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  These Four Projects Will Have a Huge Impact on Richmond's Residential Real Estate
May 3, 2019

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These four projects will have a huge impact on Richmond's residential real estate
Rending of the Terminal One project submitted to the Richmond Design Review Board in January 2016
Rendering of the Terminal One project submitted to the Richmond Design Review Board in January 2016

By Dean Boerner  – Editorial intern, San Francisco Business Times
May 2, 2019, 7:17pm EDT

A Richmond site reached an important milestone in April, bringing the city one step closer to adding hundreds of new homes to its pipeline. 

Last week, SunCal agreed to pay $45 million for 270 acres of Point Molate. Based on its negotiating agreement with the city, the Irvine-based developer will build as many as 1,200 residential units on the historic waterfront site. 

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt expressed approval of Point Molate development while pointing to several housing projects further along, including Shea Homes’ 60 townhomes, which opened April 27. 

“Even without Point Molate we’ve got 1,500 units under construction or in the pipeline,” Butt said, though he acknowledged that Richmond was not yet on track to meet project housing needs of five to 10 years in the future. 

As of last November, Richmond had 543 new units under construction, with 977 units approved and another 701 under review. Accounting for many of the units are Laconia Development’s Latitude, AMG & Associates’ Nevin Homes project, and New West Company’s Quarry project, among others.

“After about a decade and a half dry spell in Richmond, housing is finally starting to come in,” Butt said. 

Point Molate
Point Molate, City of Richmond

Point Molate

Point Molate’s future has been in question since the former naval fuel depot was decommissioned in 1995. 

The agreement between the City of Richmond and SunCal in April is for a mixed-use project will also feature retail and office space, rehabilitation of the site’s Winehaven Historic District, and possibly a hotel, according the Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) approved by the city council on April 23.

The proposal, which will result in anywhere between 670 and 1,200 units, has several steps to go through, beginning with six more months of negotiations with the city to arrive at specifics for the mixed-use project. 

Latitude, Laconia Development

At 1500 Dornan Drive, Laconia Development’s Latitude, currently under environmental review, will bring 316 units – 295 condominiums and 21 single-family homes. The Walnut Creek-based developer is building the project, formerly known as Terminal One, on behalf of partner and Chinese developer Suzhou Weibang Properties LLC, which bought the land from the city back in 2016.

Butt said the project is nearly done with its review and should be on the city’s agenda by the summer. Laconia did not respond to request for comment.

Richmond’s mayor points to Latitude’s location near the city’s southern waterfront as indicative of where much of the housing pipeline is targeted, also citing smaller developments like Shea Homes’ Waterline and William Lyon Homes’ NOMA (98 units) as examples.

“Most are near the southern waterfront, but there’s also a pretty good bunch going into the historical downtown region of Richmond,” Butt said.

Nevin Homes
Nevin Homes, Pacific West Architecture

Nevin Homes

Affordable housing development Nevin Homes has 289 units under construction in central Richmond on Nevin St. AMG & Associates and The Pacific Cos. are the developers for the project, which principal Alexis Gevorgian says should be completed by year’s end.

The two developers also have designs on a 700-unit project near Richmond’s BART station, and Gevorgian, who’s bullish on the Richmond market, says a formal submission will come in about a year. “Richmond’s a great location,” Gevorgian said, adding that recently retired planning director Richard Mitchell made the city an attractive investment opportunity.
Quarry Residential Project rendering
Quarry Residential Project rendering, City of Richmond

Quarry Residential Project

Las Vegas-based developer New West Co. has two projects in Richmond, one of which, The Quarry, is fully approved and set to break ground this year, according to New West Co. founder Terry Manley. “Obviously Oakland is getting pretty pricey, and we see Richmond as one of the next areas that will start to fill in,” Manley said.

Located near the southern waterfront, The Quarry will feature up to 200 units of between 650 and 1,200 square feet, and Manley says the company is still considering whether they will rent or sell them. New West has another project Manley says should break ground in 2020 in the Marina Bay area and consist of at least 500 units.

“Shea Homes is well underway on Waterline, and the ferry opened up on Jan. 10, so some of the things we really wanted to see happen have happened,” Manley said. “We’re quite bullish on the area.”