The latest apartment building to rise within Scott’s Addition is turning heads along the I-195 expressway.
The 125-unit Belleville Apartments is taking shape at 1508 Belleville St., a 0.8-acre parcel along the neighborhood’s western edge. Highly visible from the expressway, the six-story building is rising a block north of the interstate’s northbound off-ramp into Scott’s Addition.
Behind the project are Thalhimer Realty Partners and property owner John Freeland, who secured a special-use permit in 2021 to allow the building to reach 75 feet in height. Construction got underway last May and is set to wrap up by the end of this year, TRP’s Jason Guillot said.
“We’re expecting to have full (certificate of occupancy) of the building by the first week of January 2024, to the point where we have units ready to turn over for residents to move in,” Guillot said.
While not the biggest of the apartment buildings adding to Scott’s Addition, the mostly one-bedroom units are being designed with additional spaces that are intended as work-from-home studios or offices.
The building will also include five maker spaces or artist lofts, which Guillot said would overlook a central courtyard and are intended to help set the apartments apart.
“Our goal is to have some artists in residence here, where they can rent an apartment but have a studio for free. The thinking is there’s kind of an underserved artist community in Richmond. There isn’t a lot of studio space available, so we’re hoping we can attract artists to this building and make it a more interesting place and community for people to live,” Guillot said.
Noting larger neighbors like Scott’s View and The Otis that the apartments will be competing with for tenants, Guillot said the artist lofts and smaller scale of the building would help Belleville Apartments stand out.
“We want to create a sense of place, a sense of community, where it’s sticky and people don’t want to leave. They want to stay year after a year and they get to know their neighbors, and there’s something special about the place they live,” he said.
“This isn’t a massive building like The Otis, and we can’t match their amenity package, so we have to come at it from another way. If you’re interested in retaining residents long-term, it’s really about building that sense of community.”
The one-bedroom units will range from about 750 to 850 square feet in size. Fourteen units will be two-bedroom floorplans at 1,050 square feet.
The building will include about 80 underground parking spaces, and renderings show units will have balconies overlooking Belleville Street to the east and the train tracks to the west. Rental rates for the units have not been released.
KBS is the general contractor on the project, and 510 Architects is the designer. Campfire & Co. is handling branding and signage design, and Virginia Credit Union is the lender on the project, which Guillot put at $28 million.
KBS President Will Paulette said framing for the building is nearing completion and that roofing would begin by the end of this month.
The apartments required demolishing two existing structures that were taken down following hazardous material abatement. UrbanCore Construction was the contractor on that part of the project.
The building is the latest collaboration between TRP and Freeland along that stretch of Belleville Street, where they also redeveloped 1504 Belleville St., an adjacent warehouse that’s home to credit card startup Mission Lane.
Meanwhile, another new apartment building is taking shape farther south along the expressway. Construction has gone vertical on Silver Hills Development’s 263-unit apartment complex at 3806 Monument Ave., beside the International Mission Board headquarters.
Ask people living in these developing areas what is lacking. Parking! We know, we know, the readers and developers don’t think parking is an issue. But for those of us living in here and dealing with it daily, parking is absolutely an issue.
As someone who worked in Scott’s Addition for 6 plus years, Parking and sidewalks are an absolute issue. Myself and my co-workers would have to park at times 3, 4 almost 5 blocks away to find parking for work and has only gotten worse with time.
It seems that underground parking is being provided more and more. This is expensive and risky as rock has a way of hiding from geotechnical investigations. One developer told me this week that his garage required over 100,000 truckloads of dirt alone to be hauled from his site. I’m curious about Mr. Willis’ comment: How many off street parking spaces does your company provide for your employees, or are you solely dependent upon free public street parking?
They have off street parking at the Symbols Buildings, The lot is used by residents with some reserve specifically for them and some are for commercial that is shared with all companies with in the Dominion Payroll building which is about 50 to 80 spots with 200 people working with all companies in that building not including rotating traffic for Brenners Pass or visitors to those companies.
What is your proposed solution? Do you want to pay significantly more in rent to have extra available parking requited in every new development? Having excess parking in a denser area like SA becomes very costly and then it also needs to be monitored for people abusing the ability to park.I understand the idea, since I always drive too much, as well, but adding more parking isn’t as simple as it sounds. What we really need is to expand The Pulse and keep investing in transit improvements. For example we need a circulator route just for The Fan, Carytown, Museum… Read more »
A point of curiosity….Do any of these apartment projects have charging stations for EV’s? If so, how many? If parking spaces are at a minimum my guess is that there will be very few EV’s in the area.
That’s a nationwide problem for renters as well as EV sales.
I know Symbols Apartment and Office have 4 EV charging Spots and as far as I know that is it. I could be wrong.
Scott’s View has at-least two charging stations that I know of. I found out the other day when I had to park on second floor of the garage, which I rarely park on. There might be two other stations on the opposite of Scott’s View’s garage.
Timber frame is an interesting choice for a mid-rise urban building. I wonder if this was a money saving feature. I hope they have a sprinkler system installed (not to be a naysayer, but I’m recalling the fires at Buckingham Station and Stony Point apartments).
This is a new cost saving measure by developers due to a relatively recent change/relaxing of building codes. They are called “5 over 1’s” and are typically capped at that 5-6 floor height because that is the maximum allowable wood framed height (and the first floor has to be made of concrete)..
Personally I find almost all of them to be cookie cutter and totally lacking inspiration. In 20 years we’re likely going to look back on them with the same disdain we do with brutalisr architecture from the 70’s and be ready to tear them all down.
Another 5-over-1 that is indistinguishable from the next. Could be in Richmond, could be Seattle, could be Tulsa. No one knows, they all look the same.
Yep, this apartment building looks like a apartment building…