Demolition has begun on what will be the new home of a well-known local hardware store.
Work is underway to transform the former headquarters of Motleys Asset Disposition Group at 4400 W. Broad St. into a Pleasants Hardware location. The final product will be a 52,000-square-foot building with a 7,000-square-foot office on the second floor.
The plans, which Henrico County approved last week, include demolishing a 4,700-square-foot structure on the Motleys site, renovating the current 28,000-square-foot building and constructing a 24,000-square-foot addition.
James Hatcher III, president of Pleasants, said the new store should be up and running by the end of the year, possibly by November.
Jones Construction is the general contractor for the project, and Commonwealth Architects is doing the design work.
The 200,000-square-foot Sauer Center development is being led by local spice maker C.F. Sauer, which has owned Pleasants since 1989.
The decision to move wasn’t very difficult, Hatcher said. Pleasants has been in its current building for 40 years, and the property has a lot of issues, he said, so it makes sense from an operational standpoint.
“The biggest issue was, as they developed (the 2024 W. Broad St.) site, they’d have to close it down for a while,” Hatcher said. “So even if we could have relocated – and we looked at the (former Virginia Department of Taxation) building right next door – it would have been problematic.”
Sauer Properties and Pleasants worked out a deal with Motleys, which still owns its old headquarters land and building, for a long-term lease with options to possibly buy later on. The auctioneer moved out of the space last year and built a new headquarters on Deep Water Terminal Road in south Richmond.
Pleasants new West Broad location will be nearly 40,000 square feet smaller than its current 90,000-square-foot spot. But Hatcher said that could be a positive change.
“As we’ve gotten more efficient, we don’t use a lot of the space we have,” Hatcher said.
Hatcher said Sauer Properties is still hammering out the details of the project and negotiating costs. The financing has yet to be worked out, but Hatcher said Sauer may pay for it upfront, and then Pleasants will finance it back to them.
“Being part of the same company, it’s kind of like saying which pocket will it come out of, left pocket or right pocket,” Hatcher said.
The 100-year-old hardware chain has been at its location for 40 years. It’s the chain’s largest store, with 95 employees. Overall, the company has 190 employees in seven Richmond locations and one Harrisonburg store.
Hatcher’s grandfather, James Hatcher, started working for Henry Pleasants in 1915, the year Pleasants opened the hardware store.