Weiman’s owners are ready to play ball

Weiman’s Bakery sits on a half-acre in Shockoe Bottom.

The 9,000-square-foot Weiman’s Bakery building, left, sits on a half-acre in Shockoe Bottom.

Weiman’s Bakery baked its final batch of bread in February, but something could be cooking for its prime Shockoe Bottom location.

The assets of the 70-year-old Richmond business are on the market, including giant mixers, automated bread lines and sacks of flour. Its property at the corner of 17th and Grace streets is also up for sale and could be one of the linchpins for an eventual baseball stadium development in that part of the city.

“We haven’t sold [the property] yet,” said Allan Weiman, who ran the business with his father, Morton Weiman. “We’re working on it.”

Weiman’s owns the 9,000-square-foot bakery on half an acre at 121 N. 17th St. and a neighboring parking lot at 113 N. 17th St. Both sit directly in line with the site that has been the favored spot in the long-talked-about stadium plans over the years.

The Weiman’s property’s potential acquisition, along with surrounding lots largely owned by Loving’s Produce, could open the land needed to build a stadium and related development. It would be bordered by East Broad Street, Oliver Hill Way/South 17th Street and the train shed at Main Street Station.

Allan Weiman, whose grandparents founded the bakery in 1945, said the property is listed with Faye Hager, a real estate agent with Virginia Real Estate & Development Inc.

Hager declined to comment on the listing.

Should plans for a stadium in the Bottom move forward, they would likely involve the city, or a partner of the city, purchasing the Weiman’s plots along with several large swaths of vacant lots owned by Loving’s.

“No one has contacted us from the city,” Weiman said.

City of Richmond spokesperson Tammy Hawley said in an email: “I cannot confirm or deny this matter as it is city policy to not comment on any potential real estate related transaction (primarily to protect and not interfere with real estate negotiations if any such negotiations are taking place).”

Weiman said he likes the idea of the land eventually being home to a baseball stadium.

“I’d like to see it myself,” he said.

BizSense staff writer David Larter contributed to this report.

Weiman’s Bakery sits on a half-acre in Shockoe Bottom.

The 9,000-square-foot Weiman’s Bakery building, left, sits on a half-acre in Shockoe Bottom.

Weiman’s Bakery baked its final batch of bread in February, but something could be cooking for its prime Shockoe Bottom location.

The assets of the 70-year-old Richmond business are on the market, including giant mixers, automated bread lines and sacks of flour. Its property at the corner of 17th and Grace streets is also up for sale and could be one of the linchpins for an eventual baseball stadium development in that part of the city.

“We haven’t sold [the property] yet,” said Allan Weiman, who ran the business with his father, Morton Weiman. “We’re working on it.”

Weiman’s owns the 9,000-square-foot bakery on half an acre at 121 N. 17th St. and a neighboring parking lot at 113 N. 17th St. Both sit directly in line with the site that has been the favored spot in the long-talked-about stadium plans over the years.

The Weiman’s property’s potential acquisition, along with surrounding lots largely owned by Loving’s Produce, could open the land needed to build a stadium and related development. It would be bordered by East Broad Street, Oliver Hill Way/South 17th Street and the train shed at Main Street Station.

Allan Weiman, whose grandparents founded the bakery in 1945, said the property is listed with Faye Hager, a real estate agent with Virginia Real Estate & Development Inc.

Hager declined to comment on the listing.

Should plans for a stadium in the Bottom move forward, they would likely involve the city, or a partner of the city, purchasing the Weiman’s plots along with several large swaths of vacant lots owned by Loving’s.

“No one has contacted us from the city,” Weiman said.

City of Richmond spokesperson Tammy Hawley said in an email: “I cannot confirm or deny this matter as it is city policy to not comment on any potential real estate related transaction (primarily to protect and not interfere with real estate negotiations if any such negotiations are taking place).”

Weiman said he likes the idea of the land eventually being home to a baseball stadium.

“I’d like to see it myself,” he said.

BizSense staff writer David Larter contributed to this report.

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Michael D.
Michael D.
9 years ago

“Both sit directly in line with the site that has been the favored spot in the long-talked-about stadium plans over the years.” Favored by who the greedy developers that want TIF district to leave taxpayers hanging with the deal of the century falls through and revenue does not meet the bond payments (aka Brave new stadium in Georgia, aka the Broad Street CDA, aka 6th Street Marketplace).

Brett
Brett
9 years ago

I was against the stadium being downtown for a long time. I think if they make it a multi-use facility and the city only pays for infrastructure, such as utilities sidewalks and roads, then I think it’s a great plan. The rest of it needs to be privately funded. If it’s such a great moneymaker and they have so much hope in it, then let the developer or team pay for it. With that said, I would still rather see it in Manchester on the Reynolds South site.

Charlie Diradour
Charlie Diradour
9 years ago

If they thought 09′ was bad, wait till they propose it again. After the Redskins debacle, with all of its “hurry up and lie” nonsense, the credibility of a baseball stadium in the bottom is nonresistant. I await the first volley.

Charlie Diradour
Charlie Diradour
9 years ago

Oh, and by the way, I still own http://www.baseballontheboulevard.com

John Lindner
John Lindner
9 years ago

I think a downtown stadium could be a huge asset if it included event space that could be used for concerts or festivals. It would certainly give residents relocating downtown another reason to move there, and turn shokoe bottom from a one-trick-pony (bars) to a truly interesting place to live. It would also give legitimacy to the idea of creating a transportation hub in the train station. It would also boost the prospects of the farmer’s market, and inject some new life into the restaurant scene. It would also be a much more attractive location for tourists and visitors to… Read more »

Matt
Matt
9 years ago
Reply to  John Lindner

I completely agree. A well designed stadium in the Bottom would be a tremendous catalyst or parter for other improvements in the area (remodeled train shed, revampted farmer’s market, potential slave museum, etc.).

A new stadium at the Old Reynolds site in Manchester would be an outstanding option as well.

Downtown ballparks are great drivers for complimentary business and entertainment options as is evidenced in many cities throughout the country. Just not sure if anyone at City Hall has the guts to do the same here.

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  John Lindner

As a resident of Shockoe Bottom and baseball enthusiast, I like the idea. Before moving to Richmond 5 years ago, I lived in Columbus, OH where the Cleveland Indians have a minor league team. They recently built a beautiful minor-league ballpark downtown that fits in well with the nearby nightlife and event spaces. Designed correctly, putting a baseball field in that space would really beautify the area. John’s point about traffic is important. However, two things to note about the idea. On any given rush hour morning, there is already a bunch of traffic that dumps onto Broad Street and… Read more »

Shelly
Shelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Jesse

Oh well, wishful thinking! It will probably end up being ANOTHER apartment building or ANOTHER restaurant. Poor Richmond…..not much to do, but go out to eat or go home.

Stuart
Stuart
9 years ago
Reply to  Shelly

Because apartment buildings and restaurants are economically rational. Publicly subsidized stadiums are not.

Shelly
Shelly
9 years ago
Reply to  John Lindner

Totally agree John! I hate the backward, boring, stagnant thinking of people like Brian below.

Brian, you say baseball fields are empty most of the year, but as John said, “a well designed field” is what we need, one that can be used for various entertainment purposes, not just baseball.

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
9 years ago

We have been down this path over and over again since 2003. Is the collective memory that short? The over whelming majority of people in the area have favored the Boulevard for the site of a new stadium. Let’s keep in mind that baseball stadiums are NOT economic generators. They are empty caverns for most of the year. Also think about the added costs of infrastructure in the Bottom as well as potential archeologial finds that will delay the construction and add to the cost. Finally, the majority of the Squirrels fans come from Chesterfield and Henrico Counties. There is… Read more »

joe
joe
9 years ago

“Finally, the majority of the Squirrels fans come from Chesterfield and Henrico Counties.” And they are too selfish to help pay for a new ballpark. Henrico has more money than God and they expect the city to do everything. People in the counties should be ashamed of their government. The boulevard is favored by the people in the counties the ones that have turned their backs on the city and are the cause of all the problems in this region. Something needs to be built on that horrible scare of asphalt in the bottom. Another example of how the automobile… Read more »

jd
jd
9 years ago

The example of the Gwinnett County park keeps getting brought up — but has anyone even been there? I saw it last year, and it’s in the middle of nowhere and can’t be compared to a ballpark in an urban area like the Shockoe Bottom. Why not compare apples to apples — how about Fenway Park, PNC, Altoona?

David Feibish
David Feibish
9 years ago

The Weiman property @ 127 17th Street in the story has been listed in the Commerical Information Exchange of the Richmond Multiple Listing with terms since 10/2011 but has been pending and assumed off the market since a pending date 7/27/12 ? As of 4/12/13 it is still in the CIE MLS as described. Did the contract fall
through? Is it For Sale again?

Jean
Jean
9 years ago

Joe is correct and I’d like to add that there are two camps that will fight Bottom location for different reasons. One are (some, not all) suburbanite basebell fans who are afraid of the bottom in general or are worried about parking in the Bottom. The other are the bar owners (Diradour as a prime example) who stand to lose quit a bit when the Bottom again becomes the prime nightlife destination just as it was 15 years ago. City officials will be forced to improve safety, lighting, sidewalks, roads etc… in the Bottom with such a large and key… Read more »

joe
joe
9 years ago

No one ever walks to a game at the diamond. The only argument is that a pedestrian environment is better than an auto centric environment. All that ugly surface parking at the diamond is bad not good.

Stuart
Stuart
9 years ago

I don’t like the assertion by the writer that the city is expected to buy this place. It’s really extreme speculation and perhaps wishful thinking. Stick to the facts!

Tom
Tom
9 years ago

A ballpark in the Bottom would really help jumpstart the area. It would give life to an area that needs it. The canal walk and downtown destinations would all benefit. Currently by the
Diamond there hasn’t been much to do. You basically get in your car and leave. In the Bottom there would be lots to do pre and post game. I’m not sure why anyone in Richmond would oppose the Bottom location in favor of the boulevard site.

Shelly
Shelly
9 years ago
Reply to  Tom

i agree 100%

Steven
Steven
9 years ago

The people who want the Ballpark in Shockoe Bottom base their plans on outdated material that never took into account. The new overdevelopment of surrounding area, lack of parking,and the fact your building in a flood plane.The tend to ignore these things and the fact that it will hurt the local economy more when under construction. Build a new park where it makes sense not Shockoe Bottom.

Virginia Barman
Virginia Barman
9 years ago

An empty ballpark would still look better than the dump that it is now

Dennis
Dennis
9 years ago

If they dont build a new stadium, they need to do a complete gut job/huge renovation at the current location.