The transformation of a decades-old shopping center site is filling out in Henrico’s Laurel area.
The former Laurel Park Shopping Center at Hungary and Woodman roads has been replaced with multiple structures that will make up Ainsworth, an 18-building mixed-use development consisting of 278 apartments, 72 rental townhomes and a retail building.
Demolition of the 60-year-old shopping center occurred in fall 2021, and site work and construction began last spring.
KBS is building the project for developer Aurelie Capital, a New York-based firm led by Pavan Malhotra that’s making its first splash in the Richmond market.
Malhotra said Ainsworth is making good progress. The developer is on track to deliver its first towhome units this summer, with additional units to be completed through the rest of this year and next year. He said completion is targeted for mid-2024.
“We are grateful to the community for its positive feedback thus far and are excited to bring this unique lifestyle project to Henrico,” Malhotra said.
Aurelie bought the 16-acre parcel in early 2020 for $1.5 million. Malhotra would not provide a project cost for Ainsworth.
Consisting of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, the development is anchored by the apartments in the center, with the townhomes lining the north end and fronting Woodman Road. All of the residential buildings will be three stories tall.
The apartments will average 950 square feet, while the townhomes will average 1,300 square feet. Units will feature balconies and washers and dryers, and planned amenities include a pool and hot tub, fitness center, game room, an acre park with walking trail, playgrounds and a rooftop lounge. A total of 415 parking spaces are planned.
Monthly rents for the units have not been disclosed. A website for the project says that floor plans will be posted soon. Drucker + Falk is signed on to manage the property.
Rounding out the project will be a 12,000-square-foot retail building, which Malhotra has said could fit four commercial tenants. He’s said desired tenants for the building fronting Hungary Road include local restaurants, a bike shop or small gym.
The overall development wraps around existing buildings at Woodman and Hungary that house a Dunkin’, Little Caesars Pizza, West End Heating and Air and a vape shop.
Whit Hanson, KBS’s project manager for Ainsworth, said construction is in the framing stage with roofing and siding installed on some buildings. Brick- and stonework is in progress, as is mechanical, electrical and plumbing work.
Hanson said site grading and utilities are substantially complete, and curb and gutter installations are set to start this spring, when paving for the roads is slated to wrap up. He said the project is about 30 percent complete and targeted for completion by mid-August next year. Poole & Poole Architecture designed the project.
Pavan has done an amazing job in transforming that dilapidated shopping center into what will be a vibrant community. Hopefully, it’ll kick off the replacement of several other junky looking structures along Woodman Road. I can say this about Pavan, he’s a joy to work with. There’s no question he caught this site at exactly the right time and he leaped in, buying it without contingencies. I couldn’t have asked for a better client to represent.
It is fascinating how builders build these rental complexes with so few parking options? If developers and builders are building 3 story townhomes, why not put in a ground floor garage and then go up 3 stories. Or better yet, put in 300 spaces in an underground parking lot under the central apartment building. If you do the math, there are 278 apartments and 72 townhomes. Usually, more than one adult rents a 2-3 bedroom apartment, and almost always multiple adults rent a townhome – so 415 parking spaces? The parking situation is basically, people who live there cannot have… Read more »
Currently a larger sewer line and tie in is under construction down the middle of Paragon Road for this complex. No one on the street or adjoining property was informed about the plan for that part of the project. The contractor just showed up and started unloading equipment and materials. I guess the positive feedback mentioned in the article was not received from those whose property and privacy is now in the shadow of the three story townhomes and apartment buildings or the residents of Laurel Park who are enduring weeks of inconvenience, constant construction noise and disruption of sewer… Read more »
Victoria, why do you think you can determine what someone does with their land? This development is within the existing zoning and it replaces a shopping center, which had an enormous parking lot and it was falling apart. This development will be a huge upgrade to the area, it’ll be nicer than anything nearby, and this area’s road network has excess capacity. This seems win/win.
As a local resident right there, I can assure you this development is not welcomed. The Woodman and Hungary intersection is treacherous enough without the additional residents. This development far exceeded it’s R-6 designation. No improvements are planned for the intersection. Unfortunately the townhalls for this development occurred before I purchased my home. My efforts with the county after I found out about its development were futile. Henrico has stated Woodman Road will be expanded, but not before this development is complete. Hungary Road will remain 2 lanes which will serve as the primary path for residents to get to… Read more »
I don’t think you’re reading the zoning correctly, since the provision also says: “or as otherwise specified in a master planned community…” I also don’t see everyone using Hungry given the neighborhood layout. It’ll be much more convenient for about half of the community to use Woodman to get to Parham.
I represented the Seller of Laurel Park and I would like to answer some of the issues that have been brought up in the comments posted below. The upgrade to the sewer system was required by Henrico County. There had been periodic overflows in the area over the years, and the upgraded sewer system should alleviate that. The developer is paying entirely for the upgrade. There are no taxpayer dollars involved. With regard to traffic congestion, The County did a traffic study and concluded that the residential use was superior to a shopping center use, since the residential traffic is… Read more »
The blight will be gone for 20 years. These are short term buildings. In a generation, they will have settled, leaked and begun to rot. HVAC systems will be outdated. Energy efficiency non-existent. People will want to live in the net-zero buildings with solar on the roof, that cost next to nothing to heat and cool despite the skyrocketed electricity costs. And the cycle will continue…. Tear down the crummy old apartments that no one wants to live in anymore and build a new…. whatever. A little foresight and a sound fiscal/economic strategy would yield a much better result.
Bruce: injecting constant negativity and pooping on people’s projects in Bizsense (in my humble view) is not a great way to build your brand. There must be a reason nobody is using ICF for these projects. I bet it has to do with something silly like economics and math. When will ICF be affordable enough to entice developers to use it instead of stick framing?
Settle down, Eeyore. We can’t not build new things because they’ll be out of date one day.
How many trees does this represent?