Latest Apartment Amenity: Bicycle Storage

Rendering of proposed Main 2525 by Walter Parks Architects.

Developers Charles Macfarlane and Sam McDonald have applied for a special use permit to build a six-story apartment building on East Main Street east of downtown. Current zoning allows for only five-story buildings.

The Main 2525 proposal has many things to like, including 7,400 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, underground parking for 241 vehicles, and amenities such as a swimming pool, rooftop terrace and lounge with city skyline views. That’s standard mixed-use development, it’s what the market demands, and it’s what increasingly sets the city of Richmond apart from neighboring Henrico and Chesterfield Counties.

But here’s what caught my eye: The project will provide indoor bicycle storage.

The development would be located on the edge of Shockoe Bottom and about two miles from downtown Richmond, so it is within easy bicycling distance of tens of thousands of jobs. The number of cyclists on the road in the Richmond region seems to be increasing, but only slowly. Main 2525 would address one obstacle to greater bicycle usage — bicycle storage.

Think about it. If you’re paying $950 to $1,575 per month for an upscale apartment, the last thing you want is to stash your bicycle inside the apartment. But you don’t want to leave it outside where it would be exposed to the elements or might get stolen. Secure, indoor bicycle storage would be a meaningful amenity.

That feature may be commonplace in new apartment buildings these days, and I just haven’t noticed because I’m a suburban homeowner. Regardless, if I were young and looking for an apartment, the prospect of having bicycle storage would grab my attention.

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8 responses to “Latest Apartment Amenity: Bicycle Storage

  1. The owners of the Tysons office building where I work built a very nice and secure, indoor bike storage room in the underground parking garage. It’s both a tenant perk and compliance with TDM.

  2. I’m all for bicycle storage; and this project’s proximity to the Capitol Bicycle Trail is additional incentive to include bike lockers. But the building’s proposed name is dreadfully uninspired. It’s to be located halfway between the Libby Hill hospital grounds and the site of Libby Prison, overlooking the Tide Lock, to be filled with aspiring young professionals who might appreciate word-play — how about something topical like “Elizabeth’s Folly,” or catchy like “The Lock Up,” or cute like “The Confed-e-racy”?

  3. Acbar – do you know what a “groan” joke is…???

    • No, “grin” — as in “grin and bear it.” You have to admit, that building looks a bit like a prison — or maybe the FBI building on PA Av.

      But seriously, with all of the South afflicted with “renaming” fever and carting away “symbols of the slaveowning past,” the only historical references from Richmond’s ‘finest hour’ likely to survive are the humorous (if not cutesy) ones.

      • agree .. it does very much have that look.. and agree with second comment also.

      • The building looks like one of the thousands of square cement pillbox apartment buildings that surround Prague (from the Soviet era).

        The name reminds me of a one-hit wonder from Zager and Evans in the 1960s.

        In this video they actually appear to be standing in front of an early prototype of this building!

  4. That was a actually good tune…
    I ride my bike just about every day

    • Being a techno-geek – even way back then – I liked the song. It always reminded me of something between a musical version of Brave New World and The Last Question.

      The fact that Asimov wrote The last Question in 1956 still boggles my mind.

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