City gives developer $4.5 million tax break to add affordable housing, public improvements to Manchester development

City gives developer $4.5 million tax break to add affordable housing, public improvements to Manche

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - South Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood continues to be a hot spot for new development. The Richmond City Council voted in October to give big incentives to one developer who is building an apartment, office and retail complex off the 400 block of Hull Street.

The $65 million project called the Current, will include low-income apartments, public parking deck spaces, a public outdoor courtyard and street improvements. In return, Richmond-based developer Lynx Ventures will get a $4.5 million real estate tax break from the city, over ten years.

The empty parking lot will have two brand new buildings, including a parking deck with more than 300 spaces. Ninety of those spaces will be public spaces, allowing free parking for the first half hour. Twenty percent, or about 43 of the 300 apartments will be slated for affordable housing, where incomes are below the median range for the Richmond area. There will also be six floors of office space and room for multiple restaurants and stores.

"We see the future as a real mixed-use, walkable neighborhood, where people don’t just sleep here...they’re also shopping, eating, working,” said John Gregory, an owner with Lynx Ventures.

The development is one of the latest in Manchester’s ongoing transformation. Years ago, the neighborhood was packed with empty warehouses and factories. Now, new housing, offices and store fronts continue to pop up.

"It’s just been an area of huge opportunity for Richmond, as a whole,” said Gregory.

In addition, Lynx Ventures promises major improvements to the sidewalk surrounding the project, like burying overhead power lines. There will also be an outdoor courtyard for anyone to use. Lynx Ventures has multiple other developments in the Manchester neighborhood, including one apartment complex, the New Manchester Flats, which is currently adding 104 more affordable apartments.

Mayor Stoney supported the deal with Lynx Ventures, having a goal of adding 1,500 affordable housing units throughout the city, over the next five years.

The Current development is slated to be finished at the end of 2020.

Copyright 2018 WWBT. All rights reserved.