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East End News

Pear Street project moving forward as five stories

A rezoning of the lot at 2801 East Main Street from the M-1 Light Industrial District to the B-5 Central Business District (which had been on and off the Planning Commission agenda for at least a year) was approved by the Commission yesterday.

From Ned Oliver at richmond.com:

A Richmond condo project at the base of Libby Hill initially pitched as being 13 to 16 stories tall advanced in a considerably shortened form Monday. The Richmond Planning Commission recommended approval of a zoning change that will allow the developers to construct a building for commercial or residential use that is no higher than five stories on the property at 2801 E. Main St. at the end of Tobacco Row.

The developers had originally sought a Special Use Permit to allow a 16-story building, which met vigorous opposition.

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Originally proposed 16-story development

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Cindy Shaffer Carr
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Cindy Shaffer Carr

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Brian Marsh
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Brian Marsh

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Paul
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Paul

Didn’t they pitch this as a 10+ story development because something along the lines of “the economics won’t work otherwise”. But now we see the economics evidently work out just fine as 5 stories. Typical…

I’m not against taller buildings in Richmond. But Libby Hill is a special place. The city was named after Richmond on the Thames because of Libby Hill. So in this case I’m glad NIMBY-ism won out.

Steven Summerville
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Hmmm

J
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J

Why are you Richmonders so afraid of heights? Rich towns skyline is the closet thing to Baltimores inner harbor in the mid Atlantic region. Can’t Virginia just get it right and take the torch from is little sister Maryland for once and for all? It’s amazing how most of the major cities south of the mason Dixon have blown up and have there own major league teams ( atl, charlottle, bmore, no etc)… Why hasn’t the local government tried to lure some of those high tech jobs in northern Virginia to central Virginia ? It’s already so crowded up there….… Read more »

Richard R
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Richard R

One problem with the ‘the numbers don’t work’ plea is that the numbers often work with time. I wish Richmond could reduce taxes on basements though, it would be a win win win if this 5 story building were on top of 2-3 stories, possibly parking, partly underground. The numbers really don’t work for basements on anything but very tall buildings, developers are not just whining when they say numbers don’t work if they don’t go higher. Hope this project goes well for the developer, this project could be great for Main Street.

R.
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R.

J. I really hope that is a sarcastic post otherwise you are sorely mistaken. Take a look around the city and see how construction looks. Most new builds whether in the Bottom, Churchill, Manchester, or Scott’s Addition (even in Henrico and Chesterfield) are low-rise; no more than the couple of stories this project is approved for. While you believe that this would support your theory, I am referencing the demand; it is not there because low-rise is an on-going trend. Large cities you reference are dense in population and lacking in land, therefore high-rises are needed; however, in NoVA and… Read more »

J
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J

Well, I guess Richmond will never change. It will likely maintain a low 200k population within its city limits and a high murder rate, which is on pace for 108 by years end (saw that in the news this morning). Richmond so far this year is tied with New Orleans per capita rate and twice as high as DC and the overall crime rates in both Richmond and New Orleans is spiking higher than Chicago

Eric Huffstutler
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Eric Huffstutler

I think there was a discussion before about utilizing Brown’s Island for a high rise? Also if you did not build a 15 story building on Pear, that the sq ft space will need to spread out to equal the loss of units within the height? I also wonder why Richmond is too ultra conservative when it comes to architecture in non protected areas? Why build a half dozen apartment buildings that look like prisons when you could build one 20-story building instead while saving the landscape from looking like Ukraine neighborhoods?

R.
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R.

So what does a low rise building have to do with crime? Eric, by building high rises you can fit more in less square footage, yes, but guess what that means, more bodies in a smaller place. If you all want to reference crime with such a small population (J) then let’s just build high rises on every possible plot and increase population and crowding. Then maybe it really would be a prison.

Juanito
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Juanito

Humm – couldn’t make money on less than 16 stories.

Coqui
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Coqui

There is some confusion about how the five story’s are measured- is it five stories from main st? From Cary? Or a feet above sea level. The building across
Pear on main is five stories, taller than its neighbors but got through in a below-the-radar development some years ago.
Does any one know the height on main! At Cary st? At dock?