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West Broad office building to become apartments

Al Harris October 31, 2011 13

A Philadelphia-based real estate company just picked up a 50-year-old office building and plans to turn it into apartments.

PMC Realty Group purchased the 250,000-square-foot 3600 Centre building at 3600 W. Broad St. for $4.8 million.

The seller, Washington-based Penn Market Properties, decided to unload the property after decades of ownership, according to Eric Robison of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, who brokered the deal.

“Historically, this was one of the finest suburban office assets for its time,” Robison said.

In recent years, its occupancy has waned.

“The state had a large presence there and a few years ago moved out,” Robison said. “They were losing the state Department of Taxation at the end of this year, which will take the occupancy from 40 percent to 20 percent.”

The new owners plan to renovate the building and convert the six upper floors to apartments. The two lower floors office will be used for office and retail space.

PMC entered the local market in 2009, when it acquired Kensington Court Apartments from Miller & Associates for $9.5 million.

PMC did not return a call seeking comment.

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  1. Jim Donahue October 31, 2011 at 8:15 am - Reply

    An interesting follow-up might be to research the tenet history of this building. I believe that in its early days it was HQ for Seaboard Airlines (?) Rail Company. That was one of Richmond’s major railways of the day along with the old C&O, Southern, Atlantic Coast Line and RF&P. Later, I think Seaboard and Atlantic Coast Line combined; and it ultimately was rolled-into which one — CSX or Norfolk Southern?

  2. Linda Terry October 31, 2011 at 8:28 am - Reply

    I used to have an office in that building! It’s a very convenient location, and may be just what that area of Broad St needs to kick back up to life ! That corridor needs help and new retail/living space could be just the thing. It’s not far from Scott’s Addition and maybe they will also receive residual benefit. I’ll be happy to watch the project progress.

  3. Mariane October 31, 2011 at 9:36 am - Reply

    35 or more years ago, there was a Hot Shoppes Cafeteria on the ground floor which was delicious.
    This was also intended to be the destination of Richmond Public Schools when Mayor Wilder tried to move them out of City Hall late one Friday night. A floor or maybe two had been rented by the city. I don’t think the city ever made use of the space. There’s good parking in the back. It’s a shame the city offices never materialized because parking is an expensive proposition downtown for city workers.

  4. Beth October 31, 2011 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Great project, great location. On the busline for downtown workers, easy stoll or bike ride to Carytown, ample parking, nice city view. Should do well as long as they cruch their numbers well beforehand. (I remember a big warehouse project that failed because they put too much money into the renovation and then the rents wouldn’t support their debt.) This will be exciting to watch.

  5. RobinsonSt October 31, 2011 at 11:08 am - Reply

    If I remember correctly the parking lot on the west side of 195 was owned by the 3600 Centre. Any word on what is happening with it? It surrounds the the auto mechanics SANKO. That location would be great for more apartments or retail, as well.

  6. Bob Hicks October 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Good plan for adaptive reuse of a well located building. It was originally the Seaboard Coastilne Railroad building, later occupied by Traveler’s Insurance.
    On the bus line, convenient to interstates and major arteries.

  7. Dayton G Leadbetter October 31, 2011 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    The building was built for, and its proper name, was the Seaboard Railroad Co. I worked for Hankins and Johann at the time. Our company provided the original gold and blue anodized aluminum for the window fronts, doors and panels, and also the columns which I believe are either Stainless Steel or Natural Anodized Aluminum.. The ciompany also did work inside the building in the CEO or President’s office and other areas, probably removed by now.

  8. William F. Rowe November 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I was Manager of the Group Insurance Dep’t of Travelers and we moved to the Seaboard building, I think, sometime in the middle ’50s because I was transferred to Atlanta in 1960. We lived on Kensington Ave so it was a very easy commute. Mrs. Isabelle Sutton was my Sec’y, a finer lady never lived, Robert (Colonel) Figg was a good TIC agent, sons, Coleman and Bobby as I remember. At 86 years of age, memory slips but I think my office ws on the first floor to the left of the entrance and right on Braord St.

  9. Charles November 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Great idea, I can see housing there working and adding life to the area

  10. Beverley Lane June 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    You are right – it was the Seaboard building, home of Seaboard Airlines RR! I worked there and also at the old C&O building at 11th and Canal, which was my very first job!!!

  11. Charles January 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I wonder what’s happening with this project? It still seems like a good one in a good location

  12. Nichole March 18, 2013 at 9:39 am - Reply

    I drive by twice a day, two and from my office that is around the corner on Hamilton Street and this morning they have put up the leasing signs for the apartments. So… they must be ready to start moving people in. While not interested in moving, I’ll be more interested to see if they can get the retails space on the first floor rented as it would be nice to have some options for lunch in this neighborhood.

  13. Elle April 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    I think this is an exciting project. I live in a loft in Scott’s Addition and love the convenience. My only complaint with my building is the very thin walls where you can truly hear conversations at a normal tone fron the next unit. Not a problem of course where a brick wall I’d the common wall. I hope the renovations of this building factor in soundproof walls along with spacious units and I may wind up checking it out. Great project for the area!

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