Monday, May 04, 2009

Live/Work for Alexandria's Main Drag

Virginia architect-cum-developer Gaver Nichols is gearing up to begin work on a new trend for Alexandria’s main drag, a project he is calling live/work housing. The Lofts at Del Ray Village - a three-story, 14,096 square foot development that will resuscitate a vacant lot at 2707-2711 Mount Vernon Avenue - will add much needed rental apartments, and offer tenants the opportunity to work from home from ground floor office space.

"It’s a unique mixed-use structure and the first form-based, code-designed building on Mount Vernon Avenue with a living/working space concept. It’s a brick structure with aluminum...roofs, aluminum panels at the top and rooftop decks," said Nichols. “Conceptually, it’s like the traditional neighborhood warehouse that’s been renovated with a modern top.” Residents of the apartments are not required, however, to utilize the commercial space below them.

Standing on The Lofts’ top two floors, the four rental units will range in size from 2,053 to 2,949 square feet and each include two bedrooms. The ground-floor will include 4,500 square feet of office space (plus basements) that Nichols says would be well-suited to a small office or bank, a corner plaza at Raymond and Del Ray Avenues and a 16-space surface parking lot. It’s a development scheme that Nichols has been pursuing since initially acquiring the property in 2005.

“We took an empty lot that none of my developer clients wanted,” he said. “I decided to buy it with a couple of guys, took them through the development process and the city rewrote the zoning concept for us to allow for the live/work use concept.”

Having already been awarded approval by the Alexandria Planning and Zoning Board, Nichols now awaits building permits, at which point his in-house general contractor will begin construction. “I could have them as soon as two weeks from now, if everything goes well…All these permutations make [the project] very unique, but it's very difficult to get through the process,” he said. The build-out is expected to be underway by July with construction slated to take at least a year.

Alexandria Virginia real estate development news


amylanduse said...

Gaver Nichols & partners have been working toward a solid start date forever it seems. Every time I'm asked what's going on, I can only shrug my shoulders.
Mt. Vernon Avenue will be busting with construction activity this summer - 3 sites in all.
Now if only the Monroe Avenue Bridge project would be completed - please!

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