Incoming grocer sparks new development on Broad Street

The 2035 W. Broad St. space is under new ownership. Photo by Katie Demeria.

The 2035 W. Broad St. space is under new ownership. Photo by Katie Demeria.

A highly anticipated local development is drawing out-of-town investors to Richmond.

Jon Martin and Elizabeth Clipp recently snagged a vacant, 9,500-square-foot commercial property at 2035 W. Broad St., directly across from the planned 200,000-square-foot Sauer Center development where a Whole Foods is scheduled to open.

The pair closed March 20 on the two-story building, which had been on the market since January 2014, for $499,000. They are now seeking potential tenants to fill the space.

“We’re first, I think, looking for retail tenants,” Martin said. “We’re open to office as well, but we see more of a retail use, maybe a high-end furniture store, or even CrossFit or SoulCycle. We see it as a creative space.”

Martin also mentioned the possibility of professional office space on the second floor and retail below.

Pleasants is moving to a new location along West Broad Street. Photo by Burl Rolett.

Pleasants is moving to a new location along West Broad Street. Photo by Burl Rolett.

Wilson Flohr of Porter Realty Co. represented the seller, an entity called Dziuba Inc. that had owned the property since 1983, according to city records. Flohr said the previous owners had an office supply company in the space.

Martin and Clipp live in Washington, D.C., and have been seeking an area in which to invest for about a year and a half. The two wanted to avoid the pricey D.C. market in favor of another mid-Atlantic city, and Martin said the building presented just the right opportunity.

“We both like Richmond and enjoyed our time visiting down there, the state of Virginia in general, the growth potential and the plans for the new mixed-use going on across the street,” he said. “We were really excited.”

2035 W. Broad St. sits across Broad Street from Pleasants Hardware, which plans to move to 4402 W. Broad St. Whole Foods is set to open in the fall of 2016.

Sauer Properties, the real estate arm of Richmond-based spice company C.F. Sauer, is behind the project.

Flohr said that many buyers showed interest in the 2035 W. Broad St. space for its proximity to the Sauer Center site.

“Everything over there is becoming revitalized, there is a lot of new activity, with good restaurants and its proximity to VCU,” Flohr said.

The building sits next to the Pig & Pearl and Savory Grain restaurants.

This move was a personal investment for Martin and Clipp. Both have some background in real estate investment, but on a smaller scale, Clipp said.

“We are continuing to look for more possibilities in Richmond, and we’re definitely keeping our eyes open in the Fan district and other areas in and around downtown,” Martin said.

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Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
5 years ago

So despite no submitted plans or permits to the City for the site and the fact that the building of recent large grocery stores has average over 12-14 months from the first dirt until their opening this Whole Foods store will open in “fall 2016.” The City will take 4-6 months just to complete the permit/site plan review.

I so am looking forward to the store and the redevelopment (and I know Sauers will do good work) but come on this is NOT going to open in 18 months. Pleasants has not even officially announced its moving/closing date.