Retail storefront changes hands on busy stretch of Broad

The property includes 2,000 square feet of retail space and two apartments. (J. Elias O’Neal)

Another piece of downtown Broad Street frontage has been sold to an out-of-town investor.

A group out of Washington, D.C. earlier this month acquired the recently shuttered Beads & Rocks building at 420 W. Broad St.

Business partners Nick Vilelle and Raj Ratwani purchased the two-story, 4,000-square-foot building Oct. 6 for $540,000, through Va. Richmond Properties LLC.

Beads & Rocks operated a jewelry and crafts store for nearly 10 years before closing last month. The company continues to run a location at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

It’s the first Richmond real estate investment for Vilelle and Ratwani. The pair owns a few properties, including a restaurant space in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood, and they’re looking to increase commercial holdings in Richmond and the nation’s capital.

“We’re not a large investment company by any means,” Vilelle said. “But we do like to make investments in areas with a lot of potential … I think this strip of West Broad is gathering a lot of momentum, making this a great investment.”

Nick Vilelle

Nick Vilelle

Brokers Ann Schweitzer Riley and Tom Rosman with One South Commercial worked the deal.

The property, which includes nearly 2,000 square feet of ground-level retail and two apartments on the second floor, most recently was assessed for $443,000, according to city records.

Vilelle said they are staying open about the right tenant – ranging from retailers to restaurants.

“You can imagine with a 420 address, we’ve gotten some interest from a few vape shops,” he said. “Obviously, we want to find a secure tenant that is going to be a good addition with what is happening down here.”

Business activity continues to mount along the corridor East and West Broad Street downtown as investors and businesses grow more optimistic about the area.

Across the street from Vilelle’s and Ratwan’s building, VCU purchased the former New York Pizza building at 501 W. Broad St. this summer for nearly $3 million.

Branding firm Palindrome Creative Co. recently established its headquarters in the neighborhood at 102 W. Broad St.

Other businesses that recently have staked their claim in the neighborhood include It’s A Man’s World, Little Nomad and Civilization Tattoo.

420 w broad

The storefront at 420 W. Broad St. (J. Elias O’Neal)

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
4 years ago

Well, I’m old and had to wiki the “420” term. In the case your hipness is about equal to mine, it’s about smoking pot.