Dozens of income-based apartments could be in store for an area near the Bellevue neighborhood in Northside.
Out-of-town firm Surber Development and Consulting is planning to build a 78-unit complex at 3940 Rosedale Ave.
Dubbed Bellevue Gardens, the $26 million development would span two buildings on a currently undeveloped 6-acre parcel adjacent to the recently renovated Legacy at Imperial Village senior living complex.
Each building would reach three stories, with one containing 40 units and the other with 38 units. All of the units would be income-based, which Surber owner Jen Surber said is her firm’s specialty.
The Bristol, Virginia-based company has 15 such projects in its portfolio and 10 more in the pipeline. Its prior work in the Richmond region has included Bickerstaff Crossing in eastern Henrico and the recently completed Watermark Gardens senior apartments in Chesterfield.
“Everything we do is affordable,” Surber said. “You can’t build (affordable units) quick enough. They lease up quickly and they stay full.”
The Bellevue Gardens buildings would total about 40,000 square feet and would be much smaller in scale than the nearby Legacy at Imperial Village towers, Surber said.
“It’s a good location, a nice community and it’s close to the interstate for access,” she said. “I really like that neighborhood.”
Surber said her firm is under contract to purchase the land, which is owned by Brentwood Investment Group and Bluestone Group, the firms that bought Imperial Plaza in 2021 for more than $70 million.
The apartments at Bellevue Gardens would be for individuals and families earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income and would not be age-restricted. Plans show that of the project’s 78 apartments, 37 would be three-bedroom units, 36 would have two bedrooms and five would have one bedroom.
“We’re not finding a lot of demand for one-bedroom units in what you’d call senior housing,” Surber said. “Folks want an extra room for a spare bedroom, hobby room, office – something like that.”
Surber said the project will be financed in part via low-income housing tax credits from Virginia Housing. She said she’s also applied for funding through the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
The complex would also have 118 parking spaces and a private entrance.
The project engineer is Koontz Bryant Johnson Williams and South Carolina-based architect Donald C. Harwood is the designer. Surber said she has not bid out the project to general contractors yet.
Surber said she’s hoping to finalize the project’s financing, close on the land and begin construction next summer. Until then, the next steps involve getting approval for Bellevue Gardens’ plan of development with the city. The plan was filed this week. The needed zoning for the project is already in place.
Richmond’s multifamily housing boom has been continuing for years now, however new income-based apartment developments are greatly outnumbered by their market-rate counterparts. When asked what she think needs to happen for more affordable units to be built in the region, Surber said the answer is simple:
‘There needs to be more (tax) credits,” she said. “Most of the affordable deals are built with heavy investment from the low-income housing tax credit program.”