Sauer eyes new office building, 800-space parking deck near Whole Foods

The Putney Building, which sits at 2220 W. Broad St., is being renovated into office space by Sauer Properties Inc. as part of its Sauer Center development. (Photos by J. Elias O’Neal)

In a plan stamped by the city as a “priority economic development project,” the real estate arm of a local spice dynasty has something big in mind for the next phase of its Whole Foods-anchored development along West Broad Street.

Sauer Properties, the development subsidiary of Richmond-based spice manufacturer C.F. Sauer Co., submitted plans in late May to add a four-story, 52,400-square-foot office building and 790-space parking garage next to the existing Putney Building, which has sat vacant for years after previously housing the state’s Department of Taxation.

The surface parking lot behind the Putney Building at 2220 W. Broad St. is slated for a five-level parking deck attached to a four-story office building. It was originally supposed to house apartments.

A 79-page site plan submitted to the city’s planning division May 28 shows the future structure would rise on a surface parking lot on the 5.5-acre property at 2220 W. Broad St. that it shares with the two-story, 66,000-square-foot Putney Building.

Sauer also is at work on heavy renovations of both the interior and exterior of The Putney building, which sits next door to the DMV headquarters.

Both sites are zoned B-4, which allows for office and retail development. Between the two, Sauer would have nearly 120,000 square feet of space to offer.

The added office space and parking deck are a change in plans from what was submitted to the city about three years ago for that section of the development, which called for a 10-story apartment building and a six-level parking garage

Changes to the plan are being expedited for review by the city’s planning division, although the site plan does not disclose any potential users for the proposed office building.

Bradford Sauer, a managing partner overseeing the development, could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon. Efforts to reach Sauer Properties through its attorney, Angela Pace of Troutman Sanders, were also unsuccessful.

Whole Foods is set to anchor the Sauer Center development, which will now include additional office space.

The entire surrounding development, dubbed Sauer Center, is the culmination of several property transactions dating to the late 1980s. Sauer Properties purchased the Putney Building in 2012 for $4 million.

It bought the neighboring Whole Foods site, which previously housed a Pleasants Hardware store, in 1989. Whole Foods is continuing interior construction on the forthcoming store.

Overall, Sauer Properties has amassed a 24-acre collection of surface lots; commercial and industrial buildings within the vicinity of West Broad, West Leigh and West Clay streets, and Hermitage Road and Meadow Avenue — making it one of the most prominent commercial property holders in the Fan.

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Mark North
Mark North
2 years ago

For the record, “The Fan,” does not extend North of Broad St. Saying that they are the most prominent property holder “near” the Fan would be more appropriate.

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark North

I agree, we need to be clear with designations.