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Apartment complex planned near VUU

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Plans call for two buildings comprising 200 apartments and straddling a central surface parking lot.

RICHMOND, Va. — A plan to transition the Brook Road-Chamberlayne Avenue corridor near Virginia Union University into a mixed-use village is getting a boost with a rezoning for a 200-unit apartment complex.

Spy Rock Real Estate Group secured zoning approval this week for what principal Andrew Basham described as affordable workforce housing at 1207 and 1207-A School Street, a 5-acre site between Brook Road and Interstate 64. The property comprises a scrap metal recycling facility, an auto repair shop and construction operations.

Plans call for two four-story buildings with one-, two- and three-bedroom units straddling a central surface parking lot. Basham said the project would add needed workforce housing in an area accessible to VUU, VCU and downtown.

“There’s a huge demand for more affordable workforce housing in the city, and it’s our opinion it’s not really being met,” Basham said. “It’s our intent to do some workforce housing over there and have a more moderate price point than Scott’s Addition or downtown.”

Spy Rock has been active in Scott’s Addition, where it developed the 194-unit Preserve at Scott’s Addition in a former Coca-Cola bottling plant and is developing 190 apartments and 55,000 square feet of commercial space on the site of the former Symbol Mattress Co. facility.

Basham said the area at Brook and Chamberlayne presents a different opportunity for infill and redevelopment. He said the City of Richmond’s approval last year of its VUU-Chamberlayne Neighborhood Plan turned his and fellow Spy Rock principal Taylor Williams’ attention to the area.

“I don’t see it as a Scott’s Addition or a Manchester necessarily, because there’s no historic district over there. I think that’s one reason why it hasn’t seen a ton of investment, because of that lack of a historic district,” Basham said.

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