A local developer is adding another apartment project to the VCU market.
David Gammino, owner of Scott’s Addition-based construction company City & Guilds, has started work on an 18-unit conversion project at 1322 W. Broad St. near the Siegel Center. Gammino plans to open the building in summer 2014 and hopes high-end finishes and proximity to shopping will lure its first residential tenants.
“There is a large retail presence there with the Kroger and the strip mall,” he said. “And most of the projects we do, the finishes, the cabinetry, millwork and casework are significantly nicer than what’s in the marketplace.”
The project was issued almost $1.5 million in building permits in October, according to city records. Gammino estimates total project costs will fall between $3.5 million and $4 million and plans to pursue historic tax credits.
Gammino, through Valentine Brothers LLC, bought the four-story building in May for $1.02 million.
The building dates to 1910 and originally housed the Baughman Stationery Company, according to the Historic Richmond Foundation. A dog food and medicine shop, a wholesale drugstore, and an auction house have also cycled through the building.
Gammino’s finished product will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments priced between $900 and $1,300 per month. The building will also have about 2,700 square feet of first-floor commercial space.
No tenants have been finalized for the space, but Gammino said viable commercial space on the building’s first floor made 1322 W. Broad St. a particularly attractive location.
“The commercial space is always a challenge to lease, but … the location is such that we’ve had a decent bit of interest in the ground-floor commercial space,” he said.
The multifamily residential market at VCU has seen a rush of activity in recent months.
A local buyer went under contract in August to buy the Home Brewing Co. building on Clay Street, along with a smaller 12-unit building on Kinney Street.
In October, the Coliseum Lofts, a 123-unit building across the street from the 1322 W. Broad St. project, hit the market with a $14.5 million asking price. Clachan Properties, based at 1320 W. Broad St., offered a 198-unit VCU-area apartment portfolio for sale in May at a $32.57 million price tag.