One of the largest real estate offerings in the Fan area in recent memory has been spoken for.
Dominion Energy has sold its real estate assemblage at 2400-2501 Grayland Ave. and 219 S. Stafford Ave. for a total of $15 million, city records show.
Three separate buyers bought a different parcel from the energy giant.
The largest of the three deals was closed by Audeo Partners, which bought a vacant three-story office building and a pair of warehouses at 2400 Grayland Ave. for $7.5 million. The D.C.-based developer is planning to convert the 101,000-square-foot complex into 125 apartments.
Audeo was previously under contract to purchase Dominion’s 1-acre parking lot at 219 S. Stafford Ave. and build more than two dozen townhomes on the site; however, the developer is now working on the office conversion only.
That change of plans opened the door for Richmond-based WVS Cos., which bought the Stafford Avenue parcel for $2 million and is taking over Audeo’s plans to build 26 townhomes on the vacant lot.
Lastly, a mystery buyer picked up 2501 Grayland Ave. for $5.5 million. The 1.7-acre plot had housed an auxiliary building until this spring, when Dominion razed it with the sale of the land pending.
It’s unclear from city property records who exactly the buyer was. It’s listed as 2501 Grayland Purchaser LLC, with no other clues as to who’s behind the entity.
The Fan-area parcels total 4.6 acres and were most recently assessed by the city at a combined $11.2 million. CBRE’s Jason Hetherington, Andrew Ferguson and Chris Wallace had the listing.
Audeo partner Madi Ford said the group is excited to have gotten the deal across the finish line.
“The world is a very different place economically than when we initially underwrote these projects and there were lots of twists and turns along the way,” Ford said in an email.
Audeo’s buildings at 2400 Grayland Ave. are planned to be converted into 125 apartments, and Ford said the firm is hoping to have some of them rent for below market-rate.
“We are working with the City and hope to have 30 percent of the units reserved for those earning up to 80 percent of (Area Median Income),” Ford said, adding that there won’t be any commercial space in that project.
She said Audeo is hoping to begin work on the building in the next of couple weeks with eyes on a spring 2025 completion.
“The 2400 (Grayland) building is really special, and is sort of a ‘jewel-box’ project for us. I’m very excited to watch this building come to life,” Ford said.
WVS principal Richard Souter said that when the firm heard Audeo was shifting gears away from the Stafford site, his firm jumped at the chance to secure a rare, sizable lot in the Fan area.
“There really aren’t any contiguous pieces of land to allow for 26 new homes in the Fan. It’s unheard of,” Souter said.
While WVS is known mainly for its prolific development of large apartment buildings and mixed-use projects, including Rocketts Landing, Souter said the state of the financial markets make townhomes an attractive bet.
“There is just such an undersupply of homes, and it’s very hard right now to make apartment buildings pencil out financially. So we thought that this is an opportunity that we could build some homes to add some supply to the market.”
Each of the townhomes will reach three stories, and some units are planned to have a rooftop deck and two-car garage.
Souter said the townhomes will be priced from the low $600,000s up to $1 million, and that WVS is aiming to deliver them in late summer 2024. He said One South Realty will market the units.
Souter said WVS is involved only in the 219 S. Stafford Ave. project. Ford said there are two separate ownership groups for the two Grayland Avenue parcels, and that Audeo is focused on the 2400 Grayland Ave. project.
WVS has some other sizable multifamily projects planned elsewhere in the city, including the final phase of its Locks development that’ll add over 250 apartments along the canal. It’s also planning more phases of South Falls, a riverfront apartment and condo project in Manchester.
Souter said high interest rates and construction costs have delayed those developments.
“We have a good number of projects that are kind of just sitting on the sidelines right now, waiting for the economics of the deals to make sense,” he said. “They’re projects on land that we own or control, so they’re projects that are going to happen. They’re just not happening this year.”