A cobblestone road on an edge of Union Hill continues to attract interest from developers, as two Richmond-area firms already familiar with the corridor are planning sizable projects on two of its streetcorners.
Construction has started on the first of 10 new homes that Amanda Seibert’s Nest Builders Development Co. is planning in the 2300 block of Carrington Street, the bulk of those at the corner of Carrington and Pink Street.
A block west, at Carrington and North 22nd Street, Bryan Traylor’s Unlimited Renovations also is planning a three-story mixed-use building with nine apartments above 1,300 square feet of commercial space. Traylor secured approval for that project in December and is aiming to break ground early next year.
Kicking off Seibert’s cluster of homes are two three-story attached homes under construction at 2309 and 2311 Carrington, where an accessory dwelling unit also is planned.
The ADU will be rented as a studio apartment, and a duplex with two-bedroom, two-bathroom units is planned around the corner on Pink Street. The duplex units are planned to rent at about $1,800 a month, Seibert said.
Five detached for-sale houses also are planned on reconfigured lots fronting either Carrington or Pink or Russell Street. Seibert said one of the detached homes will include a rooftop terrace, similar to a nearby house that Center Creek Homes built on Carrington a few years ago.
The for-sale homes will range from 2,200 to 2,500 square feet, with three or four bedrooms, three or more bathrooms and a flex room that could be used as an additional bedroom. Seibert said the homes are larger than what Nest has previously developed and would be priced in the mid-$500,000s. She said one is presold to a neighbor across the street desiring a larger home.
Seibert, who lives on the block with husband Dave Seibert, a local real estate agent, said they’re looking to add options for homeowners and renters to stay in the neighborhood longer-term.
“We live there, we have kids,” she said. “So our hope is to allow for people to stay in the neighborhood longer, to grow into a home,” she said.
The couple started Nest in 2016, around the time they got married, with Dave working the real estate side as an agent with Long & Foster and Amanda designing and developing the homes, both new-construction and rehabs. Dave has a similar arrangement with Center Creek, a D.C.-based homebuilder that’s made inroads in Richmond in recent years.
“He finds all of the properties that I build and develop on, and then he lists all the homes that I build,” said Seibert, a VCU grad whose parents were developers on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. She said Nest has built or rehabbed about 15 homes so far and is aiming to finish five this year, growing its volume annually.
Seibert said they’re aiming to finish the duplex by this fall, with the other homes to follow into 2023. She said they’ve been assembling the properties in the block since 2015.
“It’s a long time coming,” she said of the project.
City property records show Nest has spent at least $267,000 in acquiring 11 parcels on the block that make up the home sites. Sale prices from some of the lots were not listed, and two of the lots were purchased as recently as last year for $146,000 in a multiparcel deal.
The 11 parcels were most recently assessed by the city at $270,000 combined.
Seibert said a challenge has been reconfiguring the lots, which she said were non-conforming in a variety of ways. She said 967 Pink St. didn’t have any street frontage, for example.
“So, it’s taken a long time to amass all the parcels, to be able to readjust the lot lines to a place where you could really do something there in a meaningful way,” she said. “These are much larger homes than what we’re typically building.”
Casey White with Henrico-based Keel Custom Homes is building the homes.
Mixed-use building could house a restaurant
A block west across Carrington, Traylor is making preparations for his mixed-use building at 2200-2202 Carrington St., adding to about eight homes he’s built along the corridor.
Plans call for nine apartments with the commercial storefront, which he said will be outfitted for a restaurant but could be divided into three tenant spaces.
Three 500-square-foot studio apartments will fill out the first floor, with three two-bedroom apartments filling each of the top two floors. Those units would total 975 square feet and include 2½ bathrooms.
Traylor said the apartments will be market-rate but “affordable,” targeted to renters earning 80 percent of the area median income. He said rents would range from $900 to $1,700 a month, with the units featuring hardwood floors, HardiePlank siding and balconies.
Renderings of the building show signage calling it “Jones Corner,” which Traylor said is a nod to the properties’ previous owners, late sisters Ellen and Helen Jones. Traylor said Helen had once operated a convenience store on the site.
“It’s paying homage to that family, because they were kind of a staple in Church Hill,” Traylor said. “Helen Jones was a nurse at MCV and just a really interesting lady.”
He added, “I’ve owned that corner for 10 years or so, and I’m looking forward to moving forward on this.”
Traylor paid $40,000 for the two-parcel site in separate transactions in 2015 and 2016, records show. The city most recently assessed the parcels at $66,000 combined.
Having secured a special-use permit for the project in December, Traylor is currently submitting for permit approvals and said he hopes to break ground in the first quarter of 2023. He said construction would take eight to 12 months to complete. He did not provide a project cost estimate, citing fluctuating prices for materials and other costs.
Traylor’s firm will be the general contractor on the building, which he designed with local architect Michael Pellis.
The building’s commercial component is a change of pace for Traylor, whose work in the area has been primarily focused on new residential construction. He said the commercial space will be a benefit for the neighborhoods around Carrington, parts of which have been patched and covered with asphalt over the years.
“I love the road,” Traylor said. “It’s the longest cobblestone street in Richmond. It’s steadily getting converted to asphalt with the different patches and things like that. We’ve built seven or eight projects along Carrington Street, so it’s kind of near and dear to my heart.”
In recent years, the corridor has seen an increase in development activity, including Better Housing Coalition’s Goodwyn at Union Hill, which converted the former Citadel of Hope building on nearby Venable Street into 52 lower-income apartments.
Seibert said the influx of projects have been a boon to the corridor.
“We’re seeing a lot of good development come in. I’m excited about the attention that that area is getting,” she said. “I think it’s prime to be such a great part of the neighborhood.”
Note: The two homes currently under construction on Carrington Street are attached for-sale homes. A previous version of the story incorrectly referred to them as duplex rental units.