Nearly two years after he dropped $5 million for a sought-after assemblage across from Scott’s Addition, Richmond developer Steve Leibovic is beginning to move ahead with plans for the 2-acre plot.
Demolition permits have been filed to clear the buildings and asphalt lots at 2901, 2907, 2921 and 2923 W. Broad St., home to two former auto shops and the since-relocated Gusti Restaurant Equipment & Supply.
The demolition, which Leibovic said is expected to take place in the next few months, would free up nearly an entire city block for what he described as a from-scratch mixed-use project. He said the design is still very much in the early stages.
“Our intention is to demolish everything along Cutshaw and Broad — all the existing buildings, they’re not really usable,” Leibovic said last week. “Our intention is to develop commercial on the first floor facing Cutshaw and residential above.”
Through his Lebar LLC, Leibovic paid $5.4 million in December 2019 for a total of 11 parcels bounded to the north by a sliver of Cutshaw Avenue that melts into Broad Street, Wayne Street to the west, North Sheppard Street to the east and Grace Street to the south.
“We bought it and we sat on it for a while during COVID to see which way the economy was going to blow,” Leibovic said.
In addition to the West Broad parcels, his purchase included 2906, 2908, 2912 and 2918 W. Grace St.; 1005 Wayne St.; and 2915 Rear W. Grace St.
The Grace Street pieces, made up of surface lots, would potentially make way for a section of for-sale townhomes, Leibovic said, adding that parking for the mixed-use piece would be underground.
Working with Walter Parks Architects on the mixed-use portion, Leibovic reiterated that they’re still in the conceptual design phase and have a ways to go until its finalized.
He said he has yet to enlist a general contractor. Metro Industrial Wrecking is listed as the demolition contractor on permits filed with the city last week. Asbestos remediation was completed at the site about a month ago.
A plan of development would eventually need to be filed, but the necessary zoning is already in place. The site has a TOD-1 designation allowing for up to 12 stories.
Leibovic wouldn’t comment on how tall or how dense the mixed-use building might be.
“We’re going to take full advantage of the zoning that the City Council granted that area,” he said.
An orthopedic surgeon by trade through his West End practice Virginia Hand Center, Leibovic has had a hand in several sizable developments in the city, including as part of the group that converted the former Interbake Cookie facility into Cookie Factory Lofts near the Science Museum of Virginia.