A clearer view of the plan to replace Manchester’s Southern States silos has come to light and it includes the tallest new-construction residential building the city has seen in recent years.
Hourigan Development is aiming to build a 20-story apartment tower as well as a 6-story office building at 2-4 Manchester Road.
The 65-year-old silos that currently stand on the 2.2-acre site would be razed to make way for the project. Hourigan has been working on the planning since summer 2020, but details on the project’s exact usage have remained scant until now.
“We really spent a lot of time getting the design right, understanding the market, and trying to make sure we’re filling the right niche. We think we are,” said Mark Hourigan, the firm’s founder and CEO.
Joseph Marchetti III, president of development at Hourigan, said they had mixed-use in mind from the start.
“From early conceptuals, the plan was always to try to create a site that had energy around it all throughout the day,” Marchetti said. “I think what we’ve been able to come up with here, from a design standpoint, is going to create a nice vibrancy.”
The apartment tower would include about 290 units, many of which would be one-bedroom totaling between around 750 to 850 square feet. Amenities would include a rooftop pool and bar, coworking spaces and an outdoor terrace.
At 20 stories, Hourigan’s tower would be taller than some other planned high-rises in the neighborhood, including Avery Hall’s planned pair of 17-story apartment towers to the west and the 14-story South Falls I tower from Fountainhead Real Estate Development and WVS Cos. to the east.
The apartments would be flanked by a 130,000-square-foot office building that would also include 11,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.
In lieu of standard wood or steel framing, the office building is planned to be built with cross-laminated timber, a type of framing that uses pieces of lumber glued together. Hourigan said they used CLT for Apex Plaza, a 265,000-square-foot office building in Charlottesville they recently completed. He credits the aesthetic and sustainability perks of CLT in helping get that project over 90 percent leased.
“As a tenant, you can leave as much of that structure exposed as you want. The building itself has this warmth – you see the wood columns, wood beams, the wood ceiling above because it’s the floor of the structure above,” Hourigan said. “Office use is not going away, it just may be repositioned slightly. What we are seeing is a real draw to sustainable offices like (those made with) CLT.”
Marchetti said they’ve received interest in the early days of marketing the office space but are not ready to announce any tenants yet. JLL has the listing on the office space.
As for the commercial space, Marchetti said he could envision similar uses as the restaurants and retailers that have been popping up in recent years along the Hull Street corridor.
Kahler Slater is the project’s architect and Timmons Group the engineer. Hourigan’s in-house construction arm will be the general contractor.
Over the summer the property was transferred to an entity that includes Hourigan. Last summer the City Council approved a special-use permit for the project, and Marchetti said their site plan is currently under review with the city.
Demolition on the silos, which have sat dormant for years, will begin later this year as Hourigan looks to go vertical in the second quarter of 2023.
Of the silos, Hourigan said, “There really is no practical or aesthetic reason you’d want to try and reuse those, versus trying to create a new look on the skyline and move Richmond further along its development path.”