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CHA to consider Holiday Home Tour guidelines, new Pear Street development

April 12, 2013 9:08 am by

April Membership Meeting and Website updates
This coming Tuesday evening, the 16th, we will meet at St. John’s Church Hall at 7:00 pm.

We have two very important items on the agenda this month: the proposed Holiday Home Tour guidelines and a presentation from David White on his proposed Pear Street Development. The Proposed Guidelines may be reviewed here and information regarding the Pear Street development may be found here and here. We look forward to seeing you at this important meeting!

Additionally, the minutes for the March membership meeting and April board meeting are posted on the website. They can be found in our Communications section.

Pear and Main Streets

Pear and Main Streets

Regarding the Pear Street development, from the March 7 Zoning Committee minutes:

Mr. White seeks to develop a landmark, high-end condominium project. The building is proposed at 15 stories above ground & three stories of below ground parking (below ground at Main Street, above ground at Cary Street). Under the proposal designated parking would be below Main Street & carved into the existing topography with a living wall to mitigate any potential eyesore. Mr. White is sensitive to the viewshed & the perceived historic view from Libby Hill Park. Mr. White has consulted with Historic Richmond Foundation regarding the view. Mr. White believes an impact to a “secondary” view will exist if the proposed project is completed to his design specifications. The proposal calls for a glass, brick & mortar building 150 tall from the base of Main Street at Pear Street. The building would house 37 condominiums, 15 of which would be three bedrooms plus a den with 3 & 1?2 baths per unit; with the remaining units being two bedroom units. The units would be priced from the mid-$400,000s to $1,300,000 & range in size from 1,600 to 3,300 square feet.

Regarding the Pear Street development, from the March 20 Zoning Committee minutes:

Concept One: Proposal calls for a building 110 feet tall from the base of Main Street at Pear Street constructed of brick & glass. The impact to the view from Libby Hill Park was discussed. It was deemed this proposal while it would impact the view would be less conspicuous than the original proposed design. The new proposal calls for removal of 20 feet from the penthouse level (two stories) & 30 feet (three stories) from the podium (mid) level. The new concept would still have views of the James River west to downtown, east to Rockets Landing & of Libby Hill Park.

Concept Two: Proposal calls for a building 100 feet tall from the base of Main Street at Pear Street constructed of brick & glass. The impact to the view from Libby Hill Park was discussed. It was deemed this proposal while it would impact the view would be less conspicuous than the original proposal & less than concept one. The new proposal calls for removal of 30 feet from the penthouse level (three stories) & 30 feet (three stories) from the podium (mid) level. The new concept would still have views of the James River west to downtown, east to Rockets Landing & of Libby Hill Park.

Mr. White further advised the committee he also has the opportunity to build a high- density apartment building, similar to the Tobacco Row developments. However, this is not his intent at this time and would require the property be rezoned to B-5 from M-1. Adjacent developments are currently zoned B-5.

Committee response & discussion: A significant opportunity exists with this developer & his vision for this site. It was agreed that the opportunity should not go unlooked at & that the CHA has real potential to work together with Mr. White to shape the design of the riverfront. It was noted that should CHA oppose the development outright the developer has the potential to either seek to build to his desires, or to sell the property at which point the site could see similar infill development which currently exists in the area.


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