The Richmond development firm Hourigan is planning to raze the Southern States silos near the Mayo Bridge to make room for a high-rise building overlooking the James River.
Nearly a year after Hourigan submitted its request to rezone the property at 2 and 4 Manchester Road for the tentative project, the City Council is poised to vote on whether to approve it this month.
While the development plan is only conceptual, the rezoning of the property would allow the developer to pursue a mixed-use building that could rise up to 20 stories on the 2.2-acre site in the Manchester area in the city’s South Side.
The Planning Commission endorsed the rezoning request a month ago. The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a minor technical adjustment to the ordinance so that it can make a final decision on it next week.
The city planning staff has recommended approval of the rezoning request, citing the recently adopted Richmond 300 master plan and new construction and redevelopment projects that have led to the creation of apartments, offices, restaurants and mixed-use buildings in the formerly industrial area.
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“The development style envisioned is higher-density, transit-oriented on vacant or underutilized sites. New development should be urban in form and may be of larger scale than the existing context,” a staff report on the proposal says. “Staff finds that proposed rezoning is consistent with the changing conditions in the area ... based on market demand.”
Property values and development interest in the Manchester area continues to rise.
The tax assessments on the two parcels targeted for the Hourigan project have increased from a combined $1.9 million in 2015 to $3.3 million this year, according to city property records.
“This property has been essentially waiting for the right moment for land values to catch up,” said Preston Lloyd, a lawyer representing Hourigan in the rezoning case. “It has such an incredible view, with its panorama of the river and the downtown skyline. It’s always been suited for high density.”
Riverfront Silos LLC has owned the property since 2004. The company, according to city and state records, is associated with H. Pettus LeCompte of the Henrico County-based Straus, Itzkowitz & LeCompte Insurance Agency.
Lloyd said Hourigan has an agreement with the property owner. He declined to elaborate but said the current owners would still have an interest in the project.
The rezoning request the City Council will consider next week includes a series of proffers requiring the developer to comply with certain design elements for development at the site and road improvements to improve traffic flow.
Beyond the rezoning request, the city would need to approve a plan of development before construction could start. Lloyd said there is no specific timeline for the project, but he expects construction would take at least two years.