Nonprofit planning dozens of low-income apartments near Six Points

VSH1

A rendering of the four-story apartment building planned along Rady Street. (City documents)

A local mental health network is carving out part of its Northside campus for an area housing nonprofit that’s looking to add dozens of income-based apartments in the Highland Park area.

Virginia Supportive Housing is planning a four-story building with 83 low-income units on undeveloped land across Rady Street from the Northside Campus of Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, which is donating the 1.7-acre site to VSH.

VSH provides permanent housing and support services for formerly homeless adults. Based in Henrico, the 36-year-old nonprofit has a portfolio of 17 rental communities and five scattered-site housing programs from Charlottesville to Hampton Roads.

Allison Bogdanovic

Allison Bogdanovic

Executive Director Allison Bogdanovic said the project came about through the nonprofit’s relationship with RBHA, a 28-year-old entity spawned off from city government that provides services for mental health, intellectual disabilities, and substance abuse and prevention.

“We collaborate together to provide services and are always looking for ways to magnify those efforts,” said Bogdanovic, who credited RBHA CEO John Lindstrom and COO Shenee McCray for offering up the site.

“It’s a really unique opportunity that is going to be transformational,” she said.

Targeted for people coming out of homelessness and low-income renters, the apartments would consist of 73 studios and nine one-bedroom units, with an additional unit reserved for a night manager.

Plans submitted to the city do not specify sizes, but Bogdanovic said the studios would average 400 square feet. The building also would include a 780-square-foot community room and 30 off-street parking spaces.

VSH3

A site plan oriented with the right side as north shows the apartment building lining Rady Street and parking along an unpaved portion of Fifth Avenue.

She said rents would be based so that tenants pay no more than 30 percent of their income on rent. Some units will be reserved for renters who are on RBHA’s waiting list for supportive housing.

Not to be confused with transitional housing, the units planned at Rady Street will all be rented on 12-month leases. Bogdanovic said the average length of stay across VSH’s portfolio is between five and six years.

“Our buildings have a combination of people who experience homeless and people with very low incomes,” she said, adding that VSH’s mission “is to end homelessness.”

“Folks work with our services team members, and for many, the ultimate goal is to move out of Virginia Supportive Housing and on to housing of their own, to be stable and independent and pursue what they want,” she said.

Bogdanovic put the project cost at $25 million, to be funded by a mix of two dozen or so funding sources similar to VSH’s Cool Lane Commons project, which she said is wrapping up and moving in residents. VSH’s other local projects include the New Clay House apartments rehab in Richmond’s Carver neighborhood.

VSH2

The building as it would appear along Rady Street.

RBHA is seeking special-use approval from the city for the Rady Street project, due to the land being zoned for institutional use. RBHA has owned the two parcels at 2900 Rady Street and 2733 Fifth Ave. since 2015. The parcels are assessed by the city at $231,000 combined.

A permit request for the project was included on the Planning Commission’s consent agenda Tuesday. It now goes to City Council for final review on Monday.

Should the project go forward, Bogdanovic said construction would start in summer 2026, as she said the process to compile the funding sources can take upwards of two years. She said construction would last 12 to 18 months. A general contractor has not been selected.

Arnold Design Studio is the architect on the project, and Timmons Group is the landscape architect and civil engineer. Preston Lloyd with Williams Mullen is representing RBHA in the special-use request.

The property is next door to another undeveloped site near the Six Points area that’s teed up for residential development. Local couple J. Daniel and McKenzie Payne secured zoning for a 52-unit building at 2906 Fifth Ave. and have since sold the 1-acre lot to an LLC tied to Virginia Beach-based builder Breeden Co., which paid $520,000, city property records show.

A zoning confirmation letter that preceded the sale indicates a building with more than 50 apartments remains planned for the site. A spokesperson for Breeden said the company is evaluating development options for the site.

A few blocks south, Dorado Capital has started construction on a dozen modern-design townhomes at 2705 Fifth Ave. And farther west, Enterprise Community Development is planning a 43-unit apartment building with ground-floor commercial space at 1203 E. Brookland Park Blvd., across from where it is currently developing its 66-unit Brookland Park Apartments.

VSH1

A rendering of the four-story apartment building planned along Rady Street. (City documents)

A local mental health network is carving out part of its Northside campus for an area housing nonprofit that’s looking to add dozens of income-based apartments in the Highland Park area.

Virginia Supportive Housing is planning a four-story building with 83 low-income units on undeveloped land across Rady Street from the Northside Campus of Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, which is donating the 1.7-acre site to VSH.

VSH provides permanent housing and support services for formerly homeless adults. Based in Henrico, the 36-year-old nonprofit has a portfolio of 17 rental communities and five scattered-site housing programs from Charlottesville to Hampton Roads.

Allison Bogdanovic

Allison Bogdanovic

Executive Director Allison Bogdanovic said the project came about through the nonprofit’s relationship with RBHA, a 28-year-old entity spawned off from city government that provides services for mental health, intellectual disabilities, and substance abuse and prevention.

“We collaborate together to provide services and are always looking for ways to magnify those efforts,” said Bogdanovic, who credited RBHA CEO John Lindstrom and COO Shenee McCray for offering up the site.

“It’s a really unique opportunity that is going to be transformational,” she said.

Targeted for people coming out of homelessness and low-income renters, the apartments would consist of 73 studios and nine one-bedroom units, with an additional unit reserved for a night manager.

Plans submitted to the city do not specify sizes, but Bogdanovic said the studios would average 400 square feet. The building also would include a 780-square-foot community room and 30 off-street parking spaces.

VSH3

A site plan oriented with the right side as north shows the apartment building lining Rady Street and parking along an unpaved portion of Fifth Avenue.

She said rents would be based so that tenants pay no more than 30 percent of their income on rent. Some units will be reserved for renters who are on RBHA’s waiting list for supportive housing.

Not to be confused with transitional housing, the units planned at Rady Street will all be rented on 12-month leases. Bogdanovic said the average length of stay across VSH’s portfolio is between five and six years.

“Our buildings have a combination of people who experience homeless and people with very low incomes,” she said, adding that VSH’s mission “is to end homelessness.”

“Folks work with our services team members, and for many, the ultimate goal is to move out of Virginia Supportive Housing and on to housing of their own, to be stable and independent and pursue what they want,” she said.

Bogdanovic put the project cost at $25 million, to be funded by a mix of two dozen or so funding sources similar to VSH’s Cool Lane Commons project, which she said is wrapping up and moving in residents. VSH’s other local projects include the New Clay House apartments rehab in Richmond’s Carver neighborhood.

VSH2

The building as it would appear along Rady Street.

RBHA is seeking special-use approval from the city for the Rady Street project, due to the land being zoned for institutional use. RBHA has owned the two parcels at 2900 Rady Street and 2733 Fifth Ave. since 2015. The parcels are assessed by the city at $231,000 combined.

A permit request for the project was included on the Planning Commission’s consent agenda Tuesday. It now goes to City Council for final review on Monday.

Should the project go forward, Bogdanovic said construction would start in summer 2026, as she said the process to compile the funding sources can take upwards of two years. She said construction would last 12 to 18 months. A general contractor has not been selected.

Arnold Design Studio is the architect on the project, and Timmons Group is the landscape architect and civil engineer. Preston Lloyd with Williams Mullen is representing RBHA in the special-use request.

The property is next door to another undeveloped site near the Six Points area that’s teed up for residential development. Local couple J. Daniel and McKenzie Payne secured zoning for a 52-unit building at 2906 Fifth Ave. and have since sold the 1-acre lot to an LLC tied to Virginia Beach-based builder Breeden Co., which paid $520,000, city property records show.

A zoning confirmation letter that preceded the sale indicates a building with more than 50 apartments remains planned for the site. A spokesperson for Breeden said the company is evaluating development options for the site.

A few blocks south, Dorado Capital has started construction on a dozen modern-design townhomes at 2705 Fifth Ave. And farther west, Enterprise Community Development is planning a 43-unit apartment building with ground-floor commercial space at 1203 E. Brookland Park Blvd., across from where it is currently developing its 66-unit Brookland Park Apartments.

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Flora Dapena
Flora Dapena
1 month ago

Really glad to see this kind of development happening especially in Northside, but man, that rendering is bad. Affordable and supportive housing doesn’t need to look boring and blocky. Looks more like an office building than people’s homes.

Martha Lee
Martha Lee
1 month ago
Reply to  Flora Dapena

Saying it looks like an office building is being gracious. It’s plain ugly. Design matters. Beauty matters.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
1 month ago

I support VSH and love Allison’s work but why does all the housing end up in the same neighborhoods in the City. Chesterfield’s DMHS has offices and centers off Lucy Corr. Why does Chesterfield not work with a VSH to build some housing in that area on land they have? County still has county-owned undeveloped land in that area.

Christian Nulty
Christian Nulty
1 month ago

1000% There is an Income-based apartment building that is about to open up just a few blocks away. You would think a goal of theirs would be to disperse these properties around the city to provide their residents with economic opportunity and not segregate them to the furthest corner of the city.

Mo Karnage
Mo Karnage
1 month ago

All about affordable housing but this building is UGLY and doesn’t match the neighborhood and you can definitely design something better looking, with more windows and light etc. For the tenants, AND that is more sustainable for the same or less money. A lot of these modern apartment buildings are built with awful cheap materials that do not endure.

Randall Hudgins
Randall Hudgins
1 month ago

How can we expect people to value and take care of structures that no one loves? That was a big part of the failure of public housing.