Once eyed as part of the baseball stadium proposal in Shockoe Bottom, the former Weiman’s Bakery property at 127 N. 17th St. is being pitched for a 12-story tower.
Developer Louis Salomonsky filed plans with the city Friday for a redevelopment of the roughly half-acre site.
Plans call for an approximately 124-foot tower with 145 apartments at the corner of 17th and East Grace Street. The building would rise beside the existing Weiman’s structure, which would be incorporated into the development.
The rest of the site would be filled with a new two-story parking deck with commercial storefronts along 17th Street. The development would include a total of 85 parking spaces.
Called the Bakery Loft Apartments, the proposal comes three years after Salomonsky had the former industrial site rezoned to TOD-1 Transit-Oriented Nodal District, a zoning classification allowing greater building heights and density in areas in the vicinity of the Pulse rapid-transit bus line.
At the time of the rezoning, Salomonsky said he was considering several options for the property, including a mixed-use development, a hotel and an outpatient facility for VCU Medical Center.
Reached Friday, he described the proposal as an apartment-hotel hybrid that could involve setting aside some units as short-term rentals.
“I’m talking with various sources about furnishing some of the upper floors to rent short-term,” Salomonsky said.
Plans filed with the city show the tower would adjoin the Weiman’s building, which would be rehabbed and converted into a two-story commons area connecting to the tower’s front lobby. A rendering shows a rooftop space on top of the Weiman’s building, and an open-air patio overlooking the street corner.
Access to the adjoining parking deck would divide the main building with a two-story commercial structure fronting 17th. Plans show a leasing office at one end and additional commercial space. A space for a sculpture, mural and plantings would be set aside next to the parking deck entrance.
The first floor of the tower would include a fitness center, and plans show a cafe above that with additional commercial space facing Grace Street.
Salomonsky’s SWA Architects is designing the project, which would be developed by Historic Housing, the Shockoe Bottom-based firm that he leads with business partner David White.
The company’s other developments in the area include a three-building mixed-use conversion along East Franklin Street, and its redevelopment of the former Philip Morris warehouse complex that includes the Overview River Side and City Side apartments, where its Main Street Realty property management arm also is based.
The Bakery Loft Apartments plan is under review by city planners. Lory Markham with Markham Planning is representing Salomonsky in the process.
The 8,800-square-foot Weiman’s building housed the bakery for seven decades, from 1945 until it closed in 2013. The Weiman family put the property on the market two months later, and Salomonsky and White purchased it the following year for $1.87 million.
The proposal for the property comes as other nearby land is being positioned for potential development.
Just west and north of the Weiman’s site, land owned by the family behind the former Loving’s Produce Co. is being eyed by the city for acquisition as part of its planned slavery commemorative site. Those parcels are likewise within an area that was twice pitched for a mixed-use development that would have included a baseball stadium to replace the aging Diamond.
North of Broad Street, a roughly 5-acre site also owned by the Lovings is planned for a mixed-use development that could include a grocery store. A request for TOD-1 zoning for that property, at 300 and 400 Oliver Hill Way, was granted approval from the City Council Monday night after receiving Planning Commission support last week.
TOD zoning also is being sought for a half-acre plot at 1801 E. Main St. that sold in November. The commission is scheduled to consider that request at its May 17 meeting after deferring it in April.