The transformation of the so-called Westwood area from industrial corridor to mixed-use neighborhood appears set to continue, as the family that made rainbow cookies a Richmond staple is cooking up massive development on the site of their bakery. badge.
The Ukrop family is planning a mixed-use infill and partial redevelopment of the nearly 20-acre site at 2000 Westmoreland St., where their Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods bakery and catering businesses are located. The multi-phase project could ultimately consist of 1,000 multi-family residential units, along with a mix of commercial, restaurant, office and hotel uses.
A permit application for the development in Henrico County has been filed and will go before the Planning Commission at its February 9 meeting.
The application was filed on behalf of Family Holdings LC, an entity managed by Jim Ukrop that purchased the 19-acre site and office complex for $5 million in 1994. Henrico valued the property last year at more than $26 million.
Jim’s brother, Bobby Ukrop, runs Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods as President and CEO. The brothers previously ran the family’s Ukrop’s supermarket chain, which they sold in 2010.
Greg Suskind, managing director of the family’s investment subsidiaries, said they decided the time was right to start the development process after witnessing the growth of the area.
“The family has been there for about 30 years, and they did a fair amount of work in the bakery and remodeled the office building. Basically, we’re just looking at all the growth in the area, the Westwood area and certainly Willow Lawn in general, and the spillover effects of Scott’s Addition, and we feel like it’s a good time to start this process,” Suskind said.
The plans call for removing parts of the office complex and replacing them with new buildings that would also fill the surrounding parking lots. The Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods portion of the complex would remain as a stand-alone building with a possible expansion of the bakery also in the works.
In addition to the bakery, the 332,000-square-foot complex is home to Fortis College, the Virginia Department of Health’s Vital Records Office, and several other state government offices. The structures date from the 1960s.
Called Westmoreland Crossing, the project is described in a county staff report as a phased mixed-use development with structured parking and civic and commercial spaces that would provide transition areas between larger buildings. The app includes conceptual renderings showing similar mixed-use urban-style developments.
The first phase would involve a new mixed-use building next to Maywill Street and the adjacent Tapestry West apartments, which have been built in recent years alongside the nearby Kinsale Capital Group headquarters building. The land for those buildings had also been owned by an entity linked to the Ukrops.
The initial building would include up to 300 residential units along with commercial spaces and structured parking. A second building next door, planned for the second phase, would combine hotel, retail and office uses and would include a parking platform.
The third phase would see a mixed-use building with 200 residential units along Thalbro Street. A half-acre site between that building and Tapestry West would be used for transitional commercial uses and open space. The initial phases would also see the existing bakery converted into a stand-alone building.
Future phases would include civic area space facing Westmoreland Street at its intersection with Jacque Street, and two sites to the south and east of the bakery that are earmarked for mixed-use development. That part of the project could involve an additional 500 residential units, as well as office and commercial uses.
The development would include new pathways and walkways, creating a new grid-like traffic pattern across the site. The permit application includes a development pattern book detailing access and parking, pedestrian connectivity and streetscapes, building concentration, and architectural, landscape, and lighting design standards.
Building heights would be limited to 200 feet and more than 1,400 parking spaces are proposed on the overall site. The staff report refers to residential units as apartments and states that a breakdown of bedroom counts is not currently available. Of the first 500 residential units, no more than 10 percent could have three bedrooms, the report says.
Suskind said the market would dictate the timing and duration of development. He said the project could see more than one phase developed at a time.
County planning staff recommend approval of the project, which the report says consists of “many positive features intended to create the desired pattern of urban development.”
The Ukrops are working on the project with Pivot Development, a local company run by Rob Lanphear. Pivot previously worked with Ukrops on a 15,000-square-foot medical office building next to Ukrop’s Market Hall at Patterson Avenue and Horsepen Road.
Pivot’s other projects include 25 townhomes it is developing on part of Discovery United Methodist Church property at Gayton Road and Lauderdale Drive. Lanphear also developed the Carter’s Ridge subdivision in the Tuckahoe area, and was involved in the apartment conversion of the former Flood Zone/Have A Nice Day Café building in Shockoe Bottom.
Lanphear said that working with Ukrops on the medical office building led him to Westmoreland Crossing, which he recognized as his biggest project to date. Despite his size, he said the project fits with his history of infill development at Henrico, where he has been most active.
“I’ve worked with the ownership group in the past and it was a natural extension of some of the things we had worked on together,” Lanphear said.
“The good thing about this location is that it’s infill, and the area where I do well is infill development,” he said. “Secondly, it’s at Henrico, and I’ve had a strong history with the Henrico team and I’m excited to continue that. It’s a bigger scale than I’ve been a part of in the past, and I’m very excited to do that.”
Before launching Pivot in 2017, Lanphear was a partner with local development group Stanley Shield after a stint with Ryan Homes and parent company NVR, according to his LinkedIn page.
Other firms involved in Westmoreland Crossing include architect Baskervill, civil engineer Timmons Group and landscape architect Cite Design. Local attorney Andy Condlin with Roth Jackson Gibbons Condlin represents the group.
Lanphear said the project is in the conceptual stage and details such as types of homes need to be worked out. He said the permit would allow flexibility in housing types, which under “multi-family” could include rental or for-sale townhomes or condominiums, as well as apartments. He declined to comment on the number of rooms planned for the hotel and whether an operator has been lined up.
The project would add to other development activity that has intensified in and around the Westwood area in recent years, following Henrico’s positioning of the largely industrial corridor as a kind of second version of the nearby Scott’s Addition neighborhood to the across the line between county and city.
Local developer Fulton Hill Properties is planning a seven-story building with 253 apartments in Thalbro from the Westmoreland Crossing site. Meanwhile, Kinsale recently bought Anthem’s 29-acre former office campus at Staples Mill Road and Broad Street, where it is planning an expansion.
The Westmoreland Crossing site is next door to a Lidl grocery store, and further east along Broad, Arizona, Alliance Residential Co. is planning a pair of apartment buildings totaling 340 units on the former site of Motleys headquarters.
Commenting on the Kinsale headquarters development, which was excavated from the larger Ukrops site, Lanphear said: “They’ve done some high-quality work there and really set the tone for what’s to come in the area. I am really excited to continue to help manage that property for decades to come and position it so that we can gradually grow in a way that will improve the total area.”
A public hearing on the project would precede a vote by the Planning Commission, which would recommend its approval or rejection to the Board of Supervisors.