Updated: Developers plan ‘Leigh Addition’ project on Arthur Ashe Blvd.

Early renderings show a roughly seven-story building with 100,000 square feet of space rising along the eastern side of North Arthur Ashe Boulevard. (Images courtesy of Thalhimer)

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new information received after publication. 

More details have emerged about a sizable mixed-use project in the works on North Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

Washington, D.C.-based Level 2 Development and SJG Properties are the developers eyeing the 3.3-acre assemblage at 1117-1209 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. for an $80 million mixed-use project. The site is currently home to tenants including Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue, furniture rental company Cort and video production studio Tilt Creative.

Richmond BizSense previously reported the property was under contract to be sold, but the identity of the buyer wasn’t known at the time.

Level 2 confirmed their plans for the project Monday morning, announcing that they’re planning 300 apartment units and 14,000 square feet of retail space at the development, which is referred to as “Leigh Addition.”

A mixed-use project is planned for the site.

Renderings included in marketing materials from Thalhimer, which will handle leasing of the commercial space, show that the buildings at 1117, 1119 and 1203 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., including Buz and Ned’s restaurant space, would be razed to make way for an approximately seven-story, 100,000-square-foot mixed-use building.

The developers are planning to break ground in August 2022 and a two-year construction period would follow.

Local investor and landlord Ed Lacy is the seller and has owned the bulk of the land for decades.

The 17-year-old Level 2 has built over 1,500 apartments mostly in the D.C. area.

Its portfolio includes both historic renovation and new construction projects, the latter of which typically have between 150 and 400 units.

SJG has been developing residential and commercial buildings in the D.C. area since 1965. Its portfolio now includes over 800,000 square feet of mixed-use buildings.

Level 2’s announcement confirmed that Cort and Tilt’s building at 1207 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. will remain. A 13,000-square-foot industrial building to the north at 1209 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. would remain available for lease as flex or creative office space.

The 3.3-acre assemblage is on the east side of Arthur Ashe Boulevard. (BizSense file)

About 24,000 square feet of the new building would be ground-floor retail space, split between three spaces. Thalhimer’s Connie Jordan Nielsen has the listing.

With an assessed value of about $9 million, the pending sale is likely to be among the highest-priced land deals in the Scott’s Addition area in recent years.

Level 2 is the latest D.C.-area developer to take an interest in the neighborhood.

Lerner Enterprises, the development arm of the Lerner family that who also owns the Washington Nationals baseball team, is working on a 350-unit building at 2924 W. Marshall St. Local developer Capital Square is working with Lerner on that project.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
17 days ago

The Arthur Ashe Blvd has become a hot address just before the City releases its 60 acres in a RFP for bulk redevelopment. It gives one an idea how much land there is valued by outside developers. More is set to be announced soon along properties served by the Pulse line. Thousands of residences, for rent and sale, are in our future. Another article further down is very important, from the Henrico Citizen, as Henrico is investing as a county into affordable housing for those who earning 30-50% of the Area Mean Income (AMI), including many units for those with… Read more »

SA Chaplin
SA Chaplin
17 days ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Excellent points, Bruce. The “Courts” (Creighton, Fairfield, Whitcomb, etc.), which are all in the east end of Richmond, are a prime example of government failure in helping to eliminate poverty/assist the poor in obtaining housing. Here is an alternative idea: keep the government out of the housing business and let the free market provide affordable housing (just as it provides affordable phones, food, clothing, etc.). Zoning rules do get in the way, however.

Justin Ranson
Justin Ranson
17 days ago
Reply to  SA Chaplin

Real estate is not the same as a phone, and the free market won’t build affordable housing when it can make double to quadruple the amount on the same speck of land. This is one of those situations where intervention is necessary. If the free market would do this, they’d have done it already, and there wouldn’t be a shortage.

If you want to start a conversation on who housing isn’t affordable in many areas (hint – it’s wages), we can do that, but this probably isn’t the place for it.

Last edited 17 days ago by Justin Ranson
Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
17 days ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

City RFP (rumors from City staff only at Council meetings) is that they will be putting out 10-15 acres. And that is the baseball stadium site. IE the stadium development for the Squirrel future location and parking. Very strange but that is above someone’s like my paygrade.

Last edited 17 days ago by Michael Dodson
charles Frankenhoff
charles Frankenhoff
17 days ago

This is an exciting project. Considering it’s a gateway to the city I just hope the architecture is good

Sean Stilwell
Sean Stilwell
17 days ago

Level 2 is a pretty decent developer in DC. The Harper on 14th St is one of my favorite infills of that size, it looks great on that block. I’m hoping they don’t get too constrained by a Richmond budget, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
17 days ago

Glad to see CORT building is staying. And the flex use over 1209 is good news. Assuming that they are going to have parking somewhere in the building. It will be interesting to see how many final units go into the new building.

Last edited 17 days ago by Michael Dodson
Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
13 days ago
Reply to  Michael Dodson

I too am happy the Cort building will stay. The architecture is very cool. I was sad to see it become a furniture store and not a fabulous restaurant. Maybe someday?

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
17 days ago

They should make this new building 10 or 12 stories to deal with the hot demand for new apartments in this area. What is really is nice about this project is it is building a new building over a decaying parking lot of old one story buildings.

I suspect those other one story buildings might soon be replaced by future tall buildings.

Peter James
Peter James
16 days ago

Here’s hoping (those other one-story buildings will be replaced by tall buildings). What’s the zoning for this block? Does it have TOD-1 designation?

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
17 days ago

Bruce Milam is spot on regarding his comments about “affordable housing,” in the metro area.