James River Nurseries is currently working on a stream restoration project in Richmond. The need for this type of restoration is often prevalent in urban areas where a stream or waterway has, over time, been adversely affected by altered landscape and environmental conditions. Because urban areas have more impervious surfaces, water is less able to infiltrate the ground. With nowhere else to go, the water is directed into stormwater systems which in turn release into creeks and streams at a much higher frequency & velocity than the waterway would typically handle. This often results in significant bank erosion thereby affecting the quality of the water as well as altering the habitat of both aquatic life and wildlife.
There are different methods used to restore waterways, but one popular and cost effective way is to utilize plant material to stabilize the soil. As the roots take hold and grow into the soil, they bind with soil particles thereby reducing erosion. By reducing erosion, the plants are able to affect the volume of silt flowing through a stream and help provide a more favorable environment for plants, fish and wildlife as well as helping to enhance the quality of the water.
In this particular project, we are utilizing several common materials found in stream restoration. Among those are native plants, tubelings and live stakes. Native plants play an important role in helping to restore the balance to the ecosystem that is often thrown off kilter when streams experience bank erosion. Tubelings are young seedling trees that are grown rapidly in a greenhouse in plastic plug containers. Within 3 months they are as are as big and strong as a field grown plant would be in one year. Tubelings are often used for their ability to produce soil-stabilizing roots more quickly. We are also using live stakes. Live stakes are woody cuttings with branches trimmed off of species that root easily and quickly and are easily planted by treating them as stakes and basically just pushing them into the soil.
At James River Nurseries we believe in not only the aesthetic value that plants bring to the environment, but also the many important roles that plants plays in the ecosystems where they exist. This stream restoration project is a great example of that concept.
James River Nurseries recently began landscaping the first phase of a new 80 acre mixed-use neighborhood called Libbie Mill. Located between West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road, and formerly the site of the Suburban Apartments, this neighborhood is being developed by Gumenick Properties. Projected to take 7 to 10 years to develop, once complete, will have approximately 994 homes (condominiums, townhomes and single family homes), 1,096 apartments, and about 160,000 square feet of retail and office space. Gumenick Properties is also planning to relocate its corporate offices to the new development.
Founded by Nathan Gumenick in 1947, Gumenick Properties is a local, award winning real estate development & management company with projects throughout the Southeast. Here in the Richmond area, you are probably familiar with a couple of very successful projects currently being developed by Gumenick Properties, Grayson Hill & Monument Square.
For a little background on how they arrived at the name for this new neighborhood, you have to reach back in history to when Mark Thompson, a Richmond businessman, named Libbie Avenue for his wife. Additionally, nearly 200 years ago there was a farm located north of this new development called Staples Plantation which operated a mill that stone ground corn by water power (hence the name Staples Mill). In a nod to history, Gumenick Properties blended the two and came up with Libbie Mill, thereby figuratively joining together what the boundaries of this neighborhood are literally going to do…join Libbie Avenue and Staples Mill Road.
According to the Gumenick Properties website, “The community’s "downtown" will feature shops, restaurants, offices, a library and a 2-acre lake, which will serve as a focal point for activities, dining and people watching.” The library site was donated to the county by Gumenick Properties. Additionally, the neighborhood is designed to be pedestrian friendly which should help reduce traffic as well as give the neighborhood a “unique character and sense of intimacy.”
Southern Season, out of Chapel Hill, NC, was announced as Libbie Mill’s first commercial tenant and is slated for a July 31 Grand Opening. This store is well known for having a reputation as a "food lover’s paradise" and for the quality of its gourmet food, wine, houseware and cookware. The store should be an immediate draw for Libbie Mill not only from those in the immediate area but from people throughout the region.
Of course, only time will tell the story of Libbie Mill, but initial signs point to a potential text book demonstration on the use of creative architecture, sound land planning principles as well as the power of economics to revitalize an older area within an urban setting. There are potentially significant positive outcomes both economically and socially for this type of revitalization. Enhancing the quality of life in the area, creating jobs (it is projected to generate more than 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and should be able to sustain approximately 900 permanent jobs), strengthening businesses, adding to the tax base for the county, raising values of nearby properties and creating a thriving new community are just a few outcomes that a development like this could produce.
The importance of having a developer with exceptional vision, knowledge, and experience to handle what has been referred to as the largest revitalization project in Henrico County’s rich history should not be underestimated. The entire region is likely to benefit from having Gumenick Properties at the helm of this development at such a pivotal inflection point for this “Midtown” location.
At James River Nurseries we are proud to be invited to play a role in this exciting and dynamic new neighborhood that is sure to become a popular destination!
For a more complete overview of this neighborhood, please go to: Libbie Mill
The interplay between landscaping and hardscapes, green spaces and gardens all contribute to creating an atmosphere that will coax you and your family and friends outside to relax and enjoy your outdoor space.
Below is a video of us bringing to life a landscape design created by H&G Landscape Architects for Bellevue Homes and the new homeowner. We appreciate their confidence in selecting James River Nurseries to handle the job of putting the finishing touches on the curb appeal of this awesome home!
To learn more about the landscape architect on this project, please go to: H&G Landscape Architects
To learn more about the builder of this home, please go to: Bellevue Homes
James River Nurseries recently began landscaping the entrance and parkway for The Notch at West Creek. This new mixed use development, consisting of 230 acres, is a subsection of the 3,500 acre West Creek business park located in eastern Goochland County. West Creek is notable for being home to a large campus of Capital One Financial, CarMax, Virginia Bureau, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Performance Food Group and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
The Notch at West Creek, being developed by the Pruitt Companies & the Riverstone Group, will be the massive development’s first direct access to the booming Broad Street corridor. Eventually the road running through the development, known as Wilkes Ridge Parkway, will extend approximately 3 miles from West Broad to Tuckahoe Creek Parkway. Once fully developed, this project will include upscale apartments, a medical office park, retail, and corporate offices.
The Notch at West Creek’s name pays homage to the historical Three Notch’d Road which was a major east-west thoroughfare across central Virginia during the Colonial period. Legend has it that the name was taken because of the distinctive markings of three notches cut into trees as they blazed the trail. Today we know remnants of that road as Three Chopt Road.
We are fortunate to have a developers of this caliber handling such a large project. Not only do these folks have roots that run deep in our area, they also have two very important attributes that should benefit those who live and work in the area for generations to come. One, over time they have continually demonstrated financial strength and staying power and two, you need only look at their track record to know that they have a keen eye for quality in their work.
The West Creek website offers further insight:
“West Creek Business Park is owned and operated by the Pruitt Companies and the Riverstone Group. Pruitt Companies is a local, family owned development company that specializes in commercial, residential and retail development within the Richmond Metropolitan area. Developments include: Glen Forest Office Park, the Grey Oaks Community, Short Pump Crossing, Short Pump Town Center and The Shops at White Oak Village. Additionally, Pruitt Companies is the managing partner of West Creek Business Park. The Riverstone Group is a family company based in Richmond, Va. Riverstone owns numerous operating companies and real estate assets such as the Jefferson Hotel, the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Sea Pines at Hilton Head, Keswick Hall and Estate and the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. In addition, Riverstone owns a large tracts such as West Creek and CentrePointe in the Richmond area and several large timber and development tracts in NC, SC, and FL.”
If you would like further information about this development, please go to: West Creek