A local nonprofit has some extra office space in Jackson Ward, and one of the area’s hospital systems may look to snatch it up.
Richmond nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is currently seeking city approval to rezone its 51,000-square-foot building, known as the Jackson Center, at 501 N. Second St.
The change would allow a new medical tenant to settle into more than half of the four-story property, and UNOS’ rezoning application says the VCU Health System wants to lease about 33,000 square feet.
Preston Lloyd, a Williams Mullen attorney who represented UNOS in its application process, said that a lease is still under discussion and a tenant has not yet been finalized.
VCU declined to comment on any pending deal.
The building already sits in a B-2 zone, which allows for medical office use, but is prohibited from allowing such a tenant based on a 1992 zoning ordinance that includes outdated parking restrictions.
The rezoning application, submitted Dec. 30, 2014, will allow a new medical tenant to fill in the third and fourth floors, as well as a portion of the ground floor. UNOS occupies the remaining space.
“We’d like to position the property to be flexible, because medical office use is allowed in B-2, which is the underlying zoning. We’re making it consistent with that,” Lloyd said. “It really just helps promote the vitality of the neighborhood.”
The city’s planning commission already approved the request, and it is set to go before City Council July 13.
UNOS is currently the only tenant in the Jackson Center. The nonprofit purchased the building in 2011 for $2.5 million, city records indicate. The planning department application states that UNOS has since invested $1.6 million to modernize and improve the property.
“The building has some vacancy, so by increasing the types of tenants who could occupy it, you increase the amount of foot traffic, and that benefits the neighborhood,” Lloyd said. “It helps an already emerging neighborhood enjoy that much more robust activity.”
UNOS also operates out of its headquarters building at 700 N. Fourth St.
The organization works as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network through its contract with the federal government. It manages the national transplant waiting list and maintains the database of every organ transplant in the U.S.
About 78.5 percent of the nonprofit’s revenue in 2012, when the data was most recently available, came through its OPTN funding. According to its annual report, UNOS brought in about $48.37 million in revenue and had about $46.25 in expenses in 2012.
And its 2014 audit report shows that UNOS made about $52.2 million in revenue and had about $47.2 million in expenses, with $4.98 leftover, last year.