May 5, 2023

RK&K Partners with Richmond Community to Help Transform Vacant Church into Affordable Housing

Firm’s Site Development team provided civil/site design solutions for the redevelopment of the vacant Mizpah Presbyterian Church into 66 affordable housing units.

RK&K’s site development team partnered with Enterprise Community Development, Inc. and architect Torti Gallas to complete the civil/site design for the redevelopment of the vacant Mizpah Presbyterian Church on E. Brookland Park Blvd. in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood.

The team coordinated field survey services, utilities availability (including pressure/flow testing and storm drainage capacity analysis), site demolition, and a neighborhood traffic and parking study.

The group worked closely with Cite-Design to provide a full site plan design for the new construction of the 66-unit, energy-efficient apartment project and designed the new parking, sidewalk/streetscape, utilities connections and stormwater management compliance solutions.

RK&K’s team completed detailed site grading for the project’s service entrance and commons plaza space for hardscape, landscape, site, and street lighting. An important feature in the plaza is the preservation of the historic church façade that will remain as an integral architectural element of the project.

Once complete, the four-story Brookland Park Apartments will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for renters earning between 40% and 60% of the area median income.

“RK&K is very excited to be involved in such a project that provides affordable housing,” said Director Malachi Mills, PE. “The mix of residential units will serve elderly and low-income housing needs in the community. Preserving the neighborhood history and character of the Mizpah Presbyterian Church façade within the commons plaza open space was a great solution that will hopefully spur on more redevelopment in the East Brookland Park area.”

RK&K joined Richmond, Virginia city officials for the groundbreaking of the Brookland Park Apartments at the site of the vacant Mizpah Presbyterian Church on May 4, 2023.

RK&K’s team designed stormwater management solutions to meet regulations in an urban area by modernizing antiquated sewer and storm infrastructure.

“We utilized disconnected roof drains released into narrow, grassed, side-yard detention swales that drained to oversized, subsurface detention pipes that drain through restrictor orifice plates to a double-chamber gas trap junction just upstream on the city’s existing combined sewer/storm culvert,” Mills added. “This design solution provided the stormwater quality and control requirements.”

RK&K joined city officials and partners in Richmond, Virginia for the groundbreaking of a $14 million, 66-unit affordable housing development in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

Mills added the team provided design solutions to align sewer/water and storm drain lines around the preserved church building façade structure, and appropriate surface drainage system throughout the limited commons area hardscape/landscaping features.

The complex is expected to be completed in about two years, nearly 140 years after the original church was built.

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