D.C. developers break ground on The Ace, a $98M mixed-use project on Arthur Ashe Blvd.

the ace groundbreaking Cropped scaled

Representatives for the developers plus Councilwoman Katherine Jordan, center, kicked off construction on the project earlier this week. (Mike Platania photos)

A nearly nine-figure project that’ll transform a large chunk of Arthur Ashe Boulevard is officially underway, and it may soon be joined by another. 

Earlier last week Level 2 Development and SJG Properties held a groundbreaking ceremony for The Ace, an eight-story, $98 million mixed-use project at 1117-1201 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. 

The Ace is planned to include 295 apartments above 13,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space fronting the boulevard. A 296-space podium parking deck is also planned for the development, which will span over three acres. 

Level 2 and SJG – both of which are based in D.C. – have been working on the project since 2021, when they bought the land for $12.5 million. The site was formerly home to the Buz and Ned’s restaurant and Car Pool Car Wash buildings, which have been razed.

the ace arthur ashe Cropped scaled

The former Car Pool Car Wash was one of multiple buildings on the site that were razed in recent weeks.

Rising interest rates and construction costs complicated and delayed the project’s timeline, but last month the developers secured financing with the help of Cresset Partners, an investment firm out of Chicago. 

The project architect is Poole & Poole Architecture. Fortune-Johnson is the general contractor. Leadership from Level 2, SJG and Cresset were joined at last week’s groundbreaking by 2nd District City Council representative Katherine Jordan. 

Just up the street at 1101 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., another residential project is also planned to move dirt soon after years of inactivity. 

Representatives for Outlier Realty Capital told BizSense recently that their planned six-story cohousing building is still in the works.

outlier lot arthur ashe scaled

Outlier bought its Richmond site in 2021.

As part of the cohousing concept, tenants at Outlier’s project would have their own private bedrooms and bathrooms, but share living and common areas with other residents. When the project went through the entitlement process with the city, Outlier had said rent for rooms would start at around $800. 

The Maryland-based firm has been working on bringing cohousing to Arthur Ashe Boulevard since the early days of the pandemic. Outlier bought the 0.3-acre site in 2021 for $1.2 million but the lot has been fenced up and dormant ever since.

A spokesperson for Outlier confirmed this week that they’ll be moving forward on the project soon. 

The development would include 29 apartments and 148 bedrooms, plus about 1,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. 

Between The Ace and Outlier’s project, at least 443 new residents could be headed to the section of Arthur Ashe Boulevard that sits just south of the future Diamond District development

the ace groundbreaking Cropped scaled

Representatives for the developers plus Councilwoman Katherine Jordan, center, kicked off construction on the project earlier this week. (Mike Platania photos)

A nearly nine-figure project that’ll transform a large chunk of Arthur Ashe Boulevard is officially underway, and it may soon be joined by another. 

Earlier last week Level 2 Development and SJG Properties held a groundbreaking ceremony for The Ace, an eight-story, $98 million mixed-use project at 1117-1201 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. 

The Ace is planned to include 295 apartments above 13,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space fronting the boulevard. A 296-space podium parking deck is also planned for the development, which will span over three acres. 

Level 2 and SJG – both of which are based in D.C. – have been working on the project since 2021, when they bought the land for $12.5 million. The site was formerly home to the Buz and Ned’s restaurant and Car Pool Car Wash buildings, which have been razed.

the ace arthur ashe Cropped scaled

The former Car Pool Car Wash was one of multiple buildings on the site that were razed in recent weeks.

Rising interest rates and construction costs complicated and delayed the project’s timeline, but last month the developers secured financing with the help of Cresset Partners, an investment firm out of Chicago. 

The project architect is Poole & Poole Architecture. Fortune-Johnson is the general contractor. Leadership from Level 2, SJG and Cresset were joined at last week’s groundbreaking by 2nd District City Council representative Katherine Jordan. 

Just up the street at 1101 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., another residential project is also planned to move dirt soon after years of inactivity. 

Representatives for Outlier Realty Capital told BizSense recently that their planned six-story cohousing building is still in the works.

outlier lot arthur ashe scaled

Outlier bought its Richmond site in 2021.

As part of the cohousing concept, tenants at Outlier’s project would have their own private bedrooms and bathrooms, but share living and common areas with other residents. When the project went through the entitlement process with the city, Outlier had said rent for rooms would start at around $800. 

The Maryland-based firm has been working on bringing cohousing to Arthur Ashe Boulevard since the early days of the pandemic. Outlier bought the 0.3-acre site in 2021 for $1.2 million but the lot has been fenced up and dormant ever since.

A spokesperson for Outlier confirmed this week that they’ll be moving forward on the project soon. 

The development would include 29 apartments and 148 bedrooms, plus about 1,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. 

Between The Ace and Outlier’s project, at least 443 new residents could be headed to the section of Arthur Ashe Boulevard that sits just south of the future Diamond District development

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Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
9 months ago

It’s exciting to see things happening at a major entrance to the city. The boulevard has been giving people a poor first impression for a while, these are great changes

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
9 months ago

The map is misleading. The Cort Furniture building is not part of the new construction and wasn’t sold to this developer. It still stands.

Stephen Weisensale
Stephen Weisensale
9 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

It was sold to this developer along with the auto shop. But both are being retained. That said, the large site indicated on the map is misleading.

Last edited 9 months ago by Stephen Weisensale
Jerel C Wilmore
Jerel C Wilmore
9 months ago

Retained for now. Neither are what I would call architecturally significant, so look for them to be replaced at some point.

Cameron Redick
Cameron Redick
9 months ago

Developers from DC and Maryland, financing from Chicago. Sigh…

Jason Elms
Jason Elms
9 months ago
Reply to  Cameron Redick

Exactly. They don’t care about the Richmond aesthetic or quality of life, just a return on their investment.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
9 months ago
Reply to  Cameron Redick

Why is outside investment bad? For the longest time Richmond didn’t attract much outside funding so to have it now on a regular basis I consider a win.

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
9 months ago

I’m glad they are building this in that the buildings they knocked down were run down parking lots and boarded up one story warehouses which means no new forest land was cut down and paved over. I also like how this is adding housing to a market that is over stressed for new supply.

The cherry on top is they are going to build new sidewalks along these roads were there are none.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
9 months ago

Carl sidewalks have been in Arthur Ashe for decades and I am not sure they plan to but I am assuming you are talking about putting them on Myers Street?? Is that in their site plan??? And someone mentioned but I thought CORT building was included in the sale they just decided to leave that space as the active retailer is doing well and has a long term lease.

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
9 months ago

I think it’s the ones on Myers Street in that their is a side street that only has sidewalks along the parts with the new apartments.

Michael Boyer
Michael Boyer
9 months ago

Henrico co built sidewalks first along Broad St in Short Pump before the retail arrived.Some places you had a sidewalk in front of a cow pasture.

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Boyer

Believe it or not, but those were done as part of VDOT’s widening of Broad Street.

Stephen Weisensale
Stephen Weisensale
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Boyer

VDOT did this, not Henrico. Though Henrico has recently been adding sidewalks in other order areas. It is long past time for the City to do the same in Scott’s Addition.

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
9 months ago

I have been bugging the City of Richmond for years to get sidewalks extended along Three Chop Road from Grove Ave to the James River and on down Huguenot Road and they are very secretive about this compared to the war in Ukraine War were everyone squawks everything out in public like it’s a TV drama or something.

Jason Elms
Jason Elms
9 months ago

Gross. Every one of these out of state developments should take a clue from Sauers

Polgar Concertado
Polgar Concertado
9 months ago
Reply to  Jason Elms

Let’s wait and see if Sauer actually follows through with their pretty pictures before putting them on a pedestal.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
9 months ago
Reply to  Jason Elms

Did the Sauers really do that great of a job with the Whole Foods anchored development? I think Saucer Center is fine but it’s very auto-centric and that family has left us with a rundown warehouse on W Broad (the old Sears), so I wouldn’t hold them up on a pedestal.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
9 months ago

Unless of course you don’t see “Auto-centric”, or “Auto-Friendly” is a mark of something wrong in an area region where most people drive.

Most of their shoppers likely do not walk to shop there.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
9 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

We heavily invested in The Pulse and developments along W Broad St in the urban core need to prioritize pedestrians in order for the area to keep growing. So yes I take issue with a surface parking lot occupying frontage along W Broad St. New developments should have structured parking and be of higher density.

Raines Cohen
Raines Cohen
9 months ago

Please don’t call this “cohousing” – that term refers to resident-led neighborhoods with individual private homes with their own kitchens, and there’s long-established examples in the District and surrounding area.

This is “Coliving” – rented beds/rooms sharing facilities under one roof. There’s not necessarily input from the residents on management and selecting their roommates/neighbors.