A sweet opportunity

For 80 years, the Interbake factory made a stretch of Broad Street smell like fresh baked cookies. Now the iconic Richmond building is going to auction.

For the past several years, it has been vacant. But it could soon be home to apartments and shops if a developer wants to give it the historic-condo-conversion treatment.

Douglas Development Corporation, which owns the 302,000-square-foot factory, is putting the property up for auction.

Jimmy Appich, a broker with Jones, Lang, LaSalle representing Douglas Development in the deal, said he hopes to attract investors and developers from across the country.

“This is one of the last pieces tying Scott’s Addition to the Fan, and nice mixed-use development would fill the void,” Appich said. “It is great for apartments and retail, and there is enough land on there to do some out-parcel retail.”

The property is near the intersection of Broad and Boulevard and is walking distance from the Movieland theater and the Diamond, as well as the Science Museum of Virginia and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Interbake, which made Girl Scout cookies and other snacks there, left the facility in 2006, according to its website. Since then it has been vacant, and from time to time attracted vagrants. The city briefly condemned the property this year because of trespassing issues.

The building sits on 3.29 acres.

The property is listed on Auction.com and is among a group of more than 300 distressed and repossessed properties throughout the Southeast being auctioned off on the site this fall.

The site lists the starting bid at $1.5 million and an auction period that lasts from Sept. 19-21. Appich said those details could change.

The building, which was first constructed in 1928 with major improvements in 1949, recently became eligible for historic tax credits, Appich said.

“We think that will really help as part of the disposition,” Appich said.

Douglas Development bought shuttered factory in 2005 for $6.7 million.  Norman Jemal, a principal with the company, did not return a call requesting comment by press time.

Just last week, Douglas sold a downtown office building to Dominion Resources at a steep discount. Dominion bought the building for $5.5 million, which Douglas bought in 2007 for $11.8 million.

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Nathan Hughes
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Thanks for the update! I’ve had several groups over the years ask what’s going on with that property. It’s in a great spot for redevelopment, and it’s a shame it’s just been sitting there vacant.

Mary Lee Schultz
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The site has lots of potential for retail and apartments and other uses.

DaveM
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DaveM

Kind of surprised this site has been vacant for as long as it has. Definitely a great apartment opportunity.