Fifteen years ago, HHHunt Communities, the development division of HHHunt Corp., was interested in buying 250 acres of land along the Chickahominy River in northwestern Henrico County. But another developer already had an option to buy it.
The site, which is located off Brook Road near Virginia Center Commons, had a long history of agricultural use. It once had a grain mill. More recently, a portion of the land was the site of the Little Five Azalea Farm. But it also offered a lot to a residential developer.
“We loved the views of the river, the Glen Allen location and the easy access to I-95 and 295,” said Kim Kacani, president of HHHunt Communities.
Eventually, the developer who held an option on the land decided not to pursue the deal, and HHHunt Communities bought it in 2016.
HHHunt Communities, which has developed several large communities in Greater Richmond, including Wyndham, Wellesley and Rutland, focused on active, outdoor living for its newest community, River Mill. And the inspiration came, in part, from the site itself.
“As a developer, when you see land, it tends to speak to you,” Kacani said. “And this land said the community needed to be in harmony with it and the river.”
River Mill will have 100 acres of recreational and open spaces, including a clubhouse, a swimming pool and an extensive walking trail system.
The community, which will include single-family homes, town homes and apartments, recently received Active RVA certification from Sports Backers, in recognition of its commitment to wellness and healthy living.
“HHHunt shares our belief in the importance of active living,” said Pete Woody, Sports Backers’ public relations and communications manager. “The certification for River Mill reflects the commitment they’ve made for active living and wellness to be important parts of the community for River Mill.”
HHHunt Communities began installing streets for River Mill in early 2018, and four builders are in the early stages of constructing homes now.
The builders are HHHunt Homes (HHHunt Corp.’s residential construction division), LifeStyle Home Builders, LeGault Homes and Schell Brothers.
LeGault Homes purchased 14 homesites that are 70 feet wide, and LifeStyle Home Builders purchased 13 homesites that are 70 feet wide. Schell Brothers has purchased 99 homesites that are 55 feet wide. And HHHunt Homes has purchased 86 homesites that are 55 feet wide for single-family homes, along with 165 sites for town homes.
“A later section will have lots in the 80- to 90-foot range,” Kacani said.
River Mill’s architectural styles will include Craftsman, Southern and Modern Farmhouse, and the community’s emphasis on outdoor living will influence the homes’ designs.
“A lot of our homes’ features will be geared to outdoor living space,” said Pat LeGault, owner of LeGault Homes. “On the model home we’re now building, we have a flow-through from the large front porch to the back porch that allows people to live inside and out. And we’re installing seven-foot ‘disappearing’ doors on the front and back porches that slide into the walls and open the house up for outdoor living.”
LeGault’s homes, which will be custom built, will range in size from 2,900 to 4,000 square feet, and prices will range from the mid $400,000s to the low $600,000s.
The model home that LifeStyle Home Builders is currently building “will feature a ‘yoga room’ on the third floor,” said Kevin McNulty, the company’s president. “We will also have a covered deck and a patio with an outdoor fireplace. Similar options will be available to homebuyers throughout our plan offerings.”
LifeStyle’s homes will range from approximately 2,900 square feet to more than 3,600 square feet, with base prices ranging from the mid to the upper $400,000s.
Schell Brothers will introduce two new models from its Southern Series in River Mill.
“Our Southern Series plans are focused on Modern Farmhouse, Southern – think double porch – and Craftsman designs, which we have customized just for River Mill,” said Tricia Smith, division president with Schell Brothers Richmond LLC. “We’re big on relaxed living, so our plans cater to that.”
Schell Brothers’ homes will range from 1,700 to more than 3,500 square feet, with prices ranging from $379,900 to the mid-$400,000s.
HHHunt Homes will introduce four new town home plans in River Mill, ranging from 1,500 to 2,400 square feet. Prices for the town homes will start in the upper $270,000s. Its single-family homes will range from 2,000 to 3,500 square feet, with prices starting in the upper $360,000s.
“We offer a price relief compared to some areas of Short Pump, but with a high-end finish and options for personalization,” said Susan Williams, Richmond director of sales for HHHunt Homes.
All four builders said interest in the new community has been strong. HHHunt Homes has sold 33 town homes and seven single-family homes, for example. LeGault has sold five homes, and Schell Brothers has several under contract, as well.
LifeStyle Home Builders has recently opened for sales in River Mill, and it anticipates getting its first contract in the next 30 to 45 days.
“We’re zoned for 1,035 homes, and we’re on track to develop 906 homesites, including the 285 apartment homes,” Kacani said. “We anticipate it will take seven years to complete the community.”
Take a tour
River Mill will be the site of this year’s Richmond Homearama, an annual tour of new designer homes that is hosted by the Home Building Association of Richmond.
All four homebuilders will have model homes open for the tour, which is expected to bring more than 5,000 visitors to the community over the course of 16 days.
Schell Brothers will have two model homes on the tour, and LeGault Homes and LifeStyle Home Builders will each have one. HHHunt Homes will have a single-family home as well as two town homes on the tour, marking the first time Homearama has featured town homes.
Homearama, which will be open to the public, will run from June 1 through June 16 on Wednesdays through Sundays. General admission is $10, and proceeds benefit ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation.
River Mill’s focus on active, healthy living was a key reason HBAR selected it for the event, said Danna Markland, HBAR’s CEO.
“Outdoor living amenities and active lifestyles are increasingly popular among buyers,” Markland said. “River Mill provides the avid outdoorsperson a great lifestyle, whether you want to take on the trails or leisurely sit at the clubhouse.”
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