Rehabbed First National Bank building tests the market

first national bank building

The First National Bank building at 823 E. Main St. downtown is on the market. (CBRE)

An old downtown bank building-turned-apartment tower is up for grabs.

The 13-story First National Bank apartment building at 823 E. Main St. was listed for sale last week, confirmed CBRE broker Charles Wentworth, who with colleague Peyton Cox is handling the listing. Jonathan Greenberg and Robert Dean from CBRE’s Washington D.C. division also are working the sale.

A listing price for the 153,000-square-foot building was not disclosed. The property was most recently assessed for $18.3 million, according to city property records.

The seller is Northern Virginia-based Rushmark Properties, which bought the building in 2000 for $9.5 million and invested $35 million to convert it into 154 apartments. Renovations were completed in late 2012 with the help of historic tax credits.

Rushmark Properties could not be reached for comment Monday.

Constructed in 1913, the classical revival-style structure was once one of the city’s tallest buildings. The apartment conversion made it one of the largest apartment complexes in the city’s central business district.

First National boasts a 96 percent occupancy rate, according to a marketing brochure. Average rent is $1,500 per month. The property also includes a 268-space parking garage that netted more than $500,000 in 2017.

The listing is the latest in continued investment in and around downtown.

The Tiffanie’s Manor building at 115 N. Jefferson Ave. just hit the market, and The Pit and The Peel’s newest juice bar location is part of a multimillion-dollar ongoing renovation of the James Center.

Meanwhile in Shockoe Slip, Southern Railway Taphouse at 100 S. 14th St. is preparing to double its size by taking the second floor above the restaurant to install a bar-arcade, extra dining space and another full bar.

Work is underway on redevelopment of 1 W. Cary St., where Bank Street Advisors is filling the larger of the two buildings with 17 apartments and renovating a smaller building at the corner of Cary and Foushee streets.

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Bruce Milam
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That’s a beautiful building, once the home of Scott and Stringfellow, where the Bill Dudley Scholarship and college player of the year award bore fruit. It was also home to Harrison&Bates, Richmond oldest commercial brokerage house, now Colliers International. That garage makes it a special investment, and the numbers provided in the article suggest a breakeven price of around $300k per door. That’ll set some new records!

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