Downtown redevelopment marks ‘Centennial’

The 100-year-old building at Main and Sixth streets is entering its next century as apartments and retail space. Photos by Jonathan Spiers.

The 100-year-old building at Main and Sixth streets is entering its next century as apartments and retail space. Photos by Jonathan Spiers.

Exactly 100 years after its construction, a redeveloped downtown building is beginning a new era.

The four-story building at 523 E. Main St., at the corner of Main and South Sixth streets, reopens this Friday as Centennial apartments – the name a nod to the building’s 1916 construction.

The 24-unit building with ground-floor retail space will begin leasing that day, with Dodson Property Management – located a block up Main Street in the Gather co-working building – handling leasing for the apartments. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer is leasing the retail space.

Mostly one-bedroom units, the apartments range from 570 to 761 square feet and start at $1,099 per month, with two two-bedroom units spanning 1,022 square feet each and starting at $1,619. Rents include utilities and cable TV, off-street parking, on-site fitness and business centers, and a downstairs community room.

The majority of units have one-bedroom floor plans.

The majority of units have one-bedroom floor plans.

A restaurant is eyed for the corner retail space overlooking Main and Sixth. A tenant has yet to be lined up for that space, which totals about 2,200 square feet. An adjoining 900-square-foot space is intended for office use.

The redevelopment is the first of a two-phase project by Guy Blundon’s CMB Development. The second phase includes construction of an eight-story building on an adjacent lot along Sixth Street.

That building – two stories higher than originally planned – will consist of 84 apartments above parking on the ground level, as well as 2,500 square feet of retail. That’s an increase from initial plans for 50 units and 2,000 square feet of retail above two levels of parking.

Construction is expected to start this fall and last about a year, said Blundon, who said he is looking at financing for that phase of the project. He worked with Xenith Bank on the first phase, which totaled $3.5 million, and is applying for historic rehab tax credits.

Blundon noted some of the history of the Centennial building, which he said was originally constructed as a residential tenement and was renovated in the 1970s as lofts and retail space. Blundon’s renovation began last year, marking the building’s100th year – hence the “Centennial” name.

“It was 100 years old when we started on it,” he said.

CMB partnered with Goodstein Development on the project and worked with SRC as general contractor. Walter Parks was the architect on the project.

CMB’s other local projects have included the renovated Victory Rug building in Oregon Hill, The Park at Salisbury apartments in Midlothian and The Link at Manchester apartments.

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Bruce Milam

When Guy and I first explored the building we found an old Harrison&Bates/Kit Tyler “For Lease” sign. There’s no telling how old that was! Guy has done a great job forging the partnership and rehabbing the building. A shout out to Jeff and Birck for their good work helping us get this far. We all look forward to Phase Two with the rooftop amenities.

Mike Young

Congratulations Guy on the building nearing completion. SRC, Inc. certainly enjoyed working on this challenging building with you. After seven years of disuse and a partial demolition, it was hard to see the final results when we first started exploring the building with flashlights. But the units have turned out very nice and we expect your tenants will appreciate them as well. We are looking forward to the next Phase and thank you for the opportunity on this one.