The sole commercial tenant in a recent downtown historic rehab is eyeing his neighbor’s apartment for an internal expansion.
Five months after moving into his 550-square-foot space on the ground floor of the Revival apartment building at 118 N. Third St., PJ Wallin is preparing to expand his Atlas Financial advisory firm into an adjacent 675-square-foot unit.
The doubling in size would accommodate a planned doubling in staff, as the financial planning firm looks to add two advisors to its two-person team – Wallin and office administrator Darla Keefer.
Developer Duke Dodson, who rehabbed the 10,700-square-foot building into the storefront space and 13 one-bedroom apartments, and whose Dodson Property Management handles leasing for the property, said the plan is to convert the apartment behind Atlas into additional office space.
Dodson is a client of Wallin, who he met through ChamberRVA’s Mentor Richmond program and was among the first users of the downtown location of Gather – a coworking space Dodson developed with Andy Beach and Jeff Bunch of Urban Core Development and Doug and Polly White of Whitestone Partners.
The Whites also own the Revival building with Dodson and Tim Wehner of Dodson Properties. The group purchased it in 2015 for $575,000.
Urban Core’s Beach also was part of that Mentor Richmond group, and Whitestone Partners is working with Wallin on small-business consulting and HR planning.
Fellow Gather graduates Boomhitch Design and Campfire & Co. worked with Wallin on branding his firm and designing the space, respectively.
“It’s really neat what (Gather) is doing, because everybody needs something,” Wallin said. “All the businesses in there can support each other as they’re getting started, because they kind of need each other,” he said. “If you’re going to need to use that person anyways, why wouldn’t it be the person that’s under your roof?”
Wallin moved from Gather to the space last November, signing a three-year lease with Dodson with a three-year extension and an option to expand.
A UNC grad and certified CPA and financial planner, Wallin started Atlas Financial in 2014 after stints with KPMG as a senior associate and Richmond-based Heritage Wealth Advisors and Verus Financial Partners.
Wallin described Atlas as a fee-only financial planning firm with more than 50 clients, many of whom he said are in their 30s and 40s.