A local developer is bringing a long-overlooked downtown corner back to life.
Guy Blundon of CMB Development has plans to renovate the rundown four-story building at 523 E. Main St. into 24 new apartments and will also add a 50-unit apartment building on the lot next door.
Work on the existing building has already begun, Blundon said, and should wrap up before the end of the year.
“It’s a handsome building,” he said. “I was surprised that that building and that location were there; it’s been derelict for about eight years since the recession.”
He said that at one point, a 24-story condominium building was planned for the 0.7-acre lot, but those plans were eventually scrapped.
“That was the pre-recession solution, and we’re doing the post-recession solution,” he said.
Once completed, the property, which was built in 1916, will sport 24 apartments, mostly one-bedroom, each at around 750 square feet, with some two-bedroom lofts. The project also includes two street-level commercial spaces, one at 2,200 square feet and the other around 900 square feet. Blundon said he envisions a restaurant going into the larger space.
CMB is partnering with Goodstein Development to complete the yet-to-be-named project. SRC is the general contractor, and Walter Parks is the architect.
The project’s new construction phase should begin at the end of the summer and will take up to a year to complete, he said. The planned six-story building, which includes a basement, will have two levels of parking and four levels devoted to apartments and 2,000 square feet of commercial space.
The developers have not yet closed on the purchase of the property, but Blundon said that should happen by the end of the month. He did not share the pending purchase price.
According to city records, an entity called Investors USA LLC has owned the property since 2007. It was most recently assessed at $1.9 million.
The project is likely to cost about $3.5 million. The developers are seeking historic tax credits and have secured a loan with Xenith Bank.
“It’s a great little neighborhood … Capital Ale House is right there, so is the Carpenter Center and Penny Lane, and Brown’s Island is just a quick walk,” Blundon said. “Plus, we have plenty of parking. I think it’s a very good location.”
Blundon has tackled other historic renovation projects before, including the Victory Rug building in Oregon Hill. CMB Development is also responsible for the Link at Manchester, the Salisbury West apartments in Midlothian and the Midlothian Town Center.