Firm pays nearly $6M per acre for riverfront Manchester site next to Legend Brewing Co.

Located just north of Legend Brewing Co., the site for a twin-tower residential development sits on nearly 3 acres of riverfront land. (Courtesy of Bruce Commercial Realty)

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.

A rendering of what the new view from Legend Brewing’s deck would look like with the proposed apartments built. (Images courtesy of Avery Hall Investments)

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.

An updated site plan for the proposed apartment development at 301 W. Sixth St. in Manchester.

“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.

Located just north of Legend Brewing Co., the site for a twin-tower residential development sits on nearly 3 acres of riverfront land. (Courtesy of Bruce Commercial Realty)

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.

A rendering of what the new view from Legend Brewing’s deck would look like with the proposed apartments built. (Images courtesy of Avery Hall Investments)

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.

An updated site plan for the proposed apartment development at 301 W. Sixth St. in Manchester.

“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.

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Fred Squire
Fred Squire
1 month ago

Queue the comments from folks who think they just paid $17m and might be swayed to make it a dog park and with a wood deck for poetry reading.

Honestly- Nice sale Bruce! Looking forward to the improvement all along the river. It’s a long time coming, and thanks to folks like you all who are pushing forward despite the City dragging their feet for years.

Peter James
Peter James
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred Squire

Queue the comments: – I know, right? Well said, Fred. Jesus – let the kvetching begin. (I swear I cannot eye-roll hard enough at all the kvetching…)

Peter James
Peter James
1 month ago

Heartfelt (and excited!!) congratulations, Bruce, on brokering a powerhouse deal. Like Fred Squire mentioned, I too am very much looking forward to the improvements all along the river – and for the incredible vitality that this — and other game-changing projects — will bring not only to Manchester, but to the city writ large. Both Manchester and Richmond are on a roll. After witnessing both the district and the city as a whole stagnate for the better part of five decades (with the current resurrection we are enjoying happening only within the past 6 to 8 years), I’m very much… Read more »

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter James

“Richmond” isn’t rolling, developers are.

Jeff Ensley
Jeff Ensley
1 month ago

Excited to hear this group is moving forward with the project. As a resident of this area, I anticipate the skyline and density boost which will in turn continue to increase the amenities for residents of Manchester and Blackwell.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago

Thank you for the kind remarks. Its a rare thing to have an opportunity to market a property like this that offered not only an incomparable location but the rights to the fully developed plans had the buyer desired them. The sale process and selection became very competitive, but Avery Hall was determined to take control of it.Their legacy of beautiful architecture in Brooklyn made their bid even more compelling to the sellers. The sellers attorney Bill Irvin and buyer’s attorney Preston Lloyd worked out the details of the contract in less than two weeks. A record of sorts in… Read more »

charles Frankenhoff
charles Frankenhoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Congratulations! A very impressive deal to put together. Avery has enough money in the deal that I would expect to see a project start soon.