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Prognostication Time!! What will be "New in '22" ??

I miss RVA

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Okay folks -- with less than three weeks left in the year, we may as well put on our Matrix glasses and try to look into the future to see what big projects may be on the development horizon for RVA -- under the category of "New in '22".

Now - I'm personally focusing on the big projects -meaning high-rise -- anything double digit -- but that's not to overlook the plethora of in-the-pipeline 5, 6, 7, 8-story projects that have been announced, are about to start, have broken ground or are well underway -- such as at least five or six projects in lower Manchester -- starting with the Commodore at 7th and Hull and working north toward E. 2nd Street -- or those still under construction in Scott's Addition - such as the Otis and the Scott's Collection buildings - and new projects hopefully starting soon such as the Outlier, the Soda Flats, among others. 

This past year added two high-rise residential buildings (the Icon and the Opus) to the mix -- and downtown construction was dominated -- as it was in 2020 -- by "The Big Three" -- the trio of buildings in the northeastern portion of downtown -- the General Assembly Building, the expansion of VCU/Children's Hospital and the new VCU Health Outpatient facility -- all of which significantly beefed up the skyline (and gave us no fewer then five boom cranes to oggle as they rose majectically over the skyline).

So my question to everyone: where will RVA see verticality in the coming year-plus? What new projects do you think will be the ones that break ground, sprout boom cranes and rise over the city?

I have four projects that I think will be the dominant big-ticket buildings to rise in my collection of "New in '22" -- two are residential and -- surprise surprise!! -- two are office buildings.

Just based on how momentum is going and the overall vibe -- barring the many things that could change and potentially upset the apple cart (such as the pandemic) - "The Big Four" -- projects that will headline RVA's 2022 development calendar are:

1.) The Block D development -- including the (hopefully -- FULL 20-story) VCU-Health-anchored tower.

2.) CoStar -- this has been getting so much behind the scenes discussion here on the forum by folks who really have their ears pressed to the ground. I get a strong feeling this is going to be THE surprise project for 2022

3.) Pinecrest -- 321 W. Grace -- almost a slam dunk as it appears to be pretty much already underway

4.) The Admiral -- 2nd & E. Marshall -- pretty much a layup given that the HJW folks have said in meetings that work should begin on this gem in the spring.

What's interesting about the potential for these four projects to rise more-or-less simultaneously -- is that each impacts a different place downtown -- northeast (Block D/VCU), riverfront (CoStar), west (Pinecrest) and central northwest (Admiral). Imagine sets of boom cranes rising up over downtown in these four locations at some point next year and carrying into 2023.

What other projects do you think could possibly work their way into the mix in 2022? Perhaps the Bakery Lofts (12 stories) at 17th and E. Franklin?  South Falls II (14 stories, Manchester riverfront), River's Edge II -- twin 11-story buildings (this one worries me because it was announced two years ago and, thus far, nisht...) Will we see announcements of more residential towers, perhaps along the Grace Street corridor in Monroe Ward? How about along the riverfront - perhaps Locks 7 along the Canal (13 stories)? 

What are your thoughts?


Edited by I miss RVA
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I’m hoping for more corporate relocations next year. I really want to see more Fortune 500 companies call Richmond city home if no lt just having more in the region is a great look for everyone as a whole. Im hoping that construction doesn’t start to get stagnant with the huge increase in inflation and so many people dropping out of the workforce  completely. I really wonder how someone pays bills with dropping out of the workforce completely. also while some people see the whole work from home thing being permenant. I’m leaning more towards a hybrid model for sure next year. I really don’t see it being long term even hybrid. After a while family members start to pick at each other’s home office space and if my wife and I both worked from home nothing would ever get done. I also think some people need time away from home at work from whoever they live with. Also how do you deal with company info that’s confidential at home if your on a zoom meeting conference?  I am however excited for all of the above project and things that could surprise us next year. Also wondering if green city will start construction next year? The arena I thought I heard was supposed to be complete by 2024 or 2025 I thought I heard. 

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Moving away from downtown, I foresee three things, by which I mean I’m wishcasting for them: 1) Green City comes into sharper focus; 2) more developers hop on the idea for moderate mid-rise apartment buildings for the Willow Lawn area (really need that to retain the restaurants there); and 3)yes it’s really going to happen this time - we get a firm plan for The Diamond’s replacement.

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1 hour ago, whw53 said:

Sticking with downtown for now I think we all want to see that 23 story at Monroe & Broad. With Bank Street wrapping up One Canal and about to turn to Soda Flats I'm hoping this hits the city soon. 

A couple other projects I'd want to see would be renderings for both the 11 story st office building planned for 7th & Main and the the replacement for the Pocahontas Building at 10th and Bank St. Looks like Baskervil will design this latter piece - hoping these moves work us towards a more open, interesting area around the capitol. Clarification on the future of the Monroe Tower plays into this theme as well. 


  • Signs are up for the Moxy at 5th and Franklin - i hope this opens soon, all the start-stops has dragged this one on for years.
  • future of the LaDiff site in the slip - they are moving out fast and already have signs up at their new location on Commerce - with Markham involved i think this could be a significant re-use of a key property. 
  • We know Activation Capital is back to the drawing board for its BioTech project between 7th and 8th - the CEO hinted at something denser than the 5 or 6 story project proposed last year. While i really liked the design of that building it's a big lot and was going to be backed by a huge parking structure. I think she's right and that something better can be delivered here.
  • ...Lastly, with all the moving pieces along Grace I hope we get further info on a site or 2 - i think the YMCA property will move fast with Tom Papa involved. 
  • oh yea...Excited about the Arts\Innovation building set for Broad b\w Henry and Belvidere, such a desolate lot- hopefully that's what it becomes and I don't read tomorrow in BizSense that instead it's set for 23 racquetball courts as expansion phase 7 of the VCU Athletics Village. \s ;)

I'm just curious: has the state office building at 7th and Main been shrinking? In the state's info package, the building was described as a 14-story building. Since then, I've seen descriptions on here (in discussion) of 13 stories - and now you're saying 11. What's going on with this building? It's clearly going in the wrong direction! Feels like watching  a weird episode of "Honey, I Shrunk the Highrise" :tw_joy:

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In ascending order of boldness

1. Manchester continues to boom. Location of proposed apartments continues to move south along Commerce and east towards the tracks. Two or three are double-digit stories.

2.  Lots of new apartments announced in the new TOD zone along Broad. None are above 8 stories

3. New articulated Pulse buses

4.  New CoStar building. Where there's smoke there's fire (and yes I saw the relevant thread on that already)

5. RIC expansion announced, plans for more cargo shipping

6.  City council officially proposes ban on parking minimums. I'm not confident it would pass, although I hope so.

7.  Planning for N-S Pulse line begins. I know there is a bus driver shortage right now, but the new line wouldn't be completed for some time so that's not a factor. 

8. Woodland Heights begins transition into Richmond's East Nashville (it'll take awhile, but price appreciation will outpace the city and it will become popular with transplants)

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I think most of you have hit the nail on the head. My prediction is "general hotspots" more than anything:

- We are going to see "City Center" get the thumbs up to start wrecking buildings, including coliseum finally. 

- City Center is about to become the talk of the town for a while - New high school, parks, fire dept., living, renting, retail, entertainment, hotel, etc. and VCU will somehow want part of the action.

- Jackson Ward will begin construction of the 12 story, 250+ unit luxury apartments

- Jackson Ward apartment developers are going to see the 12 story building potential and will be eager to add around 2-3 more apartment buildings up, all at least 5 stories tall. The Penny (also luxury apartments, same developer as the 12 story apartment building) has already rented all units at decently high market rates.

- Monroe Ward will get a big break and have a few developments get initiated. I'm hoping for one big one that sparks the fire.

- Manchester will keep on keeping on with 5-8 story apartments. No grocery store in sight.

- Scott's Addition will continue to grow even more (duh...) but with taller apartments.

- We will see major VCU plans for northside

- VCU will get the funding for new Belvidere & Broad st building with upcoming General Assembly session

- Dominion will finally find a buyer for the Fan / Byrd Park area next to the old (now developed) bus depot land and we will probably see a 5 story apartment complex go up with small grocery and other retail at bottom

- My inside scoop tells me CoStar will most likely announce big plans come early 2022. I'm even more sure she is right as we just got a sneak preview of the rendering in the CoStar post.

- Shockoe Bottom will construct the park next to the train station

- Shockoe Bottom will get plans for a grocery store in the open lot rented by VCU under the train bridge / highway. I am confident the family will decide it's time to develop that lot and I've read that they are looking at grocery store options which would be huge for the area.


I hear a lot about the housing market peaking and whatnot. I disagree. RVA housing market will continue to grow and 2022 will be a new breed of "it went for HOW MUCH?!" talk of the neighborhoods.

- I just saw a house in Byrd Park go for $110k over asking of $450k (winning bid at $560k...in December!) and it wasn't great inside, a house 20ft from it just sold (one day on market) for $630k. Both houses around 2.2k sqft. (again, in December!) Keep in mind that Byrd Park was "up and coming" neighborhood just 3-5 years ago. Now houses there are selling more per sq ft than the Fan. And there's only limited supply (cut off by parks/lakes, highway, and meadow) - can't build more. Seeing lots of development happening there with residents renovating basements to add 600-800 more sqft to the homes.

- Been keeping an eye on Jackson Ward as well. It basically got wiped clean before December. This was always considered "the little engine that can" among residents. 5 years ago you could buy a 2000 sqft home in Jackson Ward (renovated) for $200k. You can't find a home under $300k now and those are around 1500 sqft with no yard. A lot of developers (especially Dobrin) have seen the obvious signs: Jackson Ward is near Lowes, Kroger, downtown, VCU, hospital, jobs, entertainment, and walking to anything. They are buying like crazy with no regrets. It's positioned too perfectly. City Center development in next 5 years will have positive consequences for Jackson Ward values but will hurt residents who want to build more "community" which is sad.

- Gilpin will be assessed as "unfixable" with the government grant. Will be set for full demo. Developers will be foaming at the mouth. 

- Gilpin and Jackson Ward will get approval for the connection bridge park to reunite and bandaid what the highway destroyed in the 20th century. It will be a boost and encouragement for more development in JW and Gilpin aka North JW.

- Carver will continue to sell just like Jackson Ward but will not be as spared like JW in terms of community. It will continue to be a safe-haven for home rentals for VCU students. Home values have already risen past $300k for beat up buildings.

Those are my hotspot neighborhood developments predictions. Very exciting times to see all this play out. It's tough to encourage someone to buy now in RVA but I honestly don't think we have peaked at all. I'm seeing more and more buyers coming in from NOVA, VABeach, LA, NYC, and even Atlanta and NC cities. To a lot of them to pay $500-800k for a home is not much especially after they sell in their city at a premium. Money is cheap right now regardless. I have had friends looking to buy since 2016. Each year they thought the market would even out as they were looking in the budget of $250k. Then in 2018 their budget was $300k and it kept progressing. They finally bought in 2020 spending over $400k+ for a home they could have bought for almost half in 2016/17 waiting for the market to cool down. Per Stoney, "RVA is adding 10 people a day." Those people must have a place to live, play, eat, etc. - I believe Stoney said that before the pandemic. Times have changed and they are working out great for RVA. 

Edited by ancientcarpenter
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For 2022, I'm really looking forward to what might be proposed at City Center (the old Navy Hill District).  The topography there is much higher than in the financial district, so if there is any height to the towers proposed there, you will likely see it as a prominent structure as you drive north on I-95 or looking north from the south side of the river. 

I'm also looking forward to what actually gets built on Block D of that area.  I'm scared that 20 stories will be downgraded to 17 stories...or worse.  Maybe they can find someone to fill the speculatively built office space (fingers crossed). 

Next, I'm looking forward to what replaces the silos in Manchester.  I keep reading figures like "20-stories," but that remains to be seen.  Whatever goes there needs to have an epic design since it will be very prominently located next to I-95 and should be the icon of the south side of the river.  I really would like to see the designers deliver something great here (I am NOT looking at you, Walter Parks - gosh no!).  Hopefully, we'll hear something very soon regarding this one.  I'm waiting with bated breath.

I would love to see something tall go on the City Center site on Grace Street across the street from the Dominion Energy Center (the old Carpenter Theater).  There was talk several years ago about this block being developed, but it never materialized.  Hopefully, a developer can work something with the city that works.  This is, in fact, THE prime location to put something iconic.  If whatever goes there falls short, I will be disappointed.

The other very prominent block is the one right next to the new Dominion Energy tower.  Shame they won't be building their tower there, but wouldn't it be sweet if another company bought it from Dominion and built the sweetest, tallest tower in Virginia there?  Oh, please let the stars align on that one!

Would love to see Richmond's first real mixed-use high rise planned/built in 2022.  I'm talking about something truly mixed use - a hotel, apartments, office space, retail...all of it in one tower.  That's where we can really see some height.  Raleigh did it several years ago and it generated its tallest tower.  It's Richmond's turn.  Someone please do this.  I think Richmond is ripe for it and the costs of building tall could be offset by the rents/lease revenue from tenants of the tower.  It's high time that Richmond graduates to the next level!

The Diamond District.  Hope to see something epic planned there too.  We'd better see a new ballpark planned and ground broken in 2022-2023 or else we'll lose the team.

Scotts Addition - need to see more height here (in the 10-15-20 story range).  I suspect that as prime blocks get developed, we'll see buildings get taller there.

Next, show me a real plan for expanded BRT.  Maybe a new north/south route, or a route that goes out to Short Pump...we need to keep moving on the public transportation "train."  Stagnation will get us nowhere.

Broad Street corridor - TOD 1 zoning is there for a reason...max it out - no more 5-8 story buildings.  Follow the example of Opus!

I might add more as I think of more, but that's what I've got this morning...for now.

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4 minutes ago, eandslee said:

The topography there is much higher than in the financial district, so if there is any height to the towers proposed there, you will likely see it as a prominent structure as you drive north on I-95 or looking north from the south side of the river. 

I didn't think about it but you are 100% right... that view will be iconic and much needed for City Center. I do wish they would change the name of City Center and just call it BioTech or Navy Hill or whatever else that's not City Center.


What is Block D? Are there any links to proposed plans there? 

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Figured I have time so might as well join y’all and make a wishlist for 2022.

1. BRT expansion! I’d love to see BRT expanded east to the airport, west to shortpump, north to VCC and south to the route 10/1 intersection. Henrico has been doing some great work with their design charrettes and they seem to really want to start adding density at key sites throughout the county and it seems like to encourage this development, they will turn to BRT.


2. Monroe Ward. Hopefully developers are encouraged by the 15 story tower going up on Grace and Monroe Ward and we see one or two 10+ story buildings in the neighborhood.

3. RIC service expansion. Would love to see Breeze announce even more expansion at RIC, particularly to west coast or international destinations. RIC seems to be one of the larger cities Breeze serves so I wouldn’t be surprised if we get atleast one international destination when they inevitably announce, and it will likely be boosted if we have the renovated international area.


4. Manchester. Would love to see more development along the Manchester canal, as well as more height (obviously) along hull and commerce. Hopefully we see more buildings over 5 stories start to fill up the area then expand down midlothian turnpike, hull street and route 1 towards chesterfield.


6. Jackson Ward. Excited for the admiral, it seems like it could set a tone for the neighborhood. Hopefully we see a few more 8+ story buildings announced for the neighborhood and we see the beginning of a building boom.


I’m sure I’m missing something but that’s what I could think of off the top of my head.

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2 hours ago, Hike said:

Mine is part big picture wish list and less project specific for "what will be new in 2022".

in 2022, I'd like to see more forward progress at least at the same pace or better than we've been experiencing. 

No slow downs, no disappointments, just more. 

More good companies joining in, more good jobs, more well planned developments, more "YES" to projects, less "NIMBY", better roads, better transportation, taller buildings, more capitalizing on what makes RVA great, you get the idea!

1.) AMEN!!

2.) HUGE AMEN!!!


On all three - from your keyboard to God's eyes, my friend!

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1 hour ago, Virginian11 said:

Agreed on all of the above.

While I know we’re talking Richmond proper, I would love to see groundbreaking of the new arena in Green City.

Has there been any movement on that? I know the VCC sports complex was recently approved. Has the board of supervisors acted to push anything forward on Green City? Have the financial powers that be done anything recently?

I have a feeling we'll see this get underway this coming year.

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37 minutes ago, I miss RVA said:

Has there been any movement on that? I know the VCC sports complex was recently approved. Has the board of supervisors acted to push anything forward on Green City? Have the financial powers that be done anything recently?

I have a feeling we'll see this get underway this coming year.

This is the latest on Green City.  Looks like things are moving along nicely.  Would love to see a groundbreaking by year’s end:


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1 minute ago, eandslee said:

This is the latest on Green City.  Looks like things are moving along nicely.  Would love to see a groundbreaking by year’s end:


Nice!! Let's hope they get this underway as planned in the coming year.

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  • 2 weeks later...
10 hours ago, I miss RVA said:

Okay - I figured it's time to update the 2022 high rise project prognostication picture - AND - surprisingly, add a second picture, what with (according to Venture Richmond) three projects that could very well break ground in 2022.

Aside from updated artwork -- no change to the "Big Four" -- with CoStar, Block D/VCU Health, the Pinecrest and the Admiral all slated to get underway this year.

But we're adding a second quad-pack -- a "B-Team" set -- with three high rise projects (according to Venture Richmond) that could break ground in the next 12 months. Clockwise from top left:

1. South Falls Tower 2

2. South Falls Tower 3

3. Bakery Lofts (17th & E. Franklin)

4. -- ??

What project might be the wild card that could be the fourth of the "B-team" that could break ground? Perhaps the Silos development? How about the Locks 7 building along the Canal? Rivers Edge II's property is up for sale - but all the permits are in place and apparently this is a "ready-to-build" deal - is it possible the twin 11-story residential buildings in Manchester might get underway this year? Maybe a surprise project?

Lots to ponder upon as we start the new year.





This is so exciting... love the "already set to go" project plan and most places would be fine with just that. But, in RVA for 2022, I think we will see many more major surprises.

Looks like every notable neighborhood in RVA is getting high density. I just can't believe Jackson Ward is about to get a 12 story 250+ unit luxury building... that blows my mind and will create quite a domino effect to Arts District, Monroe Ward, City Center (pending), and even Gilpin Court. Amazing how well the same developer did with The Penney (5 story, luxury units in Jackson Ward) that they are fully booked out... guess they saw the writing on the wall with Jackson Ward. 


Speaking of Gilpin: I think we will see some major plans for Gilpin by end of 2022... like, actual renderings with plans and maybe even break ground in some of the privately held land - I think a lot of the private developers are going to try to pre-emptively get started there before the government does as that would be the smart thing to do. Just look at this zillow posting in Gilpin Court - clearly the developers are testing the waters early (also St. Lukes development that is currently happening):

Edited by ancientcarpenter
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