that would allow nearly double the amount of residential density and increase building height limits from 40 to 45 feet, among other revisions.

The proposed townhomes would fill existing pad sites around the center’s Panera Bread, Gold’s Gym, Bank of America and Plaza Azteca locations. (Courtesy of Chesterfield County)

The Chesterfield County Planning Commission supported the proposal at its latest meeting. The request requires final approval from the Board of Supervisors, which is slated to take it up at an upcoming meeting.

The majority of the townhomes would front existing streets with access from rear-loaded garages. Most of the units would include rooftop patios, and building elevations would vary in appearance.

The development would include pocket parks, pedestrian plazas and open space, and sidewalks would connect to the shopping center.

Poole & Poole Architects is the designing the townhomes. The Midlothian-based firm also designed the Vue apartments, which are nearly fully leased, according to its website.

Plans filed with the county do not specify sizes or price ranges for the townhomes. A call to StyleCraft President Richard Kuhn was not returned Wednesday.

The parcels are owned by Zaremba Metropolitan Midlothian LLC, an entity tied to Ohio-based Zaremba Group, which developed Westchester Commons. The center is now owned by CalSTRS, short for California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which co-owned Westchester Commons with Zaremba until 2014, when it bought out Zaremba’s stake in the joint venture.

Westchester Towns would add to other townhomes on StyleCraft’s plate across the region. It’s currently building detached and attached homes in HHHunt’s Mosaic at West Creek, a 200-acre development along 288 in Goochland.

It’s also signed on to build townhomes at two developments in the works from Spy Rock Real Estate and Crescent Development: the “Hardywood village” envisioned around the brewery’s Richmond taproom, and a planned redevelopment of the Henrico Plaza Shopping Center site.

Meanwhile, Westchester Commons recently added X-Golf, an indoor golf simulator, restaurant and bar concept. It’s in a space next to Rusty Taco, which opened at the center in 2019.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
6 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
2 months ago

I am so encouraged about the work being done by Chesterfield County and HBAR in creating these mixed use communities throughout the County. My congratulations goes out to the staff and elected officials of the County as well as to the HBAR Legislative Committee. Henrico County has also seen the “light” with the in-fill of office parks and aging regional malls. We are seeing the suburban mold shattered with viable walking communities.

Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips
2 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Well, it’s a start. Westchester is still mostly unwalkable, with acre upon acre of asphalt. It’s pretty much 1960s strip malls with 1990s frosting.

Connor Matthew
Connor Matthew
2 months ago

Can they do something to fix that awful roundabout at the front of Westchester Commons? I am all for roundabouts. But that roundabout is so poorly designed.

Matt Faris
Matt Faris
2 months ago
Reply to  Connor Matthew

Connor, it’ a two lane roundabout. Many drivers get confused, especially at first, but it’s a standard layout. What would you change?

Connor Matthew
Connor Matthew
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt Faris

Definitely not a standard layout. Have you ever been through it? Most people coming from the south turning right use the third lane (the right lane). This then immediately turns right into a fast food parking lot. Most people use that third lane to turn and then immediately merge left.
It also immediately turns into a three-way stop intersection. Of all the roundabouts I have been through across the world, this is by far the worst.

Matt Faris
Matt Faris
2 months ago
Reply to  Connor Matthew

I was there this morning. The issues you identify are more about what is allowed adjacent to the roundabout, not the roundabout itself. That’s more about control of the immediate vicinity. Like the new one on Otterdale with a driveway accessing it (yikes).

Thanks for clarifying. I think they’re generally better, but sure, some will be less than perfect. Most all are better than the alternative. Safe travels!