D.C. firm wants to build 221 apartments on former Dominion parking lot in the Fan

audeo fan rendering3 Cropped

A rendering of the planned apartment buildings. (City documents)

A former Dominion Energy-owned parking lot in the Fan is being eyed for what would be the largest new-construction apartment development the neighborhood’s seen in recent years. 

Washington, D.C.-based Audeo Partners filed plans this week for a pair of four-story apartment buildings totaling 221 units on the 1.7-acre parcel at 2501 Grayland Ave. 

Dominion had owned the Grayland Avenue lot and more than 3 acres surrounding it for decades before putting it all on the market in 2021. Audeo, as part of an investment group, bought the parking lot last year for $5.5 million. Audeo also paid $7.5 million for the neighboring former Dominion office complex at 2400 Grayland Ave., where it is already underway on converting the three-story building into 125 apartments. 

With the from-scratch project on the parking lot, Audeo partner Madi Ford said the firm set out to design something that both fit in with the neighborhood and abided by the existing zoning.

“As you can see, we broke up the buildings along Grayland to be sensitive to the building massing on such a long block,” Ford said in an email. “Similarly, the variety of exterior façade finishes provide visual interest and serve to diversify the pedestrian experience of the building in this highly walkable neighborhood.”

audeo fan rendering2 Cropped

The larger of the two buildings, pictured right, would rise closer to Robinson Street.

The larger of the two buildings would rise closer to Robinson Street on the western edge of the parcel and total 132 apartments. The second building would total 89 units. Plans call for 173 of the 221 total apartments to be one-bedrooms or studios, with the remaining 48 planned to have two bedrooms. 

Ford said the units are planned to be market-rate, but that may change as Audeo continues to explore financing options. No commercial space is planned, and 201 of the planned 228 parking spaces would be in a partially underground deck.

Timmons Group is listed as the project engineer. Walter Parks Architects is handling design. Audeo has yet to select a general contractor. Ford said that the firm hopes to break ground in late 2024 and that construction should take just under two years. 

Audeo’s conversion of 2400 Grayland is well underway with KBS Inc. as the general contractor. Ford said completion is eyed for early 2025.

“The buildings there provide a really exceptional canvas, and I think our team has imagined a unique concept for the project identity that people will enjoy,” she said.

Between the new-construction apartments and the office conversion across the street, Audeo is set to bring 346 new apartments to Grayland Avenue, making it one of the busier multifamily developers in the Fan. 

The neighborhood doesn’t often see density at that level. The 2018 redevelopment of the adjacent, former GRTC bus barn into Cary Street Station added 286 apartments, but since then infill development has been the primary driver of new residences in the Fan. 

And locally based developer WVS is adding to that infill density. The firm, known as the mastermind of Rocketts Landing, purchased Dominion’s 1-acre site at 219 S. Stafford Ave. for $2 million and is underway on a 26-townhome project. 

wvs stafford Cropped scaled

Local developer WVS is underway on more than two dozen townhomes on former Dominion land nearby. (Mike Platania photo)

audeo fan rendering3 Cropped

A rendering of the planned apartment buildings. (City documents)

A former Dominion Energy-owned parking lot in the Fan is being eyed for what would be the largest new-construction apartment development the neighborhood’s seen in recent years. 

Washington, D.C.-based Audeo Partners filed plans this week for a pair of four-story apartment buildings totaling 221 units on the 1.7-acre parcel at 2501 Grayland Ave. 

Dominion had owned the Grayland Avenue lot and more than 3 acres surrounding it for decades before putting it all on the market in 2021. Audeo, as part of an investment group, bought the parking lot last year for $5.5 million. Audeo also paid $7.5 million for the neighboring former Dominion office complex at 2400 Grayland Ave., where it is already underway on converting the three-story building into 125 apartments. 

With the from-scratch project on the parking lot, Audeo partner Madi Ford said the firm set out to design something that both fit in with the neighborhood and abided by the existing zoning.

“As you can see, we broke up the buildings along Grayland to be sensitive to the building massing on such a long block,” Ford said in an email. “Similarly, the variety of exterior façade finishes provide visual interest and serve to diversify the pedestrian experience of the building in this highly walkable neighborhood.”

audeo fan rendering2 Cropped

The larger of the two buildings, pictured right, would rise closer to Robinson Street.

The larger of the two buildings would rise closer to Robinson Street on the western edge of the parcel and total 132 apartments. The second building would total 89 units. Plans call for 173 of the 221 total apartments to be one-bedrooms or studios, with the remaining 48 planned to have two bedrooms. 

Ford said the units are planned to be market-rate, but that may change as Audeo continues to explore financing options. No commercial space is planned, and 201 of the planned 228 parking spaces would be in a partially underground deck.

Timmons Group is listed as the project engineer. Walter Parks Architects is handling design. Audeo has yet to select a general contractor. Ford said that the firm hopes to break ground in late 2024 and that construction should take just under two years. 

Audeo’s conversion of 2400 Grayland is well underway with KBS Inc. as the general contractor. Ford said completion is eyed for early 2025.

“The buildings there provide a really exceptional canvas, and I think our team has imagined a unique concept for the project identity that people will enjoy,” she said.

Between the new-construction apartments and the office conversion across the street, Audeo is set to bring 346 new apartments to Grayland Avenue, making it one of the busier multifamily developers in the Fan. 

The neighborhood doesn’t often see density at that level. The 2018 redevelopment of the adjacent, former GRTC bus barn into Cary Street Station added 286 apartments, but since then infill development has been the primary driver of new residences in the Fan. 

And locally based developer WVS is adding to that infill density. The firm, known as the mastermind of Rocketts Landing, purchased Dominion’s 1-acre site at 219 S. Stafford Ave. for $2 million and is underway on a 26-townhome project. 

wvs stafford Cropped scaled

Local developer WVS is underway on more than two dozen townhomes on former Dominion land nearby. (Mike Platania photo)

Your subscription has expired. Renew now by choosing a subscription below!

For more informaiton, head over to your profile.

Profile


SUBSCRIBE NOW

 — 

 — 

 — 

TERMS OF SERVICE:

ALL MEMBERSHIPS RENEW AUTOMATICALLY. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR A 1 YEAR MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL AT THE RATE IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME UNLESS YOU CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP BY LOGGING IN OR BY CONTACTING [email protected].

ALL CHARGES FOR MONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS ARE NONREFUNDABLE.

EACH MEMBERSHIP WILL ONLY FUNCTION ON UP TO 3 MACHINES. ACCOUNTS ABUSING THAT LIMIT WILL BE DISCONTINUED.

FOR ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR MEMBERSHIP PLEASE EMAIL [email protected]




Return to Homepage

POSTED IN Commercial Real Estate

Editor's Picks

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

34 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Don O'Keefe
Don O'Keefe
3 months ago

I’m happy to see more housing. The Fan is in desperate need of it.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
3 months ago

This project sounds great and it has the density I wanted for Cary St Station (the old bus barn). Hopefully these new residences will spur more improvements/retail along Cary St between Davis and Shields.

Flora Valdes-Dapena
Flora Valdes-Dapena
3 months ago

It’s great to see that more people will get a chance to live in one of our most in-demand neighborhoods. BTW, for those wondering about the history of this location, it’s not a coincidence that Cary Street Station (former GRTC storage and maintenance facility) is co-located with all these Dominion-owned parcels. Dominion’s corporate predecessor was called Virginia Passenger & Power Company. It was a regulated monopoly that provided electric power but also operated Richmond’s first-in-the-world streetcar system as well as Norfolk’s. Before “Cary Street Station” was a GRTC bus facility, it was a VP&P streetcar facility. VP&P’s name was changed… Read more »

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
3 months ago

Thanks for the backstory! I knew the streetcars operated out of Cary St Station, I did not realize Dominion used to be involved with transit.

Peter James
Peter James
3 months ago

Great historical recap, Flora. I’m old enough to remember the Virginia Transit Company and to have ridden those silver buses (with the single green stripe) when I was a kid. I remember when GRTC was formed being sad that the old silver and green motif went away in favor of the tan and orange that GRTC had for decades.

Either way, good stuff.

Personal note: my mother (may her memory be for a blessing) worked for VEPCO (in the downtown HQ building at 7th and Franklin) from the mid 1940s until 1962.

Arnold Hager
Arnold Hager
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter James

Yep. Can remember going there to the ticket window to get a book of student tickets back during high school.

Arnold Hager
Arnold Hager
3 months ago

Thank you. I enjoyed your comment and with some fond memories. I went to the church across Robinson St. now called Riverview Baptist Church. Back then it was called Parkview Baptist Church. Before the expressway came through the park was actually across the street. The white building on the corner was my vacation bible school classroom. I still have the Bible I received after graduating dated 1964.

Last edited 3 months ago by Arnold Hager
Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago

Yeah, the history of the streetcar was VERY tied to the early electricity industry before they were regulated monopolies — and it really was also tied to the suburban real estate industry. The electric cos wanted people to consume more electricity, hence streetcars. The streetcars wanted places where people would travel to, so parks were built — many of these sprouted micro “resort towns” around them, built by the streetcar cos that are still towns called “______ Park” — here in Richmond Forest Hill and Byrant are excellent examples of this, and west of Petersburg they had Forest Hill Park.… Read more »

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
3 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

So Petersburg had electric streetcars/trolleys at one point?

karl hott
karl hott
3 months ago

Responsible development includes parking. This looks promising.

Jay Emory
Jay Emory
3 months ago
Reply to  karl hott

You are not being required to live there, or in the city at all, if parking is that much of an issue for you.

karl hott
karl hott
3 months ago
Reply to  Jay Emory

Excellent point and quite articulate.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  karl hott

Only an excellent point if the maker is not also one of these people who are anti-suburb. If he isn’t, it is a fair point, fairly articulate and a little testy, no? I mean, there is a HINT of “maybe we don’t want thinkers like you here in the city we are trying to build” in there, no?

Not that I think that is out of bounds. Often I find that compromise yields better results than purity though, but compromise is a frustrating process.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  Jay Emory

LOL!!!

Joanna Ryan
Joanna Ryan
3 months ago
Reply to  Jay Emory

As a longtime resident I just want to point out that this neighborhood once had access to numerous bus lines but most of them were eliminated when the Pulse was created. The powers that be decided it was more important to offer bus service along Broad Street so certain people could get free rides to Whole Foods and the breweries.

Arnold Hager
Arnold Hager
3 months ago
Reply to  Joanna Ryan

Is the bus fare still free?

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
3 months ago
Reply to  Joanna Ryan

The neighborhood had access to multiple bus lines because the lines were not optimized for the entire city. Now the lines are more spread out and they have less stops to provide consistent service that’s faster overall. In addition there is now a central bus transfer station and we have one bus rapid transit BRT line with a second BRT line in the works.

People make take the Pulse to breweries and Whole Foods, but Willow Lawn and Downtown stops near MCV and Main St seem to have more traffic.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  karl hott

Oooo!! The Parking Wars seem to be back!!

Chris Banks
Chris Banks
3 months ago

More and more developers are building apartment complexes without ground floor commercial. It’s great that there is existing retail around the corner, and the development likely includes amenities (gym, club room, etc) but with all that parking, residents and limited nearby options, aren’t we just encouraging more driving? Would have liked to see the section fronting Robinson built out for small commercial use.

Zach Rugar
Zach Rugar
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Banks

It would be good to have a mix of both. Ground floor retail but, also a nice parking garage for residents and visitors. Residents of course could have free parking but charge a little for the vistors.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  Zach Rugar

Ooooo!! You are taking a balanced approach — a little risky — being pro-ground floor retail AND pro-parking…. I like it.

But really, does retail make ANY sense there?

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Banks

I think the problem is that the retail often NEVER fills up. They built at Meadow and Cary (yes different market area even that close) but the Meadow retail eventually was converted to apartments as they never got on nibble. I would have loved a store front or two on Robinson but I think they just looked at the numbers and said it ain’t gonna work.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Banks

Why do you think this is? I suggest that what developers are finding is that all the planners and armchair planners are finding that it is often just not intelligent to always reserve prime space for retail when they there is already plenty of retail space that can’t catch a lease. Meanwhile, even in NYC there are countless examples of apt buildings from what people think of as the Golden Era of legacy city building, like, most of the dense parts of Brooklyn for example, that never had first floor commerical space. I can give you a sound BUSINESS case… Read more »

Randall Hudgins
Randall Hudgins
3 months ago

This is lackluster. We need higher – high – design standards on developments in one of our city’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Build, but bring your A-game.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago

I was looking for this kind of comment that I knew would be here!!! This is “good enough” design, and this is HARDLY the area of the Greater Fan that is the Garden City…. Personally, part of why I like it is that it will provide a WALL to buffer the neighborhood from traffic on the sunken bypass.

Randall Hudgins
Randall Hudgins
3 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

And I too was expecting someone to blather the Richmond mantra of “good enough.” Good enough got us the Arthur Ashe statue design. Good enough is Monument Ave with no roundabouts and no plan for what’s next. Good enough is one-story chain drive-thrus in the primest real estate of the Diamond District. Good enough is a city littered with poorly built “infill” apartments with no redeeming character and negligible structure longevity. Good enough is the battle cry of mediocrity… RVA: Not Great, But Good Enough.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago

I’m gonna tell you a little secret: when you aren’t a rich or newly booming city, Good Enough is good enough, esp in areas that are not yet prime. It’s not blather, it is more observation of what happens rather than what SHOULD happen, which can also be characterized as “blather” since it is usually said by people who are neither the builders or some kind of Louis XIV with the power to force splendor. Meanwhile, we DO have a few things in common: I have long noted that Richmond has a culture that overrates mediocrity. A bit different mentally… Read more »

Denis Etonach
Denis Etonach
3 months ago

I have to agree. The variety of materials and breaking up the massing are great, but I’d love to have seen more nods to the architecture of the neighborhood.

Will Hazel
Will Hazel
3 months ago

Definitely uninspired, cookie cutter architectural “styling”. More of the same that’s been built endlessly for the past decade. We look at the ugly concrete monoliths of the 70’s, and the brass-clad “contemporaries” of the late 80’s and 90’s, and wonder “what were they thinking??? Dated and ugly.” – in 15-20 years we’re going to look at these 2010/2020’s structures and roll our eyes saying the exact same thing.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  Will Hazel

One funny thing is that architecture snobs still LOVE brutalism.

Brett Themore
Brett Themore
3 months ago

Interesting to see a rendering with Powerlines.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  Brett Themore

Good eye!

Bruce D Anderson
Bruce D Anderson
3 months ago

Hopefully, they won’t put vinyl clapboard siding or T-111 on them.

Michael Boyer
Michael Boyer
3 months ago

65 and never rode a bus.