Developers continue to show an appetite for surface parking lots in the city, with a particularly large slab just west of VCU in line for a multi-family transformation.
Last week, Spy Rock Real Estate Group filed plans to build a 301-unit apartment building on the 4.3-acre lot at 900 N. Allen Ave. next to the Lowe’s store in the Newtowne West neighborhood.
A 2,300-square-foot garage is the only structure that currently sits on the site. It is mainly used as a parking lot by its owner, local charter bus company James River Transportation.
Spy Rock’s plans call for a five-story building and a 423-space parking deck to rise on the lot. Plans show that the building would not contain any commercial uses.
Spy Rock and James River Transportation leadership were not available for comment by press time.
The land is zoned TOD-1 Transit-Oriented Nodal District, which allows for up to 12 stories and a mix of uses. Poole & Poole Architecture is listed in plans as the project’s architect and Timmons Group its engineer.
City records show James River Transportation has owned the land since 2000 when it bought it for $367,000. It was most recently assessed at $2.5 million. It’s unclear whether Spy Rock intends to purchase the property from James River Transportation.
James River Transportation also owns 915 N. Allen Ave. across the street, which it also uses as its headquarters. It bought that land for $522,000 in 1997, and it was assessed this year at $3.7 million.
The proposed project comes at a busy time for Spy Rock. It just paid $5 million for 2001 Dabney Road, where it is planning a 245-unit apartment building there.
The Allen development would be the second sizable apartment building to rise in the Newtowne West neighborhood in recent years. Minnesota-based The Opus Group is nearing completion on Ascend RVA, a 12-story apartment tower at the corner of Broad and Lombardy streets.