A longtime local builder is donning his landlord cap.
Mark Franko Custom Building is moving into a new home at 2100 Tomlynn St. after purchasing the 45,000-square-foot building for $2.15 million last month. In addition to housing its own headquarters, the company plans to make room for other building industry tenants to lease space.
Founded in 1990, the company provides general contracting services for residential projects, ranging from home renovations to custom building. It has been leasing space in its current building at 2121 N. Hamilton St. since it was founded.
Owner Mark Franko said he has been considering purchasing a building for the company for several years, but the idea was always on the back burner.
“I’ve had a number of partners over the years, and they’ve all moved on to other things, but trying to put together deals like this with a host of partners – there’s always a complicating factor,” he said. “Now I own the business by myself and it’s easier for me to make a move like this.”
Franko has been the sole owner of the business for about three years.
Of the building’s 45,000 square feet, Franko said his company will only use about 10 percent. The remaining space will be leased out to other businesses within the building industry.
“I like the dynamics of being in and amongst a group of people doing similar things,” he said. “This building is much larger than what we need for our business, but what I hope to do is create a community of people who do similar things.”
Franko purchased the building in mid-September from Mike Muldowney and Mark Smith, the former owners of Direct Impressions, a web printing company that previously occupied the building. Franko, Muldowney and Smith all attended Benedictine High School together.
The business will do its own renovations on the site, working with Kristi Lane of Visible Proof on the designs. Franko said he has yet to work out a budget but that work should start within the next month. The business should move in around the spring of next year.
Franko worked with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer broker Jeff Cooke to find its new building. Porter Realty represented the seller.
Mark Franko Custom Building does work in and around the city, traveling as far away as Charlottesville to tackle projects. In addition to home renovations, the business also works with architects to do custom homebuilding work. Launched in Richmond 25 years ago with three employees, it has grown to a staff of 25.
Since its founding, Franko said the business has completed 940 large construction projects, as well as 4,500 small projects, such as maintenance and repairs.