A long-vacant bank building on East Broad Street is getting a $5 million makeover.
The Monument Companies and local real estate attorney and developer Barry Wilton are teaming up to convert the old Jefferson Bank building at 115 E. Broad St. into 44 apartments.
Chris Johnson, principal at Monument, said that the developer is betting that the wave of downtown activity — including the recent John Marshall rehab, the city’s planned Shockoe Bottom refresh and the installation of the Capital Trail — will bring people in.
“This is just one of the many substantial projects happening in the downtown market,” Johnson said. “A renaissance of sorts is rapidly taking place in the city.”
Most of the apartments will have one bedroom, but there are about eight two-bedroom units, Johnson said.
Rents will range from $1,000 to $1,300 and up to $1,600 for the two penthouse apartments.
Unlike many of the apartment conversions across the city, this not a historic tax-credit project.
“Because it’s not a tax-credit deal, it gave us a little more freedom to make significant changes to the building,” Johnson said. “It’s not old enough to qualify. It was built in the ’70s. But this means we can turn it into more of a hip, modern-looking structure.”
Xenith Bank is the lender for the project, Walter Parks is the architect and the Monument Companies is doing the construction.
“March is better than February, and April is better than March,” he said. “But from May to August, it gets crazy.”
The bottom floor will have about 3,200 square feet of commercial space, including an 800-square-foot mezzanine. Johnson said the space would work for a restaurant. CBRE has the listing on the first-floor commercial space.
Left vacant since the 1990s, the 40,500-square-foot building was sold by Jefferson National Bank in 2001 after it was Wachovia acquired the Charlottesville-based bank.
The building changed hands several times over the years until Barry Wilton and his family bought it in 2008 for $2.1 million.
Wilton said in an email to BizSense that the property is being developed by his family. His father, Somers Wilton, developed several large housing sub-divisions in the suburbs, including Wythe Trace and Summerwood near Short Pump. This is his family’s first downtown apartment project.