Slices of life and scenes in Richmond

3/8/2019, noon
New upscale apartments are filling 15 acres on the campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary in North Side.
Canopy at Ginter Park development Photo by Sandra Sellars

New upscale apartments are filling 15 acres on the campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary in North Side.

The $50 million Canopy at Ginter Park development at 3401 Brook Road, which is to include 15 new buildings with 301 rental units and a clubhouse, is heading toward completion.

The development overcame significant opposition from neighbors who battled unsuccessfully for nearly four years with the seminary, City Hall and in the courts in an attempt to halt the loss of what was considered a community park, despite its private ownership.

In a bid to accommodate opponents, the seminary dropped any immediate plans to develop 19 additional acres of open land next to the complex that includes a walking trail and community garden.

Construction on the apartment project began in the summer of 2017, nearly two years after the seminary gained the final green light from the city.

The seminary partnered with Tennessee-based Bristol Development Group to create the development and retained a minority ownership interest as part of the deal. Seminary officials have stated that the project was undertaken to improve housing for its adult students and their families and as a way to generate revenue for operations and scholarships by leasing the majority of the apartments to the public.

Started in Prince Edward County in 1812, the seminary has been a fixture in Richmond since 1898. The development, which is going up on land donated to the seminary in 1910, occupies just a portion of the 56-acre campus.

Seminary President Brian Blount is confident area residents will come to see the Canopy at Ginter Park as a high-quality development that adds to the aesthetics and housing choices in North Side.

Opponents of plans to turn some traffic lanes on Brook Road to dedicated bike lanes cited the extra traffic the development is expected to generate in their failed bid to halt the bike lane proposal.