HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Henrico Board of Supervisors has approved two new housing developments that will add 575 apartments and townhomes in Willow Lawn and at the site of the Knights Inn in Glen Allen.

New Face for the Knights Inn

The first proposal, by Middleburg Real Estate Partners, would see the Knights Inn on Brook Road transformed from a motel into 274 apartments and 36 townhomes.

A site plan attached to the application shows that the apartments will be built around a central courtyard and be accessible by entrances on Brook Road, while the townhomes will be located to the North, where they will connect to Norfolk Street.

Conceptual elevation of the proposed apartment building. (Courtesy of Henrico County)

In their application, the company highlights pedestrian walkways “internally connecting the entire site” which could potentially be expanded to connect to the Fall Line Trail in the future.

During a public hearing on Tuesday, May 10, a local resident told the board she wanted the developer to do everything they could to preserve the old growth trees currently situated on the property.

“I’m hoping that the developer … will also consider preserving many of these trees,” she said.

She pointed to another project nearby, on which she said developers had clear cut a similar stand of old growth trees, actions she viewed as unnecessary.

A representative of the company spoke directly afterwards, and said they would follow the proffers in the application requiring the company to “preserve the existing trees in that buffer area” between the property and adjoining parcels.

The development will also be required to include, as a condition of approval, a 7,100 square-foot clubhouse, pool, electric vehicle charging stations and “grilling stations.”

Proffers included in the application indicate that the complex will be a “mixture of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment units,” but did not specify how many of each type would be constructed.

Apartments on Willow Lawn

The second case approved at the board’s May 10 meeting is a 265-unit apartment building proposed for a parcel on Willow Lawn Drive just a few blocks from its intersection with Monument Avenue.

The building would include an internal parking structure occupying most of the first floor and part of the second, with the building totaling 7 stories altogether.

Willow lawn development
Elevations show the proposed apartment building on Willow Lawn Drive. (Courtesy of Henrico County)

The building will contain 150 1-bedroom units and 115 2-bedroom units, but will not contain any 3-bedroom apartments.

One community member spoke out against that aspect of the plan, calling on the county to support more housing for families.

“I would ask the county, with the thought of providing affordable housing for families, that we include at least a few 3-bedroom apartments,” he said.

The board approved the application without making any last-minute amendments.

A county analysis indicated that the apartment complex was expected to house 70 new students who would attend county public schools, of whom 17 would attend Freeman High School. That may pose an issue, as county staff indicated that Freeman was already at 100.7% capacity, and was only expected to become more crowded over the next five years.