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Developer plans to replace Museum District office with apartments

Michael Thompson October 20, 2014 4

A developer has a Museum District office building under contract. Photos by Michael Thompson.

A developer has a Museum District office building under contract. Photos by Michael Thompson.

Another Museum District office building may soon go residential.

Local developer Carter Snipes is under contract to purchase 3410 Cutshaw Ave., a 14,000-square-foot office building. Once the deal closes, Snipes wants to demolish the office and build between 19 and 25 condos or apartments.

“They had it listed for sale originally and came to me as a broker,” Snipes said of the property’s current owner, Law Dog Holdings LC. “This was around the time for Citizen 6. I saw (Bill Chapman) got the zoning approved, and it got me thinking.”

Citizen 6 is a new row house development at 2615-2619 Floyd Ave. in the Fan, which is being developed by Chapman. Snipes said he wants to do something similar to Citizen 6 in the Museum District.

Rob Stevens (left) and Carter Snipes. Photo by Michael Thompson.

Rob Stevens (left) and Carter Snipes of River West Group.

Snipes’ planned project would be at least the second office building in the Museum District to be turned into a residential property. Oliver Properties is planning to build 50 new apartments in place of a 20,000-square-foot office building at Patterson Avenue and Nansemond Street.

“There are some existing structures and legacy projects in the Fan and the Museum District that aren’t in the best use,” Snipes said. “It’s just one of those areas that’s been overlooked.”

Snipes said he wants to do a three-story building with one- and two-bedroom units that are between 700 and 900 square feet.

He’ll first look to get approval from the city planning commission and neighborhood association, a process he said could take between 18 and 24 months.

Acquisition of the building will cost $390,000, Snipes said, and he plans to spend $2.3 million to $2.5 million to redevelop the property through River West Group, a development firm he launched in July. Johannas Design Group is designing the plans for the building, and construction is up for bidding.

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  1. Margo Catalano October 21, 2014 at 8:45 am - Reply

    I live across the street from this building – exciting to see some attention being paid to this often overlooked (but wonderful) area of the Museum District!

  2. David Franke October 21, 2014 at 10:57 am - Reply

    As a real estate broker and investor in the Fan, I understand that the market drives the product. If more of these projects are completed, my concern would be that this submarket would be changed from Live, Work, Play to a more suburban feel of just Live.

    • edlindbloom October 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      Mr. Franke – I have begun to wonder the same thing. I still think that the “play” aspect is being maintained, as we don’t see any restaurants converted into apartments. But the precious little office space in the neighborhood is certainly moving that way. Again, I can’t decide if there’s a net negative effect or not.

  3. stan stanfield October 21, 2014 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Have any of the posters here looked at this building?

    please bulldoze it as soon as possible and replace it with anything that is useful and not an eyesore. THAT would help the neighborhood.

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