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Real Estate RVA Biz & Gov

Union Hill projects get go-ahead from CAR

Two large developments along the edge of Union Hill were given the go-ahead this past Tuesday by the Commission of Architectural Review.

A mixed-use commercial and residential building on the triangle between Jefferson Avenue, M Street, and 24th Street (ABOVE) was finally given approval after a few trips before CAR. The approval comes with a few conditions: doors be included at the corner of M and North 24th Street; the design for the structure at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and M Street be the alternate design; and the design for the remainder of the structure be the original proposal.

The Better Housing Coalition residential project at the Citadel of Hope on Venable Street (BELOW) was approved with the following conditions: a dimensioned parapet detail for the 2 story building be provided for administrative review and approval; the 3 story buildings be clad in lighter shades of brick to relate to the 2 story building; the applicant work with CAR staff, Land Use Admnistration staff, and Department of Public Works staff during the Plan of Development Review to address potentital concerns with the encroachment in the Carrington Street right of way in a manner that maintains the pedestrian orientation of the Carrington Street elevation; the siding be smooth and un-beaded; and the windows be simulated or true divided lite.

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Citadel of Hope (2230 Venable Street)

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Planning to consider Jefferson Avenue SUP, Bill Robinson Park plans, Venable Street rezoning, art for Jefferson Park - Church Hill People's News | Richmond, VirginiaKBDontMinceWordsMatt JarreauLiz Opalak Recent comment authors

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Daniil Kleyman
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Daniil Kleyman

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Jason Pickart

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Maritza Mercado Pechin

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Julie Oliver

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Alex Goodmundson

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Todd Hasten

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Justin Swisher

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James River
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James River

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Matt Jarreau

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Brandon Czeizinger
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Brandon Czeizinger

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Hannah Mason Morgan
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Hannah Mason Morgan

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Chris
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Chris

Unbelievable. The committee responsible for preserving the historical nature of the neighborhood approve two projects that look like they belong in Short Pump next to a Cheesecake Factory. All the while giving current residents grief over things like the color of paint or the presence of shutters. Good luck to Roosevelt and Sub Rosa, no one will be able to come to your establishments anymore since they will need to park 4 blocks away.

William Bagby
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I’m kinda iffy on the Jefferson project. It looks so out of place. The Venable project is spot on though! They did a great job on that design

Debra Miller
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I lived in Church Hill for two years and loved it because there were no buildings like this, and only locally owned businesses. If a Star Bucks or Chipotle move in, Church Hill is over. So glad I experienced it before corporate gentrification ruins everything.

animal lover
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animal lover

CAR can kiss my ass now!!! This ugly modern piece of crap is being built and you want to argue with me over windows??

ST
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ST

LOVE THIS! Excited about the density and the height. Excited to see that empty lot become something – it’s been an eyesore and nuisance for decades.

Corinne
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Corinne

Part of why I moved to Church Hill is being able to walk from my home to great businesses like Sub Rosa and Union Market. I’m excited for these developments and the increased urban density they’ll bring (plus more variety in businesses my friends and I can walk to)

Kay9
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Kay9

Is the rendering an accurate depiction of the final product? I hope not…it’s not attractive…at all.

Boring, uninspired and ill-fitting.

Holly
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Holly

Truly hideous and nothing like what Union Hill looks like. Please keep Union Hill charming. I tried to paint my door bright pink and CAR said no, but somehow they allow this. They’re so corrupt.

Matt Conrad
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Matt Conrad

The Commission acted wisely in approving both of these designs, even though they are less than perfect. I would have preferred more green space and engagement with the street on Jefferson; I would have preferred less massing, better materials, mixed income/ownership, and interior parking on Venable. But this is a classic case of the perfect being the enemy of the good. CAR demanded improvements in the BHC project with the community and achieved about as much as was politically possible. Better Housing Coalition was at the ready with likely Council support to override CAR if they had denied the Venable… Read more »

Joseph
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Joseph

LOVE THIS! I’m so glad to see more density coming to Union Hill.

This is going to be great for our property value and is going to provide even more customers to local businesses. The increased customer base will hopefully attract new businesses as well.

The best part of the design? I don’t see a single parking space! I would much rather have a new restaurant than a new parking lot. Not to mention that parking lots bring property value down.

If you want parking, move to suburbs.

BigDaddyLongKnob
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BigDaddyLongKnob

Why can’t richmond developers just make normal apartments for once. Instead of these weird ass looking building popping up all over town. Trying too hard to be modern

Victoria McGovern
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So out of place. Go. To. Short Pump.

Kiera Rooker
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woof

Kay9
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Kay9

@9 An appropriate choice of words: “neutered and incapable of protecting us in the future”. This looks like what has happened here…the future is now. What is CAR’s purpose if it cannot prevent irresponsible development in historic districts?

The Jefferson project is a hideous example of something that should never have been permitted in Union Hill. It completely disrespects it’s surroundings on multiple levels.

Jessica Shook
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I’m kind of baffled at the level of surprise here. Have y’all not been watching this style of architecture slowly creep up the Hill from all sides? I mean look at what’s going in one block from St. John’ssomething that looks very similar in style to this with no parking thought of and with a style that reeks of cheap, new modern "charm."

Holly
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Holly

It’s just so cookie cutter, I can’t stand it…

Lee
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Lee

CAR actually requires that new construction NOT BE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE. New constructions and additions in historic districts be “compatible but differentiated.” This ensures relatively mediocre design, as the architects and developers involved cannot use historicist styles or any significant amount of period appropriate decorative elements. I believe this comes not from CARs internal guidelines, but National Park Service guidelines. This is presumably based on academic ideas about false historicism. Anyway, the end result is that CAR does exactly the opposite of what the commission is logically expected to do, at least when new construction is involved. If anyone wants to… Read more »

Havis L. Wright
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Seems like a lot of this clientele is already parking along Leigh and either side of M along 25th which this won’t really change.

WA Bowie
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Disgust =/= surprise

ray
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ray

Lot of complaints on this thread but how many of you voiced you concerns when it mattered?

Did you attend any of the CAR meeting or express you opinions to Newbille?

Just as I suspected……crickets.

But guess what? It ain’t a done deal until Council votes YES on this thing so quit the bitchin’ and let all 9 members of Council know what you think.

Either that of STFU.

Kay9
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Kay9

@ Jessica. Curious- Which project are you referring to: “one block from St. John’s”

L
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L

@20 and @22 – Doesn’t the building on Jefferson need to go before the Board of Zoning Appeals as well? How many units/how much density/how many floors are actually permitted by right on this lot?

urbngrilla
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urbngrilla

Yes, the Jefferson Ave/25th Street building requires a Special Use Permit (SUP) b/c UB zoning tops out a 28ft, and this design exceeds it. There may be a couple other UB zoning issues with this, too.

Next step is working with zoning staff (headed by Mike Olinger) and then presentation to the Planning Commission (which votes on the SUP) followed by Council Vote to approve the SUP.

The Venable Street/BHC/Citadel project meets R63 zoning requirements, so it does not require Planning Commission or City Council approval.

Juli
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Juli

R.I.P. Family Market. I wonder what Cheech is up to, is he running any business still in Church/ Union Hill?

Timothy
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Timothy

Where did they take architectural cues for the Jeff development from, East Germany? The rendering at the top of this article makes the bldg look like a derelict barge parked in the midst of an otherwise bright and cheerful city-scape. Was that rendering meant to garner support for the project? That has to be the most dour residential wreckage I’ve seen since the 18th & Broad catastrophe. I just hope they implement some of the greenery that was proposed in the last rendering to salvage something. This does not bode well for the Cedar & Marshall lot, or the neighborhood… Read more »

ray
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ray

I might have to eat my words on that particular, John M, but like #24 said, I thought it required Council approval due SUP status.

Thomas J. Alleman
Guest

Are there no historical architects in this town.

Katy Johnson
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I don’t like it. It’s ugly and will look even uglier in 10 years.

Thomas
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Thomas

Call them up and truly let them know how you feel. This is a bad precedent being set if these types of projects get to be built.

Jessica Shook
Guest

Fair point, Bowie!