Church Hill North Welcomes Grocer & Culinary Institute

Sam Castonguay By: Sam Castonguay

One of Richmond’s oldest, most historic neighborhoods, Church Hill North, has been identified as a food desert because of its lack of accessibility to affordable and high-quality fresh foods. This is especially challenging for residents within the community who may have health problems or who do not have reliable, convenient transportation.

Timmons Group provided site/civil design, planning/layout, landscape architecture, and geotechnical services to an exciting two-part project that will offer housing, job opportunities, and convenient access to healthy, fresh foods.  The project vision is driven and funded by Church Hill North Retail Center LLC, established by Steven and Kathie Markel.  It is incredible to have the opportunity to take part in the project and I am excited to see its impact.

1.) Mixed-Use Center
An independent full-service grocery store will anchor this mixed-use center located at the northwest corner of Fairmount Avenue and North 25th Street.  At 25,400 SF, the grocer, to be managed by Norm Gold, a former FeedMore executive, hopes to create jobs for members of the surrounding community. A total of 42 apartments are proposed to be located above the aforementioned ground floor uses.

Grocer Rendering Provided by Freeman Morgan Architects

2.) J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Culinary Arts Building
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College is expanding its culinary arts program in a move that will create jobs, inspire careers, and help supplement Richmond’s booming restaurant scene. The building, designed by O’Neill McVoy Architects, will provide kitchen courses, a greenhouse for lessons on the farm-to-table movement, and a demonstration kitchen.  Long term, the building will include a market cafe to give students a real-life experience and offer the community a place for prepared meals.  The building also includes space in the 3rd and 4th stories for an additional restaurant and 12 apartments. 

About 300 students are in the culinary program now, and Reynolds believes it can expand to 750 with this new building.  With food as the common denominator, the Culinary Institute at Reynolds and the East End Grocer at the neighboring mixed-use center will help complement one another.

Culinary Institute Renderings Provided by O’NEILL McVOY Architects

Both projects are in the construction phase.  The mixed-use center scheduled to be completed later this year. The culinary institute is set to open for Fall Semester classes in 2019.  Follow us on twitter for the latest ongoing project updates.