After a banking giant’s plans pushed her out of Carytown, a longtime antiques dealer is re-opening her shop in a Scott’s Addition space where she says parking may be a bigger concern than the rent.
Sheppard Street Antiques on the Blvd plans to open in November at 1126 N. Boulevard, in a 1,400-square-foot building that shop owner Sara Garza recently purchased.
“Moving to Scott’s Addition is giving me time to rethink what we want to sell,” Garza said, adding shoppers won’t find many Victorian-style items or “grandpa’s furniture” at her store.
“We’re going to continue with antiques in America and Europe.”
Garza, 58, said she hopes to stock Sheppard Street Antiques with items that have industrial and modern looks. She gets her best pieces from long time clients who know to call her; and the rest she gets at auctions and estate sales. Garza said she liked her new location’s high tin ceilings and the fact that it comes with an office – a first for Garza.
Sheppard Street Antiques had been open at 103 S. Sheppard St. in Carytown for 22 years. Garza closed that storefront in June following the announcement of Capital One’s plans to open a bank branch and café in the space.
“My knee jerk reaction was to stay in Carytown,” Garza said. “To move anywhere in Carytown would have been tripling the rent.”
Prior to Capital One’s announcement, Garza had helped Garver clear out items she had in storage at the building. When Sheppard Street Antiques needed a new storefront, Garza’s husband called the Garver family about the property and found it was on the market.
Garza bought the property in June for $105,000 in cash from Ware Atkinson Garver LLC, according to a city record. Plans call for more than $100,000 worth of renovations to be financed by Union Bank & Trust.
When asked what’s the scuttlebutt amongst antique dealers in Richmond, Garza mentioned two concerns: the surplus of traditional, brown furniture from people downsizing and a paucity of regular auctions in town. She said traditional-looking furniture from the 20s and 30s isn’t selling the way lighter, minimalist styles are. As for the auctions, Garza said there aren’t any regularly scheduled auctions in Richmond anymore.
“There used to be five,” Garza said of the 90s. “When I got started I went to three to five every week.”
Garza said the only worry she has about the latest iteration of Sheppard Street Antiques is the availability of parking, a common concern for the Scott’s Addition area. Other than that, Garza is feeling good about the future.
“I’m excited now about the change,” Garza said. “There’s still a little bit of spring in this chicken. I’d lose my mind if was retiring.”