Construction underway for apartment building near Stuart Circle in Richmond
A 106-unit upscale apartment building is beginning to take root on a former parking lot at West Grace and North Lombardy streets near Stuart Circle.
The five-story building with two levels underneath for parking should be completed by late next year or early 2020.
The $14.5 million project is a being developed as a joint venture between Richmond-based Fountainhead Development, a big residential and commercial development player in downtown Richmond and in Manchester for the past 15 years, and the WVS Cos., which has developed Rocketts Landing mixed-use development straddling Richmond and Henrico County along the James River. Both developers also are working on The Locks project along the Haxall Canal in downtown Richmond.
The planned apartment building is a block from Monument Avenue and Stuart Circle and is behind St. John’s United Church of Christ, which owns the 0.826acre parking lot but is selling it to the developers.
The developers are paying $1.5 million to buy the lot, said Tom Papa, Fountainhead’s co-founder and principal. The closing is expected to take place next week.
“It is a great location,” Papa said. “We have spent a lot of time working with the community making sure we can make as few people unhappy as possible.”
Papa said he believes the development team — he is collaborating with WVS Cos.’ Jason Vickers-Smith and Richard
Souter — and Walter Parks Architects have created an apartment building that should blend in nicely with the West Grace Street and nearby Fan District communities.
For instance, the exterior building’s façade will be brick with a large courtyard along West Grace Street.
“This is not student housing,” Papa said. “This for professionals and people from the suburbs who want to move into town and want to be in the Fan. Hopefully this will be their place.”
The one-bedroom apartments will have about 800 square feet while the two-bedroom units will be about 1,200 square feet, he said. “These will be premium units.”
About 70 percent of the units will be one-bedroom while the rest will be two-bedrooms, he said.
Rental rates have not been set, but should be in line with what other premium apartment units in the city are charging, Papa said.
One parking space will be available underneath the building for use by every unit, plus about 40 spaces will be set aside for use by St. John’s United Church of Christ.
The first level of parking will be a half-story below grade, and the other level will be slightly above grade.
The apartment project will be called CIRC — short for Stuart Circle. “My partners are more clever than I am when it comes to names. But when I had to form an entity name for the contract, I wrote down Stuart CIRC,” Papa said.
St. John’s United Church of Christ decided a couple of years ago to come up with a plan for the parking lot. The church hired a broker to solicit bids from developers, who made presentations to the church’s leaders. Fountainhead Development and the WVS Cos. won the bid.
“We were very much engaged with the church and the community to come up with something that is compatible,” Papa said.
Plans call for a 106-unit upscale apartment building to be built on a former parking lot at West Grace and North Lombardy streets near Stuart Circle. The building, seen in a rendering, will have two levels underneath for parking and should be completed by late next year or early 2020.
St. John’s United Church of Christ owns the 0.826-acre parking lot but is selling it to Fountainhead Development and the WVS Cos.