The developer of Libbie Mill-Midtown will soon have extra acreage to work with as it continues to expand the mixed-use development.
Gumenick Properties is preparing to demolish 30 single-family homes it owns in the northwestern corner of Libbie Mill, in the area bounded by Bethlehem, Indigo and Spencer roads and Libbie Avenue.
The razing of the homes, which total around 1,300 square feet and date back to the mid-1950s, will free up 9 additional acres.
Many of the homes face a 300-unit townhome and condo section of Libbie Mill that’s currently under construction. Libbie Mill in total spans over 80 acres and includes a pair of 325-plus-unit apartment buildings, a library, and the corporate headquarters for LL Flooring. The project also has a handful of local retail and restaurant tenants like Shagbark, The Stables Market and Blu Hazel.
Gumenick Vice President of Property Management Skip Nash said the company is preemptively demolishing the decades-old homes as they mull their options for the land.
“We’re just still in planning mode,” Nash said. “We don’t have a plan or a real set schedule for that property.”
Gumenick spent the last 22 years gradually acquiring the 30 homes, as well as a vacant lot at 2313 Libbie Ave. County records show it spent a total of $5.3 million on the real estate, with its most recent deal closing last fall.
There appears to be two holdouts in the area, as a pair of houses at the corner of Spencer and Indigo roads are the only two parcels that aren’t owned by Gumenick.
With the homes now empty ahead of demolition, Nash said Gumenick allowed Henrico’s police and fire departments to use the structure for training drills. That’s resulted in all sorts of sights such as holes being cut into some of the roofs.
Other land still to be developed in Libbie Mill is a 2-acre vacant site that’s planned for an office building. Gumenick initially was planning a six-story office building for the parcel, but work hasn’t gotten underway. Nash said they’re still thinking office, but that they won’t build on spec.
“It’s currently marketed by Colliers as a potential office building, but it’s not one we intend to build unless we have a tenant or tenants for,” Nash said.
The development is also anticipating welcoming a familiar name in Richmond dining to a retail building facing Staples Mill Road in Libbie Mill. Acacia Mid-Town, the onetime Fan-and-Carytown-area restaurant from Aline and Dale Reitzer, is preparing to reopen at 2363 Roux St. after a three-year hiatus.