170-year-old building set for apartment rehab

The historic building at 1710 E. Franklin St. is set for redevelopment. Photos by Katie Demeria.

The historic building at 1710 E. Franklin St. is set for redevelopment. Photos by Katie Demeria.

After purchasing a pre-Civil War era property in Shockoe Bottom this month, a pair of local developers has plans to convert the building into apartments and commercial space.

Brian White and Stephen Salomonsky, sons of veteran developers David White and Louis Salomonsky, recently purchased 1710 E. Franklin St., known as the Anson Richards House, from the Democratic Party of Virginia.

They paid $850,000 for the 15,000-square-foot building, which was built in 1842. The deal closed Sept. 16, city records show. White and Salomonsky, both of whom also work with Historic Housing and Main Street Realty, are operating as 1710 E. Franklin St. LLC.

White said work will likely begin in the next month to convert the building into 17 or 18 apartment units and around 2,000 square feet of office space.

“It’s a beautiful building and in an area that, I think, is poised for some big changes,” White said. “It’s going to be a great block to invest in.”

White and Salomonsky bought the building for

White and Salomonsky bought the building for $850,000.

White cited the renovation of the 17th Street Farmers’ Market as one of those changes, which he expects will bring even more people to Shockoe Bottom.

Plans are still in their early phases, and an architect has not yet been selected. Candela Construction is the general contractor.

The entire project is likely to cost about $3.1 million, White said, and the developers are pursuing historic tax credits. They’re financing it with a loan from Union Bank & Trust.

White said they plan to wrap up construction before summer 2016. About a quarter of the apartments will be two-bedrooms, while the rest are set to be one-bedrooms.

Compared to Main Street Realty and Historic Housing’s projects, the East Franklin Street property is significantly smaller, White said.

“But it’s going to have a lot of character because it’s a really cool, old building,” he said. “It’s one of the few buildings here that was built before the Civil War. It has a lot of character from an earlier era.”

Around the corner, Historic Housing is working on the 76-unit Canal Lofts V, and another massive project between 19th and 20th streets will add 160 units to Shockoe Bottom.

The Democratic Party of Virginia purchased the building and its 0.3-acre parcel in 2008 for $1.15 million. The group has since leased new offices in about 5,000 square feet in the SunTrust Center downtown. The sale to White and Salomonsky was first reported by the Times-Dispatch.

The purchase gives the White and Salomonsky families another holding on the section of Shockoe Bottom that has in the past been floated as the potential site for a baseball stadium-anchored development. David White and Louis Salomonsky purchased the old Weiman’s Bakery property at 17th and Grace streets in 2013.

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