Collins townhouse architecture reviewed by ARB

September 4, 2015

Art Collins and his development company are almost complete with the demolition of the old Riverside Terrace apartments on Newport Ave.  He is replacing the old apartments with a mixture of apartments, townhouses, and condos.

The Watermark Apartments are currently under construction on Newport Ave and the designs were approved some months ago with significant civic league involvement.

Already approved Watermark Apartment elevations

Already approved Watermark Apartment elevations

Collins is now moving forward with the design and construction of the first three townhouse buildings.  As a requirement of the zoning, the design and architecture of these buildings must be reviewed by the Architectural Review Board and the Norfolk Planning Commission.

On September 3, 2015 the Norfolk Architectural Review Board reviewed the plans and architecture of the first three townhouse buildings to be built at Westport Commons.  They recommended approval of the designs with a condition that the windows be double hung rather than single hung.  The Planning Commission will review the designs on September 8, 2015.

Townhouse buildings 1, 2, and 3 towards the upper right are currently being designed and almost ready for construction

Townhouse buildings 1, 2, and 3 towards the upper right are currently being designed and almost ready for construction

westport front

Front elevation of the proposed townhouses. The exterior materials are mostly brick and fiber cement. No vinyl siding is proposed or allowed.

Rear elevation of the proposed Westport Commons Townhouses.

Rear elevation of the proposed Westport Commons Townhouses.

First floor plan of the proposed Westport Commons Townhomes.

First floor plan of the proposed Westport Commons Townhomes.

Second floor plan of the proposed Westport Commons Townhomes.

Second floor plan of the proposed Westport Commons Townhomes.

Third floor plan of the proposed Westport Commons Townhomes.

Third floor plan of the proposed Westport Commons Townhomes.


New proposal from Collins for The Landmark at Talbot Park

October 26, 2010
Landmark at Talbot Park

Landmark at Talbot Park

The following narrative and attachments have been provided by Collins Enterprises, LLC, the developer of the proposed “Landmark at Talbot Park”:

Project Summary & History
The Landmark is a redevelopment opportunity for up to 373 luxury housing units located on Newport Avenue and on the Lafayette River near the Wards Corner area in Norfolk.  The plan is to build a highly desirable residential community taking advantage of the river frontage, open space and natural features of the site with buildings designed to complement the architectural vernacular of the neighborhood.  The homes will consist of one, two and three bedroom apartments appealing to empty nesters, plus single and married professionals looking for a quiet, safe and exciting location in Norfolk.
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The property is currently occupied by 200 two and three-story rental apartments built in 1948, 12 condominiums completed in 2008, and a vacant site for a planned 32-unit condominium building. The property is a 12.5 acre peninsula surrounded by the Crab Creek section of the Lafayette River. It is adjacent to the Granby Elementary School & High School, the Talbot Park and Wards Corner neighborhoods, five churches and the Bon Secours DePaul Hospital which has recently obtained approvals from the state health commission to replace the existing medical center with a 124-bed, state-of-the-art, acute-care, full-service hospital. The property is conveniently located near Wards Corner, the original commercial shopping district outside of downtown. Located across the street the Norfolk Wellness Center houses indoor pools and other public facilities that will serve all the neighborhoods as well as The Landmark residents.
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Collins acquired the property in 2006 and demolished 32 of the existing apartments to make way for the first phase of condominium construction now complete. Of the 12 condos built, 10 have been sold since marketing began in 2008.
The project was approved as a Planned Development by City Council in November 2008 allowing a total density of 385 units and proffers limited to building characteristics, setbacks, open space, parking etc. Collins plans to finance the project as a luxury rental community due to current unavailability of financing for condominiums and predictions for continued strong demand for “rent by choice” high-end apartments.
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Project Description
The Landmark will be a one of a kind luxury rental community in Wards Corner, the oldest section of Norfolk. The buildings will be three & four stories with on-grade parking and in garages. The apartments will be one, two & three bedrooms with some homes having lofts oriented to river views. The apartments will average approximately 1000 sq ft and will be merchandised with open floor plans, extra-high ceilings, elevator access and covered parking.  Interior features will include state of the art kitchens and baths, bay windows, terraces and moldings. All apartments will have security systems and will be prewired for home entertainment systems, emergency 911, and internet connections.
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New rental housing in the Hampton Roads area has leased well despite the contraction in job growth in the region and the country. The demand for new, affordable and safe housing communities outpaces the supply. There are no new projects underway in this district and tenants will pay a premium for new construction. Average rent for The Landmark will be around $1200 per month.
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The City of Norfolk and all of Hampton Roads from Williamsburg south to Norfolk has been experiencing strong growth over the last 10 years. Military consolidation from national base closings, population growth from retirees relocating and job growth in banking, technology and defense have help stimulate housing prices. With little land left other than infill locations like Riverside, the concern for added competition is minimized.
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Project Statistics
Site Area:                                     12.5 acres
Gross Residential Area:        425,000 sf
Net Residential Area:             355,000 sf
# Units:                                        373 apartments
Stories, Height:                        3 & 4 stories
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Parking
Covered:                                      60 car ports
Outside:                                        560 spaces
Total parking:                            620 spaces
Parking Ratio:                           1.66 per apartment
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Apartment Breakdown
160 One Bedroom Units at 730 sq. ft.
160 Two Bedroom Units at 1010 sq. ft.
53 Three Bedroom  Units at 1285 sq. ft.
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Project Timing
HUD processing:                      June 2010-June 2011
Construction Period:             Sept 2011- March 2012
Initial Stabilization:               June 2013
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Attachments
Review Letter from WRT (PDF)
Newport Ave rendering of The Landmark at Talbot Park (PDF)
Existing v. Approved v. Proposed – Comparison Chart (PDF)
Newport Ave, Before and After (PDF)
Traffic Study (PDF)
Traffic Study Appendix

WVEC: Wards Corner residents protest new apartment complex

September 20, 2010

WVEC has a article and video on their site about the proposed Collins apartments.

NORFOLK — Controversy is brewing in the Talbot Park section of Ward’s Corner, where residents are protesting a proposed new apartment complex.

The residents say that the proposed project is not the right fit for the neighborhood.

Collins Enterprises purchased the 23 acres with plans of building condominiums, but in the struggling economy, the proposal has changed to a 189 unit apartment complex.


VP article on WestPort Commons

September 16, 2008

Wards Corner Now previously reported on WestPort Commons back in July in an article “WestPort Commons update“.

Today, the Virginian-Pilot has an article, “Wards Corner condo project to take the place of apartments“.

There is nothing groundbreaking in the article.  Here are a few select quotes:

With prices starting at $150,000 and topping out at $350,000, the $60 million project on Newport Avenue should appeal to buyers of many incomes, Collins said.

Debra Almeter, of Coastal Group Inc., which is marketing the 32-unit Riverpoint project, said interest, but not sales, in the condos has picked up in recent weeks. In the 10 months since the project opened, she has sold one condo and has contracts pending for two others.


WestPort Commons update

July 11, 2008

Collins, LLC is currently constructing the first building in their redevelopment of the old Riverside Terrace apartments into the new WestPort Commons condominiums (formerly known as WaterMark) at the intersection of Newport Ave and Warren St.  They expect their first building, pictured to the right, to be complete in early October and have received 30-40 inquiries already.

Their second building will be constructed just west of the current construction site in the area that has already been cleared.  The units in the first building average 1500 – 1600sq. ft.  The units in the second building are expected to be smaller so that the price point can be in the sub 200s.   Those schematics have just been started.

The next apartment building that Collins, LLC expects to demolish is the building that fronts Newport Ave that includes the current leasing office.  Demolition is tentatively scheduled for the beginning of 2009.

The realignment of Warren St is in the works as well.  Collins plans on narrowing the street and adding landscaping to reduce concrete and increase green space.

All units are still scheduled to be condos, not apartments.  Collins, LLC will be seeking a rezoning from multifamily to PD (Planned Development).  The stated purpose of this request is so that 20% more units can be built into the development.  Councilman Winn and Councilwoman Whibley have met with the developer and indicated that a condition of any increase in density would be the creation of workforce housing.  The change in zoning will need to be approved by City Council.

The increased density would also include the reduction from 1.9 parking spots per unit to 1.6.  The original plan for the development included a public walkway around the river side of the property.  Complaints from residents at the Landings at Bolling Square, another Collins project, have caused the developer to have second thoughts.

The above information was provided by Collins, LLC via telephone and at the July Wards Corner Taskforce meeting.


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