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 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.