A 1920s-era Boulevard building that recently sold for $1.43 million will see its decades-long tradition of auto service continue.
AAA is set to convert the Woody’s Auto Service building at 929 Myers St., across Boulevard from real estate hotbed Scott’s Addition, into a modernized service center that will expand on Woody’s footprint and history.
Woody’s co-owner Glenn Payne, who with his brother Steve purchased the 0.7-acre property in 2002 for $212,500, said AAA plans to add onto the back of the main building, built in 1928, to make it an eight-bay service center with offices fronting the street.
Payne said plans he’s seen show the building’s front brick façade would be preserved. A second, smaller building on the site would be demolished.
The property was purchased April 10 by Charlotte-based MPV Properties, which Payne said also developed the AAA Glenside Car Care Insurance Travel Center at 7009 W. Broad St. in Henrico County.
Payne said the Woody’s site initially was under contract to be purchased by Rebkee Co., the Midlothian-based developer that turned the adjacent Interbake Foods building into the Cookie Factory Lofts. Payne said he and his brother were not actively marketing the building for sale when Rebkee first approached them a couple years ago.
“Not long after they backed out, this company MPV, from Charlotte, approached us and offered the exact same thing that (Rebkee did),” Payne said.
“To be honest with you, I’m sad to see it go. But the opportunity came along,” he said.
Rebkee principal Rob Hargett said the company had sought to add the property to its footprint but assigned the contract to MPV when the sale price “got to a crazy number.” He said Rebkee envisioned the property as a restaurant or retail use, which MPV had been marketing the property for in a flier online. Hargett said he didn’t know AAA was the proposed use when Rebkee assigned the contract to MPV.
Hargett noted Rebkee purchased the adjacent, twice-as-large Aldi grocery store site for $775,000 in 2012. The 1.39-acre property was sold last October to an entity called 927 Myers LLC for $3.05 million.
Of the MPV deal, Hargett said: “It’s double what we paid next door for double the acreage. They got half the acreage for double the price.”
Messages left for multiple MPV representatives over several days were not returned.
The Paynes were represented in negotiations by Nathan Shor of S.L. Nusbaum Realty. He said MPV liked the Woody’s property so much that it was looking at potential restaurant or retail tenants if AAA didn’t want it.
“AAA came back and said they wanted it,” Shor said.
He said permits for the project have been filed with the city and construction would start in late May or early June. Attempts to obtain copies of those permits were unsuccessful Monday.
Payne said Woody’s is required to vacate the property by April 28 and AAA would take possession May 15. Smoke & Mirrors Salon, which leases part of the building from the Paynes, is set to vacate by the end of the month.
As for the Payne brothers, both plan to take a few months off before making their next moves.
After 38 years at Woody’s – the first 10 working under original owner Bernard Woody before he and Steven took over the business – Glenn said he will move up the street to Mincz Tire Service on Altamont Avenue, just off Boulevard in Scott’s Addition, where he plans to work three days a week. Steve said he is still deciding what to do next.
Glenn said it’s bittersweet to let go of the business he and Steve ran since 1989, when its namesake retired and sold them the shop. Since then, they have seen the Boulevard corridor and neighboring Scott’s Addition through lows long before their recent surge in popularity.
“This neighborhood really went way down for a long time, with a lot of homeless people hanging around on corners and in front of the shop. It was really bad for business here for a while,” Glenn said. “Scott’s Addition they’re just building up as condos and apartments, going up everywhere.”
“I have mixed feelings about it,” Steve added of selling the business. “But the opportunity presented itself.”