New Hydro building in Manchester flush with commercial tenants

The Hydro, a seven-storey mixed-use building in Manchester, will soon house a bike shop, aerial dance studio and advertising agency. (Photo by Mike Platania)

As it accommodates residential tenants, a recently completed Manchester apartment building has also filled its commercial space.

Three companies recently signed leases to open at the Hydro, a new seven-storey apartment building at 101 Manchester Road. The next tenants are bike shop Riverside Cycling, performing arts studio Host of Sparrows Aerial Circus and advertising company Four Deep Multimedia.

As a result of the agreements, all of Hydro’s approximately 5,300 square feet of commercial space is reserved. The mixed-use project comes from WVS Cos. and Fountainhead Real Estate Development, who began planning the 226-unit building in 2019.

Riverside Cycling, Host of Sparrows, and Four Deep occupy 1,200, 2,000, and 2,100 square feet, respectively. Lory Markham of One South Commercial had the listing on commercial space.

For Riverside Cycling, the additional space will allow the company to expand its offering. Since launching in early 2020, Riverside Cycling has operated out of the Riverside Outfitters headquarters in Stratford Hills, offering bike rentals, tours and lessons.

Max Pendergraph moves Riverside Cycling into the building. (BizSense File)

Owner Max Pendergraph said partnering with Riverside Outfitters was a great way to establish the business, but hauling his fleet of around 40 bikes in and out of the store each day cost him dearly.

“I’ve benefited in so many ways from this direct relationship (with Riverside Outfitters),” Pendergraph said. “But the other side of the coin is that I went beyond space. I basically ran an outdoor bike shop for two years. I wanted a more formal outlet.

He added that despite the similar names, Riverside Cycling is not officially affiliated with Riverside Outfitters and he is the sole owner of the cycling business.

As well as being a base for the rental and tour portion of the business, Pendergraph said the additional space at Hydro will allow it to turn Riverside Cycling into a full-service bike shop, complete with repair service and a retail area.

“There are no bike shops in Manchester so I’m looking forward to serving the area,” Pendergraph said. “I think the location is really ideal for me with access to the Virginia Capital Trail, direct access to the city’s mountain bike trails without having to ride the city streets, and future access to the Richmond Trail- Petersburg.”

Terrain360, a digital imaging and mapping company that shares space with Riverside Cycling in Stratford Hills, will continue to do so in the Hydro, Pendergraph said.

The other fitness-related tenant heading to the Hydro is Host of Sparrows. When founder Heather Bailey and her team of about 10 people aren’t teaching classes in aerial silks, acrobatic dance and other circus arts, they perform their own routines at events around town.

Heather Bailey is the owner of Host of Sparrows. (Courtesy of Barbara Shore Photography)

“We’re the local circus,” Bailey said.

Bailey founded the company in 2017 after about six years under the wing of Dogtown Dance Theatre, a local performing arts organization.

Before the pandemic, Bailey said, she and the circus performed locally almost every weekend, from corporate events to farmers’ markets. While booking for these events has gradually increased, Bailey said Host of Sparrows classes have remained extremely popular with a long waiting list.

The move will more than double Host of Sparrows’ current 900 square foot space at Plant Zero. The need for additional space, along with the upcoming redevelopment of Plant Zero, motivated Bailey and Host of Sparrows to move.

“We can only do four people in a class at a time, and we’ll be able to more than double that,” Bailey said. “And we’ll be hanging (at) 20 feet, which is ideal for what we’re doing.”

It will also be a neighborhood move for Four Deep, which has been in the Manchester Pie Factory building on Hull Street since 2017 after a stint in the Fan.

JT Logan

JT Logan founded Four Deep in 2011 while still a student at VCU. He describes Four Deep as a full-line multimedia company, offering services in digital marketing, web and app development, and commercial and print media. He recently signed on to be Virginia Union University’s referral agency.

Logan said he and his team of 14 needed more space but did not want to leave Manchester.

“It’s a great neighborhood. We returned to Manchester just as construction really started,” he said. “Now we have bars and restaurants and all these different apartments – everything but a grocery store. We want to stay here.

With Hydro’s future office as well as an outpost in the DC area, Logan said the company has come a long way since Four Deep began.

“My first desk was in a client’s closet while I was at VCU. It was a legit closet and they put a door for me. And I was like, ‘Man, I made it’” “I was good with the closet. But it’s a whole different vibe,” Logan said with a laugh.

Riverside Cycling plans to open in late summer, while Host of Sparrows and Four Deep plan to move in June.

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