Outside the area of the downtown charette’s gaze, big changes are taking place in our city’s landscape. New commercial spaces and 74 new apartments, lofts, condos, and townhomes are in various stages of completion along the stretch of Cary from Meadow to VCU. Sunday’s TD has the rundown.

Construction is underway for the Lofts at Cary Place on the corner of Cary & Meadow, and on the Townes at Cary Place, 28 expensive gated townhomes just next door. Further down the street at Cary Place 4 (these people are creative with the names!), construction is almost complete on storefronts and apartments.

Construction still in the planning phase includes converting the “white elephant” building at 9 S. Harvie (the old Flag Center warehouse) into a mixed use commercial and residential building.

Also of note, aesthetic improvements are planned for the BP at Cary & Meadow- including fences, and stucco. Can a gas station be attractive? Or are any improvements just lipstick on a pig?

The forces behind all this work are Ed Eck, who brought us the colorful buildings on the “Uptown” section of Main St. just past VCU, East West Partners, who developed Brandermill and Woodlake, and RRHA. Good to see the folks who helped lure folks out of Richmond put some effort into repairing some of the damage of years of suburban flight.

Also noteworthy, RRHA won an award for their role in the development of Cary Place (the original!). It is remarkable, actually, that high end lofts (The Lofts at Cary Place) were named after an affordable housing development (Cary Place). I’d never put that together before. Or am I missing something, was there a Cary Place before Better Housing Coalition and RRHA developed that corner? I anxiously await the collective historical knowledge of my readers. Someone must know the answer…

But kudos to RRHA and BHC for building some attractive affordable housing that helped a neighborhood’s rebirth.