St. Joseph’s Villa is about to get new neighbors, as construction has started on a new apartment complex that will add 84 income-based units beside the nonprofit’s Henrico County campus.
The first buildings that will make up the Brook Villas apartments are taking shape along the south side of Villa Park Drive west of its intersection with Brook Road.
The three-building complex with a clubhouse and maintenance building is being developed by Mark Dana Corp., a Texas-based real estate firm that has roots in Virginia and is also active in the state.
The 40-year-old company focuses on developing and managing lower-income multifamily housing. Locally, it owns Creekside Manor, a 97-unit apartment complex at 1601 Lakeside Ave.
The three apartment buildings at Brook Villas will consist of 12 one-bedroom floorplans, 48 two-bedrooms and 24 three-bedrooms. Sizes will range from 700 to 1,000 square feet, and monthly rents will be targeted to households making 40 to 60 percent of the area median income. Fifty percent AMI for that area comes out to about $50,500, according to Fannie Mae.
President David Koogler said all of Mark Dana Corp.’s developments are financed using federal 9 percent low-income housing tax credits. While final rents would be determined when construction is complete, Koogler said the company’s latest projections put Brook Villas’ rents at $580-$750 for a one-bedroom, $870-$1,100 for a two-bedroom and $1,170 to $1,270 for a three-bedroom.
Construction started last November, and Koogler said completion is targeted for the second quarter of 2023.
The company purchased the 6-acre site from St. Joseph’s Villa, paying $410,000 in 2019. The site, at 7800 Villa Park Drive, was assessed at the time at $418,900. The county most recently assessed the land at $840,000.
Koogler, a Washington & Lee alum whose parents founded the company and were raised in Virginia, said they were alerted to the site by Ryan Rilee with One South Commercial. He said they liked the site for its location and existing multifamily residential zoning, eliminating the need to pursue a rezoning.
“We like to find sites that are already zoned for multifamily, and this site was. After that, we look at the area, the amenities that are nearby — grocery stores and restaurants — and there’s a lot of good amenities close to that site that makes it attractive from a real estate analysis standpoint,” Koogler said.
“We’re next door to St. Joseph’s, and we’re in the same ballpark. They like the idea of affordable housing being next door, and they’re an attractive neighbor for us.”
The three-story apartment buildings will feature primarily brick facades, with one totaling 41,000 square feet and the other two at 30,000 square feet each. On-site parking will provide two spaces per unit, bringing the total to 168 spaces.
The complex will also include a maintenance building and a 3,000-square-foot clubhouse with a community room, fitness center and leasing office. Access to the site will be off Villa Park Drive, and vegetative buffering and vinyl fencing will separate the complex from the neighboring Stuart Ridge subdivision. Sidewalks are to be added along Villa Park Drive and Brook Road.
A Dominion Energy easement borders the west side of the property, and the easternmost portion fronting Brook Road is to remain undeveloped, Koogler said. He said sewer connections there have resulted in some trees being removed.
Koogler acknowledged that when sitework started last fall, some trees and vegetation were mistakenly removed from an adjoining St. Joseph’s-owned parcel fronting Brook Road. He said work is underway to mitigate the error with additional plantings.
Koogler said the apartments are being built to EarthCraft gold energy standards. The general contractor is Rehab Builders Inc. out of North Carolina. Winks Snowa Architects designed the project, and Townes Site Engineering drew up the plans.
Koogler didn’t provide a cost estimate for the development. County building permits issued last summer put the total construction value at $11.2 million.
He said the company is on the hunt for more development sites in the metro area.
“We’re always on the lookout for properties to develop in the Richmond MSA,” he said.
Brook Villas adds to other new development along that stretch of Brook Road. Catty-corner across the intersection, a retail center with an O’Reilly Auto Parts and Dunkin location was developed in recent years.