RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A proposed residential complex to be built in Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood has been under a microscope for months in the wake of much community backlash.
Community opposition prompted New York-based developer Avery Hall Investments to revisit their design for the dual-towered complex. The area’s iconic Legend Brewing Company is known to residents for its view of the Richmond skyline, a vista would have been blocked by Avery Hall’s initial proposal for the residential project. The redesign will minimize this particular concern, but residents say the issue runs deeper than just the view.
Resident Leslie Brown is frustrated with Avery Hall and said they spotlighted just one concern of many.
“They actually didn’t make one single sacrifice,” Brown said.
The current view from Legend Brewing Company’s outdoor patio. Photo courtesy of Sierra Krug.
A spokesperson for Avery Hall said the new design requires a parking deck to be built underground, which would result in increased expenses for the developers.
Susan Rickman, who lives near the site, said while residents are happy that developers made an effort to listen to community input, she agreed with Brown that there are larger issues at hand.
“We all clap our hands for Legend,” Rickman said. “We’re happy for them, but there’s a multitude of other problems that comes with that density, those kind of numbers coming on the street.”
The redesign reconfigures the property in such a way as to allow more of the skyline to be visible from Legend Brewing Company’s patio. However, this proposed alteration does not reduce the number of new units coming with the building. Brown said this directly ignores residents’ concerns regarding overcrowding in the area.
“We cannot keep adding people to this community without adding some sort of amenity,” Brown said.
Residents told 8News the community is known for its charm, something they hope to maintain regardless of the changes coming to the area. Rickman would like to see more greenery, easier access to parks and other investments that would foster community unity.
“There was such an opportunity in this neighborhood to make it more of a community,” Rickman said. “I think there’s so many of us that feel like we’re losing that.”
Brown added that she feels the community is more than a zone to construct more buildings.
“This community,” Brown said, “what does it mean to me? It means home.”
In order for Avery Hall Investments to build the property according to plan, they need to apply for a special-use permit, which they have not yet been submitted, according to city officials.