One of the larger developments proposed in Short Pump in recent years has received the blessing of Henrico supervisors, securing the biggest project to date for a local builder that’s keeping busy on both sides of the Henrico-Goochland line.
Supervisors last week approved a rezoning and provisional-use permit for Avenlea, a 1,600-home development with a mixed-use commercial component planned by Henrico-based Markel | Eagle Partners.
The mix of residential neighborhoods with a mixed-use district comparable to Markel | Eagle’s nearby GreenGate development will fill about three-fourths of a 183-acre site along the north side of Interstate 64 between Gayton Road and the county line. The assemblage is on some of the last remaining buildable land left in Short Pump.
The project will also include a corporate campus in the vicinity of an anticipated Gayton-64 interchange.
While the acreage makes it one of the area’s larger developments, its approved residential density of about eight homes per acre makes it a lower-density project than some of its neighbors, Three Chopt Supervisor Thomas Branin said at the meeting.
“This concept was brought to the county two years ago, and it is a lot different than a lot of the things that we have seen,” Branin said. “The density, when you put in perspective what we already have in our county, this is actually a lot less dense than what we already have in many areas.”
Avenlea’s residential neighborhoods would consist of houses, townhomes, condos and apartments, and would fill the bulk of the property. The southeast end at Gayton and 64 would form the commercial district, which will total at least 150,000 square feet of space.
A network of sidewalks and trails would connect the community, which also would have connections with an adjacent county-owned tract that Henrico is planning for a future high school. Highlighting the project would be a paseo, a street-like greenway that would run the length of the site and feature additional amenities.
Proffered commitments include working with the county to provide land for the interchange, pending approval by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Branin said the interchange itself had no bearing on whether the project should be approved.
“When we get an approved interchange with VDOT, then we will have community meetings and reviews and all of that. But that does not pertain to this case, other than them proffering that whatever land is needed, they’ll provide,” Branin said.
Hirschler attorney Jim Theobald represented Markel | Eagle in the case, and Townes Site Engineering is the civil engineer on the project.
Avenlea is expected to take over 10 years to develop, with initial construction not expected until 2025, said Ricky Core, president of Markel | Eagle.
“Between the planning and some of the infrastructure construction, I wouldn’t see us beginning anything vertical before that timeframe,” Core said this week, noting the extensive site work and infrastructure required, including a tree planting program that the company is preparing. “We’re very excited about receiving our rezoning and ready to get started on the next step of the planning.”
Core said next steps would include development plan reviews and lining up users for the commercial and multifamily portions. He said the timeline and overall cost of the development would be dictated by the market over the course of the project.
“We’ll take the next six to nine months to continue to refine our plan. We’ve got a lot of planning over almost 200 acres to think about, from traffic circulation, utility design, stormwater management, so there’s plenty of activities to keep us busy on the planning side,” he said.
More homes planned in Goochland
Meanwhile, Markel | Eagle is ramping up its activity nearby in Goochland.
The company is seeking zoning approval for 101 age-restricted homes on 85 acres along Pouncey Tract Road south of its Parkside Village development and just north of Avenlea across the county line.
Core said the new subdivision would be a separate community from Parkside Village, which likewise is restricted to homeowners 55 and up. The rezoning request is scheduled to go before the Goochland County Planning Commission this Thursday.
Markel | Eagle also is seeking approval for 122 homes on 49 acres at the southern end of Whippoorwill Road, on land adjacent to its 308-home Readers Branch subdivision off Hockett Road. A rezoning request for the additional homes, which Core said would be a new section of Readers Branch, was slated to go before Goochland supervisors at their meeting Tuesday night.
Nearby, on the other side of Hockett farther south at Songbird Lane, Midlothian-based Main Street Homes is developing a 65-lot subdivision on a 65-acre site that would include 21 acres of open space. Zoning for the project was approved in October, and a subdivision plat for the homes is set to go before the Planning Commission at its Thursday meeting.
Apartments also approved
Also at last week’s Henrico meeting, supervisors approved Edward Rose & Sons’ plan for 325 apartments across the interstate from Avenlea, on 10 acres between Gayton and West Broad Marketplace.
Shown in plans as “Three Notch Flats,” the complex would consist of four-story buildings with central courtyards including a pool, and include at least 478 parking spaces. The complex would line Gayton and have an additional access via a driveway off Broad Street.
Ohio-based Reztark Design Studio is the architect on the project, and Hirschler’s Jeff Geiger worked that case for Edward Rose.
This may or may not be well done for a development of its kind, and I don’t ascribe bad intentions. But we need to stop doing green field development on the periphery and instead make better use of the space we have. There is no technical barrier to this, we just need political will, creative design, and regulatory reform. Seems every few mornings I awake to an article in bizsense about more rural and wilderness land being obliterated… in the middle of the climate crisis. There is so much intelligence in the bizsense readership. I’m sure this business ingenuity could… Read more »
The only crisis we have is with people believing we have a climate crisis; utilizing that false Theory as the nucleus of every decision they make I was alive in the ’70s when they were telling us we were headed for a global ice age, only to be changed to “global warming” when that didn’t pan out, only to be transitioned to “climate change” to cover all bases of this fraud. We have 180 years of documented climate on a planet that’s billions of years old. To be so arrogant as to believe we know the warming and cooling cycles… Read more »
Yeah, and you’ll be way dead and in your grave by then (if there’s any burial ground left), so what the heck. The best news in this article is that Henrico County has FINALLY run out of “buildable land” in the Short Pump area.
How is this, even in your head, “Good News”?
Do you think that buildable land respects County borders or something?
Development is going crazy WAY outside of Henrico…
It’s really not that hard to look up the annual global temperatures for the past 30 years. The global is warming, and causing a shift in the climate. When the oceans heat up it alters the climate. Your willful ignorance is astounding.
“THE CLIMATE CRISIS!!” I remember when this chicken little term was coined — I think it was that dumb congresswoman in NYC… How about you do some green development instead of trying to control what others are doing and blocking natural gas pipelines or whatever. Short Pump, like it or not, IS high density development at this point — just not where the Urbanists and the people who want to crowd us all onto buses and bad union-run schools want us to be able to live. People’s preferences, and this has been made clearer than ever in the past two… Read more »
Looking at topography, it appears that this land is already pseudo-developed and not virgin forest. To be glass half-full, I would prefer this instead of tearing up the rural east end with larger lots.
SOMEBODY has actually looked at some of the facts! Brava!
And not one affordable home for anyone making less than six figures a year.
Henrico county, the bastion of leftism and virtue signaling continuously gentrifying and moving out lower income populations, supplanted by wealthier elitists who live in stacked homes with no yards
Well, that is an exaggeration.
I have met people who live there who are DEFINITELY not rich — many are established immigrants who want better public schools than what are offered closer to Richmond. What you say about the living quarters is at least true — while the neighborhoods are neat and safe, etc, the apartments are VERY basic inside, and there is not a lot of greenspace adjacent.
But, this development looks like it will be different.
Unfortunately, Henrico is hardly the worst place for Virtue Signaling and trying to control others around here….
Your comment would’ve been perfectly fine if you left out your obvious Republican bias. Western Henrico is not a bastion of leftism or wokeness or virtue signaling or any of the other nonsense that your brain has been washed with through 30 years of listening to Fox News. This is just greedy county officials who never saw development plan with tax revenues they didn’t like. It isn’t left or right, it’s just bullshit. Please keep your political comments to yourself.
I’m not sure the county officals are “greedy” — what is wrong with you? There are a few things that I don’t like about Short Pump, but is has been CRAZY successful. — Sure, they may approve a lot that comes over their desks but LOOK at what they are getting — it is hard to not revert to “you are just jealous. I live in Petersburg so I have no dog in this fight, other than wanting to stick up for the truth and kinda wishing some of that development wanted to be HERE — we get excited when… Read more »
The County supervisors won’t be happy until every last bit of land is gobbled up and a subdivision is put on top of it. So much for not becoming Northern Virginia…..
There are worse things than becoming Northern Virginia — it would be nice if the area around the Airport became a bit more like that place — it all depends on WHERE in NOVA you are talking about — some parts are VERY nice, but of course expensive — then, there is Springfield/Lorton/Woodbridge (I lived in Woodbridge for its prices for a while before finding relative happiness in mediocre Falls Church) — which often resemble what eastern Henrico ALREADY IS…. Hey, Short Pump ALREADY has the TRAFFIC — and has the Trader Joes too small parking lot. What IS it… Read more »
This looks nice. Certainly “nicer.” The thing I ALMOST agree with the Urbanist busybodies and zero-sum Richmond-biased people about what a lot of the early mixed-use development of Short Pump about how it was, often, “Almost nice” and “Almost cool.” — But I at least understand that nice costs a lot more money and “cool” can cost a lot more than nice. So, apartments are actually smaller and more basic than they look from the outside, building materials look nice-ish, but are often cheaply done (non-structural brick facades, etc) But people LIKE it enough for the demand to be super-strong… Read more »
Speaking of busibodies deludedly trying to stop development in the suburbs, there is an ad right next to where I am typing (I don’t know about y’all” for The Ranches “Vacation Indefinitely in the Mountains” Near Winter Park, CO (I’ve been out as far as Wintergreen and Winter Park is even further out —- talk about building in the Middle of Nowhere — Colorado is becoming a center for this — and the number of people moving there from places like Philly is crazy to witness!) Now, developing THAT far outside of Denver makes developing dense suburbs around Short Pump… Read more »
Someone already made the comparison to Northern Virginia but for crying out loud. The density and the traffic between Innsbrook and short pump mall and now further out is absurd. In their infinite wisdom, our tax revenue grabbing board of supervisors approved Broad Street village years ago. What a disaster. How much vacant rertail space is in that development? I’ve seen these developments in other cities and they have fantastic local restaurants (not chains), local and high end retailers, and they are really nice. West Broad Village has South “University”, a couple of chain restaurants and the rest is empty… Read more »
Wellllll….. I certainly understand your not liking traffic, and as someone who once lived in Falls Church, I suggest you consider moving if you are so unhappy. Fairfax, whatever else it is, has been hugely successful and if one owned a part of it 30 years ago and kept it that person would be pretty happy now. Let’s take the specific target of your ire — West Broad Village Frankly, I think you must be nuts — isn’t that the high density mixed use development with the Whole Foods? If so, that has got to be one of the most… Read more »
I just gotta say, I am AMAZED at how many people get mad about rather densely proposed residential construction when it is out in a suburban node —- it seems there are MANY people for whom almost NOTHING will make them happy other than a few former Eastern Block cities I have seen..
I mean, heck — LOOK at their proposal — with all the people they are quoting in their marketing like Muir and Thoreau and whatnot it is like they want to build a rather high-density Eco-village for Community-Minded Buddhists and the urbanists STILL raise their torches and pickforks….
SOMEbody needs to hold up a mirror…
More cookie cutter homes on tiny lots destroying the last piece of green space in Western Henrico. Best thing I can think of is atleast you can toss toilet paper to your neighbor through the window when they run out.