‘This place has to be unique’: Master plan unveiled for next 37 acres of Sauer Center

sauer rendering 1

A 12-story Art Deco tower is one of many new buildings Sauer Properties is planning. (Courtesy Urban Design Associates)

Following on the success of the Whole Foods and CarMax-anchored first phase, Sauer Properties is looking to effectively build a new neighborhood from scratch in the next leg of its Sauer Center development in the city. 

The company, backed by the Sauer family and led by President Ashley Peace, has unveiled its master plan for the next phase of the mixed-use project, with over 2 million square feet of new construction planned for the 37 acres the firm owns between Hermitage Road, West Broad Street and North Allen Avenue. 

In addition to buildings with residential, retail, office, hotel and other uses, Sauer is also planning to build parks, pedestrian walkways and public green spaces on the land, much of which is currently either industrial or undeveloped. 

After years of planning and meeting with community representatives, Peace said the company is excited to finally make the plan public. 

Ashley Peace

Ashley Peace

“It’s been so fun and the feedback has been extraordinarily positive,” Peace said. “I think everybody understands the vision and likes the architectural precedents and direction that we want to go in.”

A mainstay of Richmond since the late 1800s, the Sauer family made its fortune in the spice and food business before selling its namesake business to a private equity firm in 2019. The family gradually acquired its real estate north of Broad Street across from the Fan beginning in the 1960s, and purchased the last roughly 1-acre site it sought last year. 

Sauer Properties owns nearly all the real estate bound by the Putney Building, Allen Avenue, West Broad Street and West Leigh Street. The exceptions are the buildings housing Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, Lucky 13 Tattoo & Piercing and Richmond Fire Station 10, as well as the former James River Transportation lot that Spy Rock Real Estate Group bought in June for its planned 300-unit apartment building. 

The first phase of the Sauer Center redevelopment began in the mid-2010s and was headlined by the Whole Foods at 2024 W. Broad St., the conversion of the Putney Building into a CarMax-anchored office space, and a pair of adaptive office reuses on the west side of Hermitage Road. 

sauer rendering 2

Multiple plazas and parks are also part of the local firm’s plans.

Peace said Sauer Properties views this next phase as a legacy project, and one that is hoped to fit in with the surrounding neighborhoods architecturally. 

“We don’t want to match the Fan or match Carver. This place has to be unique, but at the same time, it has to be complementary and uplifting to the entire area,” she said.

Specific details such as number of units or buildings for the next phase have not yet been determined. Peace declined to provide an approximate project cost but said it would be “significant.”

The planned centerpiece of the development is a new 12-story, Art Deco-style building inspired by the Central National Bank building in the Arts District that Peace said Sauer Properties wants to be visible from surrounding highways and be a beacon of sorts for the activity in the area. 

Hotel, luxury residential and office uses – or some combination of the three – are on the table for that signature building. 

“I think that’s the beauty of the master plan: that it can be continuously changed or modified to meet the market demand as the development evolves and the city grows,” Peace said. 

sauer rendering 3

In total, the Sauer Center will span nearly 40 acres north of the Fan.

The public spaces in the next phase of the Sauer Center are planned to be a mix of hardscape plazas and landscaped streets. Peace said inspiration came from parks both domestic and abroad. 

“In the center is a neighborhood, park and green space and we hope to design that based on classic European plazas or squares,” she said, adding that the concept also draws from parks in Savannah, Georgia. 

Also planned to be redeveloped is the hulking, windowless building at 1700 W. Broad St. Once a Sears, the building is now a warehouse that Peace said is leased to Sauer Brands, the food company the family sold in recent years. 

Peace said Sauer Properties plans to generally build out the Sauer Center starting with the northern properties along West Leigh Street and work toward Broad Street. Sauer has worked with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Urban Design Associates in the master planning process and architecture firm Hanbury on other conceptual designs.

sauer office site

The site of the planned four-story office building. (Mike Platania photo)

While the entirety of the project is set to take over a decade to complete, Peace said Sauer is  hoping to kick off construction of the first pieces this summer at 2230 W. Broad St. with a four-story office building that’s been in the works for over two years. 

Peace said Sauer recently signed a lease with an unidentified tenant to take the first two floors of the 54,000-square-foot building and that the company hopes to receive building permits in the coming weeks. L.F. Jennings is the general contractor on that building and Freeman Morgan Architects is the designer. 

For Peace, developing such a massive project and creating what amounts to a new neighborhood in the city is both an exciting and nerve-racking proposition. But she said the company is looking forward to getting it started. 

“There’s a tremendous responsibility (to get the project right), sometimes it can be overwhelming,” Peace said, laughing. “To have 37 contiguous acres in the city’s center is unprecedented.”

sauer rendering 1

A 12-story Art Deco tower is one of many new buildings Sauer Properties is planning. (Courtesy Urban Design Associates)

Following on the success of the Whole Foods and CarMax-anchored first phase, Sauer Properties is looking to effectively build a new neighborhood from scratch in the next leg of its Sauer Center development in the city. 

The company, backed by the Sauer family and led by President Ashley Peace, has unveiled its master plan for the next phase of the mixed-use project, with over 2 million square feet of new construction planned for the 37 acres the firm owns between Hermitage Road, West Broad Street and North Allen Avenue. 

In addition to buildings with residential, retail, office, hotel and other uses, Sauer is also planning to build parks, pedestrian walkways and public green spaces on the land, much of which is currently either industrial or undeveloped. 

After years of planning and meeting with community representatives, Peace said the company is excited to finally make the plan public. 

Ashley Peace

Ashley Peace

“It’s been so fun and the feedback has been extraordinarily positive,” Peace said. “I think everybody understands the vision and likes the architectural precedents and direction that we want to go in.”

A mainstay of Richmond since the late 1800s, the Sauer family made its fortune in the spice and food business before selling its namesake business to a private equity firm in 2019. The family gradually acquired its real estate north of Broad Street across from the Fan beginning in the 1960s, and purchased the last roughly 1-acre site it sought last year. 

Sauer Properties owns nearly all the real estate bound by the Putney Building, Allen Avenue, West Broad Street and West Leigh Street. The exceptions are the buildings housing Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, Lucky 13 Tattoo & Piercing and Richmond Fire Station 10, as well as the former James River Transportation lot that Spy Rock Real Estate Group bought in June for its planned 300-unit apartment building. 

The first phase of the Sauer Center redevelopment began in the mid-2010s and was headlined by the Whole Foods at 2024 W. Broad St., the conversion of the Putney Building into a CarMax-anchored office space, and a pair of adaptive office reuses on the west side of Hermitage Road. 

sauer rendering 2

Multiple plazas and parks are also part of the local firm’s plans.

Peace said Sauer Properties views this next phase as a legacy project, and one that is hoped to fit in with the surrounding neighborhoods architecturally. 

“We don’t want to match the Fan or match Carver. This place has to be unique, but at the same time, it has to be complementary and uplifting to the entire area,” she said.

Specific details such as number of units or buildings for the next phase have not yet been determined. Peace declined to provide an approximate project cost but said it would be “significant.”

The planned centerpiece of the development is a new 12-story, Art Deco-style building inspired by the Central National Bank building in the Arts District that Peace said Sauer Properties wants to be visible from surrounding highways and be a beacon of sorts for the activity in the area. 

Hotel, luxury residential and office uses – or some combination of the three – are on the table for that signature building. 

“I think that’s the beauty of the master plan: that it can be continuously changed or modified to meet the market demand as the development evolves and the city grows,” Peace said. 

sauer rendering 3

In total, the Sauer Center will span nearly 40 acres north of the Fan.

The public spaces in the next phase of the Sauer Center are planned to be a mix of hardscape plazas and landscaped streets. Peace said inspiration came from parks both domestic and abroad. 

“In the center is a neighborhood, park and green space and we hope to design that based on classic European plazas or squares,” she said, adding that the concept also draws from parks in Savannah, Georgia. 

Also planned to be redeveloped is the hulking, windowless building at 1700 W. Broad St. Once a Sears, the building is now a warehouse that Peace said is leased to Sauer Brands, the food company the family sold in recent years. 

Peace said Sauer Properties plans to generally build out the Sauer Center starting with the northern properties along West Leigh Street and work toward Broad Street. Sauer has worked with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Urban Design Associates in the master planning process and architecture firm Hanbury on other conceptual designs.

sauer office site

The site of the planned four-story office building. (Mike Platania photo)

While the entirety of the project is set to take over a decade to complete, Peace said Sauer is  hoping to kick off construction of the first pieces this summer at 2230 W. Broad St. with a four-story office building that’s been in the works for over two years. 

Peace said Sauer recently signed a lease with an unidentified tenant to take the first two floors of the 54,000-square-foot building and that the company hopes to receive building permits in the coming weeks. L.F. Jennings is the general contractor on that building and Freeman Morgan Architects is the designer. 

For Peace, developing such a massive project and creating what amounts to a new neighborhood in the city is both an exciting and nerve-racking proposition. But she said the company is looking forward to getting it started. 

“There’s a tremendous responsibility (to get the project right), sometimes it can be overwhelming,” Peace said, laughing. “To have 37 contiguous acres in the city’s center is unprecedented.”

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Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
8 months ago

This sounds exciting and I’m glad to hear plazas and green space will be part of the overall design.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago

Me too.

David Franke
David Franke
8 months ago

Anyone want to take a guess at who leased 54K SF of space. Sounds amazing. Let’s hope the character of the new buildings doesn’t resemble Short Pump at all.

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
8 months ago
Reply to  David Franke

Actually since it is only the first two floors of the four story office building it will only be 27k SF. That could many companies.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  David Franke

How about a bit more nuance? — how about that it resembles the BEST of Short Pump or better yet Willow Lawn? And of course some other good elements, and none of the not-so-great stuff. I’m aghast about people here who even proclaim that “Short Pump is an abject failure” by some or another pointy-headed metric, even using “victims of their own success” ones like traffic congestion. No one goes there any more; it’s too crowded.” I am a big fan of the look of the Whole Foods in Short Pump, moreso than the one in Sauers’ — though the… Read more »

Ashley Peace
Ashley Peace
8 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Shawn, you have great thoughts. Thanks for sending the precendents and example developments for our team to study. We are looking at urban planning and development case studies from across the country. I have a map from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair hanging in my office and love the reference to the city beautiful movement. I’m an urban planner, first by education and professional background. A developer, second. We appreciate the community’s contiuned support.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

Wait…. WHAT????

Lucas de Block
Lucas de Block
7 months ago
Reply to  David Franke

This project will show the Short Pump owners that it’s stupid they don’t have housing there lol

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
8 months ago

Well, I’m excited! I wish they’d start on that old Sesrs building first but I guess I’ll have to live ten more years to see it.

Someone please add up the planned new square footage of the Diamond District, the City Center, the 26 story CoStar building and adjacent Amphitheater, the 540 unit 17 story 6th Street and 20 story 2nd Street developments in Manchester and the proposed new casino in south Richmond. Wow! I’m pumped about the future of this City!

(and our Hanover Avenue block never had leaf collection last Fall.)

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

I share your enthusiasm and envy your reported life on Hanover Avenue! (Even if there was no leaf collection…)

Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
8 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

the lack of city services considering all the new taxable real estate is absurd

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago

That’s true, but that is what you sign up for in most city environments. The balm of rural life is that while you don’t get much service, you don’t pay much for what you get!

Then, you can mulch those leaves! Improve your soil, get some exercise and no govt can tax that!

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Except maybe in NYS…

Susan Coleman
Susan Coleman
8 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Except all my leaves are from city trees, that have fallen on city streets and city sidewalks, that I have to maintain. So no lawn mower is used, on the street and sidewalk, But, it is what you sign up for when you buy in this beautiful part of the city.

Lucas de Block
Lucas de Block
8 months ago

The city isn’t getting much tax from all these new projects yet. Wait until a lot of them are completed. Services should be a lot better in the next 3–5 years.

Ashley Peace
Ashley Peace
8 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Bruce, we wish we could start on the Sear’s building too. In the interim, we’re working on temporary solutions to clean up the area.

The City of Richmond’s new sidewalk improvements along West Broad Street, including street trees, lighting, and plantings, are amazing. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t seen it.

Ron Kaplan
Ron Kaplan
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

That’s good to hear. It’s embarrassing when driving up Broad Street out of towners ask what’s up with that eyesore.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

To Ashley (and her predecessors credit) they fixed the old Sears facade with windows infills of the Sauers logos, replaced the stainless steel wrap (and concrete) of the overhangs, did a new flag pole, and a lot of other exterior stuff around 2015 or so near the time of the UCI Richmond races but needless to say the improvements (especially the Allen corner) have been damaged by vandals, vehicles, and just plain arses that seem to think the building is a city landfill or open canvas.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago

As my daughter says: Why do they try to shame me for using a plastic straw and throwing it out and not shame the people who litter and it ends up in a turtle’s nose?

We gotta start going after litterers and vandals again — maybe let them out of jail if they wear loud vests and pick up enough litter and scrub enough walls.

Betsy Gardner
Betsy Gardner
8 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Why was this down-voted?? We do have a litter and graffiti issue in RVA. Biking over to the Cap Trail downtown Sunday and saw plenty of graffiti all along the canal area, around Brown’s Island, etc and lots of bags of fast food just left in parking places. I think we need to bring back the crying Indian and stiffer penalties for littering and tags.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Betsy Gardner

I was downvoted because many people often think the truth is bitter medicine and some are probably on the side of the litterers and vandals.

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

Where will I go to pick up the temporary workers on the corner of Allen & Broad?

Anna Bell
Anna Bell
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

Thank you Ashley. Looking forward to the clean up.

William Willis
William Willis
8 months ago

Excited about this development almost as much as the Diamond District development and the VCU Athletic Village. Can’t wait to see the plan details and for construction to start. That section from Broad Street, N Allen to Westwood Ave to I-64/I-95 is going to be beautiful stretch ones all said and done.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  William Willis

Yes, and I CONTINUE to assert that one day Broad Street will again be the crown jewel of Richmond life — of built environment, it is nearly all there ALREADY, just waiting to be properly used. I am not convinced that Pulse has helped things, BTW and roll my eyes at people who suggest we need to expand on failure — making Broad more beautiful and less uglily urban would be a Great Leap Forward in an unironic sense.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
8 months ago
Reply to  William Willis

I have more faith in Sauers will get this project completed than we will see anything as unique or the full promised built out over at the Diamond District. And VCU (and most university villages) do not generate a lot of extra auxiliary development outside of game days eating and drinking. Brewers Row and all of the development along Brook and Overbrook would be occurring without the VCU project. Not against the village but I just don’t see the contributing must be beyond pretty school facilities.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago

Schools DO add though in that there are SCADS (not a rival Art School reference) of people that come and go from universities — lots of visitors year round — but there is an even better benefit — if a place is attractive enough as a place for a young person to live thereafter, they often choose to stay —- Sweetbriar and VA tech may not have a lot of people who choose to stay because there is not much to stay for, but even Charlottesville keeps em and certainly Cambridge, MA….. it’s always nice when the average student is… Read more »

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
8 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Most students at VCU are commuters and thus their parents do not visit Richmond. and spend money in the Fan.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago

Is this true? That certainly WAS the case which is why I initially would refer to VCU as a glorified commuter college, but my impression is that it attracts people from all over VA these days, and about 10% out of state.

The graduate school, like most graduate schools, attract people from all over.

I’m not that interested in the parents.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago

Prediction: This will be the most successful, and best, development because City Hall will have the least to do with it.

The style of Management by the current people who control Richmond government do not understand, or they cynically exploit, the Empty Bag concept.

Yes, you will win the political war, but you will rule an empty bag for generations.

Hopefully, Richmond will soon climb out of this mentality.

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
8 months ago

Sauer, please push architectural boundaries, you have our support! So much of the new development in Richmond is bland.

Ashley Peace
Ashley Peace
8 months ago
Reply to  Eric Smith

Eric, that’s our goal – to raise the bar architecturally. Thank you for your support.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

One thing I often say is: “If someone [much bigger than Sauer Group] were to build a marque skyscraper in downtown Richmond, it would be amazing for them marketing-wise because they would essentially have the skyline all to themselves with the other bldgs as background — further, they would SEE it as the approached on 95 in a way that you can’t see Philly or DC or NYC or Raleigh — kinda like Baltimore, you SEE the buildings before you duck in the tunnel. In a smaller way, building something of high aesthetic quality (hopefully not appealing to trendy architectual… Read more »

Justin Ranson
Justin Ranson
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

I hope you guys raise the bar with building heights, too! 12 stories isn’t going to cut it, on that front. Apply for that SUP!

Last edited 8 months ago by Justin Ranson
Hampton Carver
Hampton Carver
8 months ago

We can all be grateful that the property in question is held by Sauer. A promising descriptor is in use of the word “different”. Surely, Sauer’s development will provide a respite from the regrettable edifices that have sprung up in the rush to capture opportunity.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
8 months ago
Reply to  Hampton Carver

AMEN!

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
8 months ago

Overall this is a great plan and if the final execution sticks to it then it will be a great development. The one thing that caught my attention though is the idea that a 12 story building will draw attention to this development from the highways. There are numerous buildings that have gone up, planned to go up or are allowed for 12 stories. Why not push it even more to ensure that this doesn’t get lost in the 12 story level of development?

William Willis
William Willis
8 months ago
Reply to  David Humphrey

Agreed, would love to see this at 24 to 30 stories tall!

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  William Willis

Whoa!

It would be nice to have one taller building with a frame of more modest height ones such as the proposed rendering.

But making wall Street might be a bit much for the area. They’d be taking a big bet.

Ted Herm
Ted Herm
8 months ago
Reply to  David Humphrey

Amen, they want this to be a legacy project so I’m sure itll be beautiful regardless but let’s give that baby 5-10 more stories and make a masterpiece.

I’m not trying to sound disapproving though, I’m quite happy about the tower in the first place.

Zach Rugar
Zach Rugar
8 months ago
Reply to  Ted Herm

Heck yeah, let’s remake the Biff tower from Back to the Future!

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
8 months ago
Reply to  David Humphrey

The economics probably is going to prevent a higher building. That and the old riverbed rocks (but I think that is more core downtown). But remember this is the Master Plan not the POD, architectural plans, or the permits.

Ashley Peace
Ashley Peace
8 months ago
Reply to  David Humphrey

David, thank you for your support. Building height is restricted to 12 stories in TOD-1 zoning.

Eric Viking
Eric Viking
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

There’s always the SUP process! 🙂

Peter James
Peter James
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

Ashley — I love what I’m seeing so far. And please forgive me for my exuberence and excitement in asking for “more please!!” (meaning – more height). My only lament is that if this were happening in Charlotte or Austin, we’d probably be looking at 45-50 story buildings – not 12. Even in Raleigh, it would probably be 30-35 stories. With that said: As for height (and as a developer and a planner, you know this far better than I do) – quite a few RVA developers have asked for — and received — upzoning in recent years. If memory… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Peter James
Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter James

Thing is Peter as well as Richmond is doing currently, Raleigh is doing much better.

I will get downvotes for this, but one of the many things that people prefer Raleigh for is because the people there are rated as some of the nicest urban people on the east coast. Further, and probably related, there is low crime and homelessness there.

Stephen Weisensale
Stephen Weisensale
8 months ago
Reply to  David Humphrey

I believe the TOD zoning is limiting the height. That said, they could build it with mass timber framing (per the soon to be revised state building code) which would be a much more sustainable product than conventional steel.

Debbie R Reading
Debbie R Reading
8 months ago

If anyone can do it and do it right, it’s Ashley Peace and Sauer Properties! Go get ’em Ashley!!

Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
8 months ago

I love it. The sooner the better. And start with the dead Sears Building, using it as a warehouse is an eyesore that brings down Broad Street

David Seibert
David Seibert
8 months ago

This all sounds fantastic!

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
8 months ago

The huge parking lot behind the DMV and the Former Redskin facility are prime striking distance for this project.

Ashley Peace
Ashley Peace
8 months ago

Check out our Sauer Center video for more information.
https://youtu.be/9fcQ-56AipU

KC Funk
KC Funk
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

Great video Ashley! I am so appreciative of the personal involvement that you and the Sauer family are investing in this project. There is such opportunity in this area of the the city and having a group that is truly committed to the revitalization of the area and success of Richmond as a whole is so exciting. Best of luck making it a reality!!

Ashley Peace
Ashley Peace
8 months ago
Reply to  KC Funk

Thank you KC for the support. We hope the video helps show the context of the site and planned development. Sauer Center is truly at the center of it all.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

Thanks!

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
8 months ago

It would be neat if they built a 20 or 40 story tall modern skyscraper on this 37 acres considering how near it is to a lot of existing skyscrapers that near 20 stories tall.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago

I’m sure they don’t want to end up like the builders of that last big private skyscraper on Broad, the Art Deco one that was built right before the great depression….

It’s crazy that Douglas got it for like $5 million….

Stephen Weisensale
Stephen Weisensale
8 months ago

There is nothing anywhere near this site that’s even close to 20 stories. The closest thing is a 12 story building a couple of blocks away. More importantly, in this market there is no demand driving the need to build to this height.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago

How did THIS get a downvote???

Peter James
Peter James
8 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

I have no idea, Shawn, because he’s correct for the most part. I countered with an up vote.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter James

Bravo! I left it alone to preserve the insanity!

But I will upvote it now too.

Peter James
Peter James
8 months ago

Sadly, you’re correct. It’s an issue that I pray will change sooner rather than later. At this point, the only place with anything of the kind of demand that has developers breaking out of the — at best — 12-story mode is the Manchester riverfront where — hopefully — in the next few years there will be residential buildings of 16, 17 and 20 stories (Avery Hall and Hourigan developments). Not sure what needs to change to create/drive the demand other than growing our market size significantly. It needs to happen though — sooner rather than later. I’m turning 61… Read more »

Zach Rugar
Zach Rugar
8 months ago

Nah, give me some more Art Deco.

Hell wait, give me an epic Gothic style skyscraper!

Justin Ranson
Justin Ranson
8 months ago
Reply to  Zach Rugar

Full-on Gotham from Batman the Animated Series

Keith Patrick
Keith Patrick
8 months ago

I respect the years-long effort to greenlight development of this parcel of land and am optimistic about the development. I do hope this doesn’t become an example of ‘Don’t NOVA my RVA’. A quick search of Ballston Quarter, Mosaic District, and the DC Wharf certainly draw similarity to the planned designs. Spaces that are only a facsimile of city life catering to suburbanites. If this is truly intended to be a unique legacy project and complementary to the surrounding neighborhoods invest in making it a place that isn’t solely designed for consumption, but for gathering, as true plazas are.

Joseph Bly
Joseph Bly
8 months ago

I’d love to see the former Sears building turned into a stage theatre/movie theater/ art space. ….or possibly retail on the first floor and music venue on the second. Something that preserves the international/ streamline style of the building.

Jennifer Tompkins
Jennifer Tompkins
8 months ago

Ms. Peace- This looks to be an altogether cohesive design with a balance of commercial, residential and green spaces. I reviewed the video and you mentioned this is community building, not construction. I hope, in your definition of community, you included not just the affluent who look like us but allowed for representation of all economic stratas in this development. Afterall, the big challenges in Short Pump mixed use is finding workers because no one who works at a cafe or a grocery store can afford to live in any of these areas (including Libbie Mill, Old Town Manchester, Scott’s… Read more »

Bob Wilkus
Bob Wilkus
8 months ago

Wow this is how it should be done, city of Richmond take notes!

John Lindner
John Lindner
8 months ago

W O W ! I am impressed. Good luck and gosdpeed!

Anna Bell
Anna Bell
8 months ago

Please, please prioritize this:
Also planned to be redeveloped is the hulking, windowless building at 1700 W. Broad St. Once a Sears,”
and you can start by removing the graffiti.

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
8 months ago
Reply to  Anna Bell

I would love it if they kept the Sears building facade – even with all the graffiti, it is a beautiful building. (Sans the homeless on Allen St.)

Joshua czarda
Joshua czarda
8 months ago

This could be a great future site of the very unique Reveler Immersive Experiences and Orbital Music Park

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
8 months ago

I missed the rendering of the nasty 7-11 on the corner of Meadow & Broad.
Otherwise – looks awesome!

gayle fix
gayle fix
8 months ago

I am excited about the city square concept! Having lived in Germany a number of years, I love the vision you have and encourage it. I also wish you were starting sooner on the Broad St side since I may not be around to see the finished product, and I would love to!

Roy Locker
Roy Locker
8 months ago

Top notch work by a top notch member of #HokiesThatBuild.

Anne Smith
Anne Smith
8 months ago

What would this mean for the original Sauer’s spice buildings? Such a Richmond landmark and brand!

Ashley Peace
Ashley Peace
8 months ago
Reply to  Anne Smith

The historic building is incorporated into the Master Plan. It’s iconic.

Leon Phoenix
Leon Phoenix
8 months ago

Remarkable to see a developer put esthetics over greed. Clearly a Richmond family who loves the city and wants to leave a legacy here. Other developers should take note.

Casey flores
Casey flores
8 months ago

Get Bjarke Ingels to design the master plan.

Leon Phoenix
Leon Phoenix
8 months ago

It needs a cooler name…. like Sauer City, etc

Bernard Pitchford
Bernard Pitchford
8 months ago

Please put a pyramid top on the tallest building. Our buildings look like Lego building blocks. It would really make it stand out.

Lucas de Block
Lucas de Block
8 months ago

This is how a city gains an identity, with real architecture and city planning.

Lucas de Block
Lucas de Block
7 months ago

10,000 residential units, let’s do it!

Last edited 7 months ago by Lucas de Block