RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A proposed residential complex to be built in the Manchester neighborhood of Richmond has been under the microscope for months following widespread backlash from the community.
Community opposition prompted New York developer Avery Hall Investments to revise its design for the twin-tower complex. The area’s iconic Legend Brewing Company is known to residents for its view of the Richmond skyline, a view reportedly blocked by Avery Hall’s original proposal for the residential project. The redesign will minimize that particular concern, but residents say the problem goes deeper than just sight.
Resident Leslie Brown is frustrated with Avery Hall and said they have only brought to light one concern out of many.
“They actually didn’t make a single sacrifice,” Brown said.
A spokesperson for Avery Hall said the new design requires the construction of an underground car park, which would lead to increased expenses for developers.
Susan Rickman, who lives near the site, said while residents are glad the developers made an effort to listen to community feedback, she agreed with Brown that there are bigger issues to be addressed. .
“We’re all cheering for Legend,” Rickman said. “We’re happy for them, but there’s a whole host of other issues that come with that density, those kind of numbers coming down the street.”
The redesign reconfigures the property to allow more of the skyline to be visible from the Legend Brewing Company patio. However, this proposed change does not reduce the number of new units coming with the building. Brown said that directly ignores residents’ concerns about overcrowding in the area.
“We can’t keep adding people to this community without adding some kind of equipment,” Brown said.
Residents told 8News the community is known for its charm, something they hope to maintain no matter what changes come 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 are so many of us who feel like we’re losing that.”
Brown added that she thinks the community is more than an area to build 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 must apply for a special use permit, which they have not yet submitted, according to city officials.