Dozens of homes around Libbie Mill to be demolished for project’s next phase

Gumenick Properties is preparing to demolish 30 single-family homes it owns in the northwestern corner of Libbie Mill. The 1950s-era houses have been used for training by Henrico’s first responders. (Mike Platania photos)

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.”

The townhome and condo section of Libbie Mill-Midtown is currently under construction in the background.

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.

Gumenick Properties is preparing to demolish 30 single-family homes it owns in the northwestern corner of Libbie Mill. The 1950s-era houses have been used for training by Henrico’s first responders. (Mike Platania photos)

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.”

The townhome and condo section of Libbie Mill-Midtown is currently under construction in the background.

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.

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Flora Valdes-Dapena
Flora Valdes-Dapena
1 month ago

Libbie Mill is a cool concept—especially with the beautiful library in the center—but the land use is embarrassingly car-brained. The main streets are 4 lanes wide for absolutely no reason, and probably half of the area is surface parking. Would be great to see them advocating to GRTC for improved service on the 18 or even a branch off the Pulse, but I guess they’re just doing Suburbia+ instead.

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
1 month ago

I believe a lot of the surface parking is basically a “holding pattern” until they build structures there.

SA Chaplin
SA Chaplin
1 month ago

I love wide streets. Have you ever been to Salt Lake City (where streets are designed so a horse-drawn wagon could make a u-turn)? A bit wasteful, but aesthetically pleasing. BTW, cars are here to stay. And I would bet that most of the folks who advocate (heavily subsidized) Pulse never use it.

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
1 month ago
Reply to  SA Chaplin

a-Nothing is more heavily subsidized than cars b-Just because the Pulse serves an extremely limited area doesn’t mean more people would not use it if they could.

Steven Gooch
Steven Gooch
29 days ago

GRTC does provide service in Libbie Mill. Stops right on Libbie Lake East.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
28 days ago

Most people own cars. Get over it.

Gregg Johnson
Gregg Johnson
25 days ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

What’s your point? Most people own a toilet brush but they would use them less if there was more efficient way to clean a toilet. There’s no harm in discussing ways to add transit to the mix.

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
1 month ago

This is a message for the two holdouts where Gumenick Properties has acquired 30 homes. I remember growing up in Queens, New York. A Mall was planned on Queens Boulevard and there was one holdout house on the corner. The mall developer simply built around the house by making the space round instead of rectangular. The value of the holdout homeowner plummeted! With regard to an extension of the Pulse it will happen, possibly sooner rather than later since Henrico County now has members on the GRTC Board. In my opinion a more necessary priority is to add bus shelters… Read more »

Lee Gaskins
Lee Gaskins
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

Agree on the bus shelters. The lack of them is embarrassing.

Stuart Peyton
Stuart Peyton
29 days ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

First of all this isn’t Queens it’s Henrico
Second of all how would take an extremely low ball offer on your single largest investment?
If you want city life move there and don’t us how to live with an attitude vailed as advice