A house-turned-office on Grove Avenue across from Mary Munford Elementary School is about to give way to seven modern-style townhomes.
Construction is slated to start this summer on the infill development led by Chip Tompkins and Trib Sutton, who secured approval from the city earlier this year to replace the 1950s-era house at 4508 Grove Ave. with seven three-level townhomes.
Four of the 2,100-square-foot units will front Grove, while the other three will be oriented toward a rear alley.
Tompkins, who had used the house as his office before selling his Virginia Lighting Associates business a couple years back, said the redevelopment option became obvious to him when the business’s new owners moved out last year.
“It kind of stared me in the face for eight years,” Tompkins said. “I came to this office that was surrounded by residential, and on that block, multifamily residential. It really was such an obvious choice.”
Tompkins, who’d owned the property since 2014 and rented the office out to the business’s new owners, said he ran the idea by Sutton, an acquaintance and an executive at Divaris Real Estate. He said Sutton liked the idea so much he signed on to the project.
Tompkins sold the property to an LLC registered to Sutton in November. The quarter-acre property sold for $420,000 and was assessed by the city at $350,000, records show. Tompkins’ LLC had purchased it for $245,000 in 2014.
The pair worked with Keith Stanley of engineering firm Sekiv Solutions, and with Will Payne of 510 Architects, to come up with the plans and designs for the project. UrbanCore Construction is signed on as the contractor.
Tompkins said a cost estimate for the project “is still a moving target,” and he declined to disclose prices for the units, which will be listed by Mahood Fonville and John Martin of Shaheen, Ruth, Martin & Fonville Real Estate.
“We want to bring a quality, custom type of product to the market, and price it accordingly for that neighborhood and the product that we plan to deliver,” Tompkins said.
“We’re sensitive to the architecture and the area, but we’re not bound to it,” he said. “We’re just trying to be as thoughtful in the design as we can in respecting the existing neighborhood, but bringing a product ultimately that we hope will elevate the overall area.”
Each unit will have two bedrooms and 2½ bathrooms. Top-floor living areas will open out to terraces overlooking the street or alley, and bedrooms will make up the second floor.
The ground floor will be a flex space that could be used as an office or additional bedroom, and each unit will have a single-car garage and a 350-pound-capacity dumbwaiter for lifting groceries and other items to the upper floors.
Tompkins said the neighborhood has been receptive to the project overall.
“Given the makeup of the block itself and the thought that we’ve put behind this, typically the big complaint, in my experience, has been parking,” he said. “The fact that we are building with a single-car garage probably alleviated a lot of that objection.”
Tompkins said construction is planned to start in July with a nine-month completion schedule.
The project adds to other infills popping up in the West End. Farther west, New York-based developer Urban Generation Living is planning 26 condos in place of an office building at 417-419 Libbie Ave. The City Council approved that project last week.