Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ administration is recommending the city contribute $750,000 to help fund a planned 266-unit apartment development in Fulton Hill.
Fulton Hill Properties, the development company behind the project, told a City Council committee last week that it plans to invest a total of $38 million in the two-building development around the former Robert Fulton School on Carlisle Avenue. The school building, which currently houses artist studios, also would be renovated as part of the project.
The city’s top economic development official, Lee Downey, said the deal represents a standard performance agreement and said the city expects to break even after four years because of the new tax revenue that would be generated by the project.
The company said the city money helps make the project, called Studio Row, feasible in a part of the city that has seen limited investment over the years.
“It’s important to note that this is the first new market-rate apartment project in Fulton,” said Maritza Pechin, the company’s development director. “All the other apartments are subsidized, so it’s a really great way to change up the neighborhood and infuse more people into the neighborhood.”
The council’s finance committee advanced the measure to the full council with a recommendation for approval.
As part of the agreement, at least 10 of the units must be designated as affordable housing and 10 units as “workforce housing” — with tenants making an average salary of no more than $31,000 and $41,000 to meet each designation.
The council is scheduled to vote on the grant at its next full meeting on Jan. 11. The company’s application for a special use permit for the project comes before the Planning Commission on Jan. 4.
Pechin said the project has been in the works for the past two years.
The work would be phased, with construction on the first building beginning in the summer, she said. The renovation and second building would follow.
Of the school building, she said the company plans to maintain some artist studios but also add residential units and a small cafe.