Two entire city blocks in Manchester in play for new development

The suspension-focused car shop at right is being eyed by the same developers that are building this six-story apartment building. (Mike Platania photos)

Inflation and rising interest rates don’t appear to be cooling the Manchester development boom.

Two entire city blocks in the South Richmond neighborhood are in play for potential new development.

At 701 Perry St., South Carolina-based developer The Beach Co. is planning to build 260 apartments, according to documents filed with the city.

The site, currently home to Thurston Spring Services, spans an entire city block and hit the market earlier this year as the Thurston family looks to cash out of the neighborhood.

The Beach Co.’s first Richmond project is due to be complete in spring 2023.

Their nearly 2-acre assemblage is catty-corner to 700 Semmes Ave., where The Beach Co. is also building a six-story, 221-unit mixed-use building that’s due to be complete in spring 2023.

The Beach Co. earlier this month applied for a pair of zoning confirmation letters with the city for the Thurston site.

Further details such as the would-be project’s height and whether the firm has the parcel under contract are unclear. The Beach Co. Development Manager Timothy Cotter declined to comment, as did broker Bruce Milam, who’s handling the Thurston listing.

Meanwhile, a few blocks east, another entire city block at 300-360 Stockton St. is being listed for sale.

The 2-acre parcel east of Hull Street is home to both 33 apartments and a Tesla-occupied warehouse. (Photo courtesy of Bruce Commercial Realty)

Bounded by East Third, Stock, East Fourth and Everett streets, the 2-acre site is home to both the 33-unit Stella 360 apartment building and a 19,500-square-foot warehouse that’s been leased by Tesla’s energy division since early 2021.

Property Results, a local development firm led by Sam McDonald and Mark Scordo, owns the land and developed the apartments around a decade ago. Milam also has that listing. He said Tesla has about 18 months left on its lease and the apartments are fully leased. The property is being pitched as both an investment and redevelopment opportunity.

“The whole block could be leveled. Someone could come in and knock those apartments down as well, and that’s where you could build 300 apartments on the 2 acres,” Milam said. “(A buyer) could wait out the 18 months from this point to get plans reviewed and get everything in line and be ready to clear and grade in January 2024. Or later if they want to hold it longer.”

An asking price wasn’t provided. The property was most recently assessed at a combined $5.4 million.

Milam said he thinks Property Results is looking to sell to free up some of their time and attention, particularly as the firm’s getting ready to kick off work on a 65-unit second phase of PortRVA on Hull Street.

The Stockton Street parcel falls in a part of Manchester east of Hull and Decatur streets that’s beginning to see increased developer interest as Hull Street and the riverfront become spoken for.

A mystery developer recently rezoned a 2-acre parcel at 600-614 Maury St. and 601-603 Albany Ave. to allow for a higher-density, mixed-use development, and late last year Tom Papa’s Fountainhead Real Estate Development spent $2 million on a half-block parcel at 600-618 Decatur St. where he’s mulling future development.

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