A clearer picture is coming into view of a massive mixed-use development in the works for North Arthur Ashe Boulevard.
A special-use permit request for the planned Leigh Addition development at 1117-1201 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. includes an elevation rendering and site plans that show the 305-unit, $80 million project in more detail than previously presented.
The rendering, by local firm Poole & Poole Architecture, shows the eight-story building’s façade as it would appear along the boulevard. Previous renderings that depicted the massing for the project appeared to show a seven-story structure.
The new image shows six levels of apartments above a two-story base that would include 14,000 square feet of street-facing commercial space and structured parking totaling 296 spaces.
The permit request, which was slated to go before the Richmond Planning Commission on July 18, seeks exemptions to location requirements for the structured parking, to allow spaces fronting the boulevard in the second-story deck, as well as a drop-off and pick-up area for ridesharing, taxis and vehicles making deliveries. Zoning requirements currently prohibit parking or vehicle circulation along principal street frontages.
David Franco of Level 2 Development, which is developing Leigh Addition along with fellow D.C.-based firm SJG Properties, said they were recently made aware of the special-use requirement but that the plans for the project have not changed substantially since they were first reported last July.
“We just want to be able to have some parking for Uber drivers, Lyft drivers, taxis, food deliveries, to be able to pull into the driveway while they’re making deliveries, as opposed to staying on the street and double-parking and blocking traffic,” he said.
The permit application from engineering firm Timmons Group states the special use “is necessary due to site constraints, including narrowness of the site,” a 50-foot-wide sewer easement that bisects the site, and “because the owner desires to provide off-street parking at a ratio of approximately one space per dwelling unit.” Timmons’ Amelia Wehunt prepared the application and is representing the developers.
The development would replace existing buildings including the former Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue restaurant, which closed earlier this year to make way for the project. The site is part of a 3.3-acre assemblage that Level 2 and SJG purchased last year for $12.5 million.
Meanwhile, just south of the site, plans remain in the works for D.C.-based Outlier Realty Capital’s six-story cohousing project at 1101 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. A revised building permit request for the six-story building was submitted to the city in January and remains under review.