What is the total size of the project? Approximately 49,800 square feet including retail, restaurants, office and luxury residences.
Who are the developers? Westhampton, LLC is comprised of Stefan Cametas and Jason Guillot. A graduate of St Christopher's, Stefan has a career in business and real estate development, is active in the community and lives in Richmond with his wife and two children. A graduate of the University of Richmond, Jason is a commercial real estate broker at Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer and lives with his wife and son off Grove avenue in Westhampton.
Which commercial tenants have been announced? Taste Unlimited, Tazza Kitchen, Mango Salon and Long & Foster.
How many luxury residences will there be? Twelve, comprised of one and two bedroom units.
What is the height of the proposed project? 5706 Grove Ave. will be 39 feet and 5702 Grove Ave. will be 38 feet tall.
How much taller is the proposed project than existing zoning? Existing zoning is 28 feet, therefore 11 feet and 10 feet respectively. As a result, Westhampton, LLC is seeking a Special Use Permit from the City of Richmond in order to increase the height of the structure to accommodate a third floor.
Does this project adhere to the City of Richmond Master Plan? Yes! According to City Planning, the following guidelines should be incorporated into any proposed plans for new development (all of which Westhampton on Grove meets).
•Be a range of residential and commercial uses;
•Be a mix of pedestrian and vehicular scales;
•Be between two (2) and three (3) stories in height;
•Have setbacks that match the existing development pattern or be adjacent to the sidewalk;
•Have parking located to the rear of the building with opportunities for shared parking with adjacent development.
Is the current parking lot behind the theater a public parking lot? The parking lot behind the theater has always been private property for the exclusive use of theater employees and patrons. In fact, all parking lots in the Libbie/Grove shopping district are private and for the use of the businesses that reside on the property. Street parking is available for the general public or buildings that do not have any off-street parking.
How much parking will be available? There will be 104 surface parking spaces for commercial and residential tenants, their guests and visitors.
Will parking be available to neighboring merchants or the public? Our primary focus is to ensure adequate parking for the proposed development, including residents, employees and visitors at the property. If it is determined that there is surplus capacity available, hourly parking or monthly parking passes will be made available at a reasonable rate.
Does the proposed project meet the requirements of the parking overlay district? Yes
Pursuant to the general purposes of this chapter, the intent of the UB urban business district is to encourage business areas with a densely developed pedestrian-oriented urban shopping character, compatible with adjacent residential neighborhoods, and with minimal disruption from vehicle-oriented land uses and features that would detract from a safe, convenient and economically viable pedestrian environment. The district is intended to promote continuity of storefront character along principal street frontages, with minimum interruption by driveways and vehicle traffic across public sidewalk areas. The regulations within the district are intended to preserve the predominant scale and character of existing urban shopping areas, promote retention of existing structures and encourage that new development be compatible with such existing areas and structures.
What effect will the development have on parking? The proposed mix of retail, office and residential will attract people throughout the day, at varying hours, with many peak hours offset from others- this is a fundamental benefit to a mixed-use concept. For instance, when Taste Unlimited is open for lunch, and employees are working in the office space, Tazza Kitchen will be closed. When Tazza Kitchen is open for dinner, Taste Unlimited and the businesses occupying office space will be closed. In addition, businesses occupying office space are generally closed on the weekend, freeing up additional parking for the restaurants and other retail tenants when they are busiest.
Have you considered building a parking deck to accommodate more off-street parking for nearby businesses? Our design team has spent significant time and explored a number of options to create additional public parking to the site in response to feedback from our community meetings, whether through a parking deck above ground, or below-grade garages. As you can imagine, structured parking is very costly to build.
Our team designed a two-story parking deck that is partially below-grade, and partially above-ground, to minimize the visibility of the deck from neighboring properties; a copy of the engineering plans may be found HERE. The deck could include 223 spaces; however, the total cost of this deck is a net increase of $3,400,000. This cost is not financially viable even with a significant monthly parking rent for the public spaces.
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