With the economy showing signs of momentum, now is the time to buy your loft or condo. They’re chic, eco-smart & going fast.
Due to the economic landscape of the last couple of years, families, young professionals, and singles have rediscovered the convenience and relative low-cost of living Downtown. They use their vehicles much less because stores, restaurants, shops and nightclubs are only blocks away. That also contributes to the “green” effect because when people use fewer resources they are reducing their carbon footprint. City living is extremely attractive across the western world. Visit https://residential.jll.de/ if you are interested in experiencing city living in a metropolis like Berlin.
A study conducted by The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy and the Fannie Mae Foundation looked at 24 cities around the nation and found that all of them expect the number of their Downtown residents to grow by 2010. The study noted, “Anecdotal evidence suggests that people are living Downtown because they want to b near their work places and cultural amenities, and because they enjoy a bustling urban environment.”
And because of the new economy, Richmond’s Downtown residential offerings are at amazingly affordable rates. Realtors and builders are seeing renewed activity as people take advantage of these prices to realize their dream of living Downtown. Even more evidence is the huge number of people-both locally and from out of town-who bought tickets to the Downtown Loft Tour in March. Several hundred potential city-dwellers toured Downtown and experienced the new urban lifestyle. So we decided to take a look at a sampling of the properties now available in Downtown Richmond.
The Downtown Style
The aesthetic of Downtown living spaces combines the authentic charm of historic buildings with modern design and amenities. Located at the corner of 25th and Franklin Streets just north of Tobacco Row, The Reserve is a collection of brand-new condominiums incorporated into the 1920’s original building. Built in two phases, Phase II has 16 units with one-bedroom condos offered at $235,000.
Bo Steele of Virginia Realty and Relocation is visibly excited about the Miller & Rhoads Condominiums (photo) right across from CenterStage on 6th Street. This restored historic landmark boasts a total of 130 one- and two-bedroom units that vary from single level to loft-style (some even have terraces with an amazing view of the city).
Properties such as loft apartments may become a more popular living choice amongst people who are looking to invest in their first home, as well as people who aren’t looking for an overly large space to accommodate others. Realtors and properties similar to the ones that you can find at Space Station will be able to help you find the perfect loft apartment, penthouse or unique property for your housing needs. When it comes to living in the city, many people decide to look into a loft apartment to give them a better view of their surroundings.
“These condos are decidedly unique because the building is adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn so residents have access to all of the amenities that hotel has to offer,” Steele notes.
Condo residents can actually call ahead to have a meal from the restaurant ready when they want it. They can even drop off dry cleaning at the hotel, which also has mail services available. No more lines at the post office!
In addition to the indoor parking, residents are also very close to The National music venue and restaurants like T-Miller’s Sports Bar & Grill, Gibson’s Grill, Capitol Ale House, and Penny Lane Pub. According to Steele, now is a great time to get in. “There are some unique mortgage opportunities with 95% financing.” Prices range anywhere from $129,000 to $549,000.
Along the River
If you’re interested in living close to the white-water rapids of the James River, where you can watch kayakers paddle around and boats cruising by, Rocketts Landing is a place worth checking out. “For those who seek a maintenance-free lifestyle, this is a great time to buy a condominium,” says Marti Cooke, director of Rocketts Landing’s sales and marketing. “There’s a wide variety of choices in the market, many buyers can qualify for tax credits, mortgage rates continue to decline from already low levels, and most developers are willing to negotiate on pricing and/or options.”
So what do you get? At Rocketts Landing, the maintenance-free lifestyle comes along with ready-made social activities. Residents can use a beautiful riverfront pool, well-equipped fitness center, and of course the amazing Boathouse Restaurant is within walking distance. Cooke says, “In fact, boaters can dock at the Rocketts Landing marina, while those who prefer self-propelled water sports can kayak, canoe or row crew. Secure, deeded parking is an added bonus.”
There are some surprisingly affordable options available especially when you consider that it’s a Downtown lifestyle that’s located right on the water. Cedar Works is a section of Rocketts Landing that is in an historic, renovated building and prices start at $199,000. Features include exposed wooden beams, brick walls that many folks associate with urban chic and indoor living walls by PHS Greenleaf.
If you like your interior design more on the contemporary side, the Gramercy model at the 210 Rock building features open, light-filled living spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows. The one-bedroom condos in 210 Rock start in the low $200s, two-bedrooms in the low $300s.
Historic Jackson Ward
Want to know what’s going on over in Historic Jackson Ward? Rick Jarvis of One South Realty says that the Marshall St. Bakery (photo) is the place to be with prices starting from the $160s. Jarvis says that “well-appointed interiors featuring granite and stainless kitchens, maple cabinets and bamboo floors are all standard. Each unit has private outdoor spaces that offer views of Downtown or overlook the project’s private courtyard.” Other amenities include garage parking, central courtyard and exercise facility included in the monthly dues.
Another popular Jackson Ward option is the 212 Condominiums on East Clay Street. They are large, spacious units that feature private bedrooms, separate from the living space, to give the owner a feel more like a home than an apartment. These start from the $130s.
Emerick Flats is one of the only buildings that features true “Industrial Design.” Located in the heart of Jackson Ward, this former Emrick Chevrolet building was designed to provide residents with an authentic “flat” experience that provides open floor plans, fourteen-foot ceiling heights, and envious views through large factory windows.
In addition, if you’re in Jackson Ward that means you are within walking distance of great restaurants like the Marshall Street Café, Popkin Tavern, and Twenty-Seven. You’re also only a couple of blocks from the activities on Broad Street including the First Fridays Art Walk and Broad Appétit.
Over in Manchester, Jarvis recommends The Pie Factory (photo) which was conceived and rehabilitated in 2009 by an owner who took care to rediscover the potential of this beautiful warehouse and former pie factory. Priced at $649,000, the 3,789 square foot luxury-living space includes 2.5 baths, 2 garage parking spaces, a private elevator entry, expansive gourmet chef kitchen, and open floor plan designed in conjunction with Cornerstone Architects.
The neighborhood’s creative vibe emanates from Plant Zero and Art Space. As for restaurants? They’ve got plenty of fun ones including Legend’s, Plant Zero Café, and Savor.
For Sale: A Little History, A Little Hollywood,
A Lot of CharmCharles Macfarlane of Macfarlane Partners is offering the Adam Craig House (located at 1812 East Grace Street) for sale or even rent. It is considered to be Richmond’s second oldest structure, and the original frame house was built around 1784. Of course the 4,424 square foot home has been totally renovated to provide a kitchen with stainless steel appliances and soapstone countertops so you can entertain in style. The first floor also includes a formal living room, formal dining room, and large family room (all with working fireplaces) and even a half bath. The second floor has three spacious bedrooms, again each with a working fireplace, and two full baths.
The exterior boasts a beautiful brick patio with outdoor fireplace, manicured lawn, cobblestone driveway, and two-gated, remote-controlled entrances. And in addition to its historical relevance, it has made an impact on popular culture as well. According to Macfarlane, “The house was featured on This Old House on HGTV and actress Hilary Swank stayed in the guest house when she was in Richmond filming Iron Jawed Angels.”