Kinsale looks to transform corner of Staples Mill and Broad with massive development

kinsale center rendering 2

A rendering of Kinsale Center, looking north along Maywill Street. (County documents)

It turns out that Kinsale Capital Group is planning more than just an office renovation on the land it owns near Willow Lawn. 

The publicly traded specialty insurance company led by CEO Michael Kehoe, with the help of Marchetti Development, is planning a $450 million redevelopment of the former Anthem Inc. campus at the northeast corner of West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road. 

According to documents filed in Henrico County, they’re looking to build nearly a million square feet of new construction on the 29-acre plot, with plans for 692 apartments, a 147-room hotel, more than 350,000 square feet of new office space and over 32,000 square feet of street-level retail. 

Kinsale and Marchetti Development, a local firm led by father-son duo Joe Marchetti Jr. and Joe Marchetti III, are seeking a provisional-use permit to green-light the project. Their request was heard at the Henrico Planning Commission meeting Thursday night, where the commission unanimously recommended approval. 

kinsale center rendering

A rendering of the proposed development, looking north along Staples Mill Road.

The plans for the development – referred to as Kinsale Center in planning documents – emerged just a few days after Kinsale announced its plans to relocate from its 3-year-old headquarters to a former Elevance Health building at 2015 Staples Mill Road. Anthem rebranded to Elevance last year. 

Kinsale, which has a headcount of 545 employees, bought the entire Elevance complex late last year for $76 million before selling off an Elevance-occupied office at 2103 Staples Mill Road for $66 million this summer. 

The deal left Kinsale owning about 23 acres. Plans show that Kinsale Center would replace nearly all the surface parking lots on the site.

The tallest building at the development would be an eight-story hotel along Broad Street next to Cook Out. Around the site’s existing office buildings would rise three apartment buildings: a seven-story, 261-unit building behind the under-construction Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen; a five-story, 173-unit building facing Staples Mill Road; and a five-story, 258-unit apartment building at the north end of the property along Thalbro Street. Two of the three apartment buildings would have ground-floor commercial space.

Marchetti and Kinsale are also planning a trio of six-story office buildings to rise on the property: a pair totaling 214,000 square feet at the northwestern corner of the property, and a 131,000-square-foot office at the corner of West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road. 

kinsale center 1 scaled

Kinsale is planning a $50 million renovation of the building to the left, while Elevance continues to rent the building to the right. (Mike Platania photo)

Nearly 3,800 parking spaces are planned to support the Kinsale Center, including a new, 1,400-space deck at the northern end of the property. It’s described in plans as pedestrian-oriented, and between each building would be outdoor furniture, public art and green spaces.

After Thursday’s meeting Joe Marchetti III said they were glad to get the Planning Commission’s approval, and that in planning Kinsale Center, they set out for it to be an upscale, high-quality development.

“The expectation is that it’ll be a gateway to Henrico County from the City of Richmond,” he said. 

Added Joe Marchetti Jr.: “The Kinsale Center is a world-class project that will showcase energy-efficient buildings with stylish exterior designs.”

The total buildout of Kinsale Center could cost around $450 million, Joe Marchetti Jr. said, a total that doesn’t include the $50 million Kinsale is planning to invest into the 2015 Staples Mill Road office. The development would be built in phases, and Joe Marchetti III said he expects it will take seven to 10 years to fully build out.

marchetti Cropped

Joe Marchetti III and Joe Marchetti Jr.

He added that they’re now anticipating their request will be heard by Henrico’s Board of Supervisors at its Dec. 12 meeting.

Baskervill is the project designer, Timmons Group is the engineer and Kimley-Horn conducted a traffic study for the project. Marchetti Development is acting as the developer. Marchetti and Kinsale are being represented by Roth Jackson’s Andy Condlin in the provisional-use permit request. 

Kinsale Center is the latest in a string of major redevelopments planned for the Westwood area of Henrico County. 

The Ukrop family and Pivot Development are looking to redevelop the adjacent, 19-acre Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods complex to include around 1,000 multifamily units plus more retail, office and hotel uses. 

Federal Realty Investment Trust, the Maryland firm that owns Willow Lawn, is looking to give the longtime shopping center another makeover, this time with over 2,200 residential units and 500,000 square feet of commercial space in the pipeline. Initially built as a shopping mall in the 1950s, Willow Lawn has gone through a number of iterations over the years. 

The Ukrops’ proposal was approved by the county earlier this year, while Federal Realty’s rezoning request for Willow Lawn is still pending. 

kinsale center rendering 2

A rendering of Kinsale Center, looking north along Maywill Street. (County documents)

It turns out that Kinsale Capital Group is planning more than just an office renovation on the land it owns near Willow Lawn. 

The publicly traded specialty insurance company led by CEO Michael Kehoe, with the help of Marchetti Development, is planning a $450 million redevelopment of the former Anthem Inc. campus at the northeast corner of West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road. 

According to documents filed in Henrico County, they’re looking to build nearly a million square feet of new construction on the 29-acre plot, with plans for 692 apartments, a 147-room hotel, more than 350,000 square feet of new office space and over 32,000 square feet of street-level retail. 

Kinsale and Marchetti Development, a local firm led by father-son duo Joe Marchetti Jr. and Joe Marchetti III, are seeking a provisional-use permit to green-light the project. Their request was heard at the Henrico Planning Commission meeting Thursday night, where the commission unanimously recommended approval. 

kinsale center rendering

A rendering of the proposed development, looking north along Staples Mill Road.

The plans for the development – referred to as Kinsale Center in planning documents – emerged just a few days after Kinsale announced its plans to relocate from its 3-year-old headquarters to a former Elevance Health building at 2015 Staples Mill Road. Anthem rebranded to Elevance last year. 

Kinsale, which has a headcount of 545 employees, bought the entire Elevance complex late last year for $76 million before selling off an Elevance-occupied office at 2103 Staples Mill Road for $66 million this summer. 

The deal left Kinsale owning about 23 acres. Plans show that Kinsale Center would replace nearly all the surface parking lots on the site.

The tallest building at the development would be an eight-story hotel along Broad Street next to Cook Out. Around the site’s existing office buildings would rise three apartment buildings: a seven-story, 261-unit building behind the under-construction Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen; a five-story, 173-unit building facing Staples Mill Road; and a five-story, 258-unit apartment building at the north end of the property along Thalbro Street. Two of the three apartment buildings would have ground-floor commercial space.

Marchetti and Kinsale are also planning a trio of six-story office buildings to rise on the property: a pair totaling 214,000 square feet at the northwestern corner of the property, and a 131,000-square-foot office at the corner of West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road. 

kinsale center 1 scaled

Kinsale is planning a $50 million renovation of the building to the left, while Elevance continues to rent the building to the right. (Mike Platania photo)

Nearly 3,800 parking spaces are planned to support the Kinsale Center, including a new, 1,400-space deck at the northern end of the property. It’s described in plans as pedestrian-oriented, and between each building would be outdoor furniture, public art and green spaces.

After Thursday’s meeting Joe Marchetti III said they were glad to get the Planning Commission’s approval, and that in planning Kinsale Center, they set out for it to be an upscale, high-quality development.

“The expectation is that it’ll be a gateway to Henrico County from the City of Richmond,” he said. 

Added Joe Marchetti Jr.: “The Kinsale Center is a world-class project that will showcase energy-efficient buildings with stylish exterior designs.”

The total buildout of Kinsale Center could cost around $450 million, Joe Marchetti Jr. said, a total that doesn’t include the $50 million Kinsale is planning to invest into the 2015 Staples Mill Road office. The development would be built in phases, and Joe Marchetti III said he expects it will take seven to 10 years to fully build out.

marchetti Cropped

Joe Marchetti III and Joe Marchetti Jr.

He added that they’re now anticipating their request will be heard by Henrico’s Board of Supervisors at its Dec. 12 meeting.

Baskervill is the project designer, Timmons Group is the engineer and Kimley-Horn conducted a traffic study for the project. Marchetti Development is acting as the developer. Marchetti and Kinsale are being represented by Roth Jackson’s Andy Condlin in the provisional-use permit request. 

Kinsale Center is the latest in a string of major redevelopments planned for the Westwood area of Henrico County. 

The Ukrop family and Pivot Development are looking to redevelop the adjacent, 19-acre Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods complex to include around 1,000 multifamily units plus more retail, office and hotel uses. 

Federal Realty Investment Trust, the Maryland firm that owns Willow Lawn, is looking to give the longtime shopping center another makeover, this time with over 2,200 residential units and 500,000 square feet of commercial space in the pipeline. Initially built as a shopping mall in the 1950s, Willow Lawn has gone through a number of iterations over the years. 

The Ukrops’ proposal was approved by the county earlier this year, while Federal Realty’s rezoning request for Willow Lawn is still pending. 

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Paul Alan Johnson
Paul Alan Johnson
6 months ago

Sounds like a great project – especially if it removes that ugly Anthem building.

Zach Poprocky
Zach Poprocky
6 months ago

According to last week’s article, Kinsale plans to remodel the anthem building for their offices. This looks like it will all be build surrounding that building

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
6 months ago
Reply to  Zach Poprocky

Well good. I am not familiar with the look of that particular bldg but the way of modern buildings esp is that the bones of the structure are rather able to accomidate whatever is wished for facade-wise — a boring monolithic wall or something ridiculously fancy — your choice!

And I love it when things are reused, even if it is just the skeleton or mere foundation.

Stephen Weisensale
Stephen Weisensale
6 months ago

It’s good to finally see a developer in henrico that isn’t surrounding the buildings in a 1960s era sea of asphalt (Libby mid-town). The early renderings are however a disjointed hodgepodge of exterior designs.

Justin Fritch
Justin Fritch
6 months ago

While I agree with your sentiment, its my understanding that in the case of Libby Mill, the surface parking is not intended to be permanent and likely ultimately will be filled in as they further build out over time. They have been building enclosed parking structures in their residential blocks and I imagine they will continue to do so as the property densifies.

Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
6 months ago

Please line the road with buildings, and avoid suburban type areas between the development and the street. The foster home project on Broad did a great job of that.

And god forbid no parking lots in front

Craig Davis
Craig Davis
6 months ago

interesting. I think the new style of having the buildings abut the street or sidewalk like a random European city looks terrible visually.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
6 months ago
Reply to  Craig Davis

How does having buildings abut the street look European? That look is called urban and we have plenty of examples in US cities. Please show me a pretty parking lot because I’ve yet to see one in my lifetime.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
6 months ago

Interesting controversy here. My theory, throwing the “european” adjective out, is that things are often to a degree HOW they are done more than simply What. Sure, maybe a parking-lot forward structure might not be the best look. But how about greenspace with parking behind? There are disadvantages to what you are calling an “Urban” look (Urban is an adjective that seems to be used different ways — food desert people use it to include places that are VERY “suburban”, for instance.) New York city long ago mandated setbacks WITHIN the tall bldgs they were building so that SOME scant… Read more »

Haley Palmer
Haley Palmer
6 months ago

It looks like it’ll be a nice place to work. I don’t understand why anyone would want to live there though. Nevertheless, the NOVA kids will probably love it and move there in droves.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
6 months ago
Reply to  Haley Palmer

Neither sure why this is being downvoted or what your snark about NoVa is meaning — are you saying people from places like Shirlington? Places near but not in Old Town Alexandria?? Pentagon City? I like a lot of those places; the are a lot nicer than some parts of Richmond for just one thing, but not IDEAL for many. I am no fan of the built environment of NoVa generally, but it is not entirely homogeneous and most of it is suburban, not newurban like this development is proposed to be. People from NoVa tend to be mostly practical… Read more »

Mark Hamilton
Mark Hamilton
6 months ago

What a bland suburban mess.
Not sure how this can be characterized as “pedestrian oriented” with 3800 parking spaces mixed with Popeyes and Cookout. It’s a big opportunity to add thoughtful density to this key location. Hopefully this goes back to the drawing board.

Stephen Weisensale
Stephen Weisensale
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Hamilton

Unlike the City, Henrico still has parking minimums which are based on a suburban commuter model. Perhaps the requirements can be modified here, let’s hope.

Christopher Muller
Christopher Muller
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Hamilton

Also they don’t own the Cook Out or Popeye’s parcels, which are at the far corner of the property. Unless you’re suggesting they aggressively make offers there to get rid of them. 3800 parking spaces does seem far too many, though as stated that may be based on required minimums.

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
6 months ago

I hope they use this as a chance to replace the 4 foot wide suicide sidewalk on Staples Mill with a 10 to 12 foot wide landscaped sidewalk. This is a nice development it will add lots of housing by converting vast empty parking lots into housing. I also think Krispy Cream will get more business with so many new people being with in 2,000 feet of it. I’m glad they are adding a parking deck to replace the vast surface lots. Imagine the hundred or so million plus dollars in new taxable real state that is being added to… Read more »

Stephen Weisensale
Stephen Weisensale
6 months ago

LOL, they may need a pedestrian bridge across staples mill for the Krispy Krem clientele.

Tom Gates
Tom Gates
6 months ago

Good luck for an ambitious plan. According to national real estate statisitics our region already has a 30% overcapacity of multi-family units and that number is growing. Richmond, being a suburb of DC which now controls 43% of the US GDP, may be immune but I doubt it because that trend cannot continue. On top of that financing for these type of projects is drying up and/or becoming cost prohibitive due to higher interest rates. Anyone who lived through the real estate crisis of the 1990s will understand what I am talking about. I live in that area and traffic… Read more »

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Gates

You do realize we will be seeing condo conversion for some of these multi family housing units we have in the not too distant future? I’d argue traffic is horrible around Broad/Staples Mill due to all of the non-pedestrian friendly developments in the counties from people driving into the area. Density like this supports better/more mass transit options and it’s what we need more of (not surface parking).

Tom Gates
Tom Gates
6 months ago

Condo conversion at what interest rates plus condo fees? Who will buy them unless there are huge subsidies and/or minimal down payment? I know no one on this site wants to hear potentially bad news. But there is a cost for 14 years of zero rate interest policy (ZIRP). The fact that hedge funds own 25-30% of the US single family homes they bought with 1% short term debt but are going to have to refinance that debt at much higher rates over the next 24 months could cause the funds to have to fire sale those homes quickly. No… Read more »

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Gates

This isn’t a matter of avoiding negative thoughts because the real estate market is still quite healthy and higher rates have yet to take us into a recession as much as the WSJ and Bloomberg keep saying it’s bound to happen. Will it cool off some? Yes. However, you are ignoring how we have had zero new condo inventory since lending for condo construction dried up in 2009. People want density, walkability, and little to no maintenance.

Tom Gates
Tom Gates
6 months ago

Variuos regions may escape it for awhile but eventually the domino catches up. Why do you think that Wells Fargo in Richmond is the conglomeration of at least 13 former Richmond Banks and Savings and Loan Institutions starting with the commercial real estate crash in the early 1990s. Before the fall, we had very high occupancy rates in commercial real estate due in part to the growth of the federal government. Great sources for what is going on in multi-family, and the games the owners play, can be see on YouTube with Ivy Zelman of Zelman Associates and Melody Wright.

William Bagby
William Bagby
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Gates

Richmond being a suburb of DC?? Lmaoooo NO.

Tom Gates
Tom Gates
6 months ago
Reply to  William Bagby

I agree, but the people moving into my west end neighborhood where I have lived for 33 years all have DC license plates and still work there

Renita Sommers
Renita Sommers
6 months ago
Reply to  William Bagby

We have bid on 2 single family houses this year and lost both of them to NOVA couples. Ashland is already a suburb and Henrico will be soon. Compared to NOVA the houses are dirt cheap and the schools are good.

Ethan D Lindbloom
Ethan D Lindbloom
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Gates

Where does that data come from? Occupancy in the Richmond area is over 95%, and, the MSA is growing by 1% per year, meaning we need housing for 15,000 new residents every year.

Bruce D Anderson
Bruce D Anderson
6 months ago

It seems surprising they want to build offices when everyone else is trying to figure out how to get out of offices. Of course, if they’re world-class, energy-efficient buildings, they’ll possibly attract companies looking to upgrade. Maybe they know something we don’t.

Jon Lohr
Jon Lohr
6 months ago

Too bad there’s no dedicated Pulse line parking mentioned

Lonzo Harris
Lonzo Harris
6 months ago

I would not like to be the one holding the bag when this bubble burst, to many apartments, too many major investments in a small market like Richmond l, this is not sustainable.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
6 months ago
Reply to  Lonzo Harris

Lonzo, how is a bubble going to burst exactly? The Richmond metro area’s population is growing and we have a national housing shortage due to too few homes being built the past decade plus. There are zero signs of a bubble for housing supply. Builders are still seeing quite the opposite: new buildings fill up quickly.

Jennifer Tompkins
Jennifer Tompkins
6 months ago

I hope these buildings will have elevators and outdoor spaces. This would seem to me to be a prime location for over 55 condo development (garden style) with medical offices adjacent and walkable/mini-bus to Willow Lawn. With the aging of the current population at over 10,000 people/day reaching 65, I don’t see where townhomes are going to be viable housing for folks aging in place in the future (although yes, they are cheaper to build.) If these offices are built with an eye toward future condo conversion (800-1500 SF or so) and a walking plaza like what is happening at… Read more »

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
6 months ago

So did I miss the mention about when they’re going to put the plans before the Richmond City Planning Commission or does the city zoning already work with the buildings in Henrico that will straddle the boundary line. The rendering shows the buildings up to Staples Mill, and Broad, and as everybody knows the frontage on Broad Street is in the city or does the city have agreement with Henrico to let them design and approve buildings in the city limits?

Joe Kameros
Joe Kameros
6 months ago

see attached boundary line map of that area

LINE.png
David Humphrey
David Humphrey
6 months ago

I think the City rezoned this stretch when they did Scott’s Addition. I believe their zoning should work.

Peter James
Peter James
6 months ago
Reply to  David Humphrey

You are correct, David. The city last year rezoned that entire stretch of W. Broad to TOD-1.

Michael Boyer
Michael Boyer
6 months ago

That’s where I want to live,the corner of Broad and Staples Mill.

Perkins Carey
Perkins Carey
6 months ago

I wonder how many of these apartments will be earmarked for low income citizens? If not, why not?

Talon Karrde
Talon Karrde
6 months ago

So 2200 units at Willow Lawn, 1000 units at Ukrops, +/- 1000 units at this site. We are looking at an influx of around 10,000 people give or take for family sizes. Should be a nice boon for local businesses that pop up around there.