Undeterred by neighborhood pushback, the New York developer planning a pair of residential towers in Manchester has struck a record-setting deal for the land it needs for the project.
Avery Hall Investments finalized its purchase this week of 301 W. Sixth St. for $17.25 million, city records show.
The 2.9-acre site is where the Brooklyn-based firm is planning a nine-figure project that would bring up to 550 apartments across two towers – one 16 stories and one 17 stories.
The proposal has drawn the ire of some in the neighborhood, including Legend Brewing Co., whose adjacent restaurant and brewery would have its patio view partially obstructed by the new buildings. Avery Hall ultimately tweaked its design plans after conversations with neighbors to limit some of the skyline obstruction.
At $5.9 million an acre, the deal shattered the previous per-acre sales price record in Richmond, a record that had been held by CoStar and its $5 million per-acre purchase of 4 acres of riverfront land next to Brown’s Island. CoStar is now planning to build a 26-story office tower on that site.
Avery Hall partner Brian Ezra said in a statement that the company is excited to take this step toward bringing the project to life.
“After listening to the community, we’ve worked hard over the past few months to modify our designs and look forward to being a part of the Manchester community and add (to) it its vibrancy,” Ezra said.
The sellers in the deal were Guy Blundon, Mark Purcell, Keith Woodard and Ludwig Kuttner, who had bought 2.2 acres of the nearly 3-acre parcel in spring 2020 for $8.7 million. They later bought a 0.7-acre roadway from Norfolk Southern Railroad in a deal not reflected in city records.
Blundon’s group had planned a pair of 11-story apartment towers totaling 344 apartments on the site, but work never got going and in late 2021 they listed the land, as well as approved plans and permits, for sale. The sellers were represented by Bruce Milam of Bruce Commercial Realty and Mike Lowry of Northmarq.
Avery Hall’s project would require a special-use permit to allow for the project, since the land’s RF-2 Riverfront zoning caps buildings’ height at 13 stories. Avery Hall has not yet applied for an SUP.