Petersburg’s version of Brown’s Island progresses with 10-acre deal

McCormack buys land for Petersburg outdoor entertainment park

Dave McCormack’s Waukeshaw Development paid $100,000 for this grassy 10-acre plot for the firm’s planned outdoor entertainment park. (Photo courtesy of John Rooney)

The site of a future riverfront event and festival space in Petersburg is now in the hands of one of the city’s most prolific developers.

Dave McCormack

Earlier this month, Dave McCormack’s Waukeshaw Development purchased 10 city-owned acres on Joseph Jenkins Roberts Street just off the Appomattox River, where the firm is planning Petersburg Harbor, an outdoor entertainment park.

Waukeshaw paid $100,000 for the grassy plot, which had once been envisioned as a manufacturing or industrial site.

McCormack, whose other Petersburg projects include Trapezium Brewing Co., Demolition Coffee and the 223-unit Mayton Transfer Lofts apartments, had been planning the project for years before talks heated up in 2019.

“Now we’re looking at the next phase to start thinking about the development and our events for the rest of this year and into 2023,” McCormack said. “We’ve got a little bit of work to do still with the city, and we’re also thinking about how it fits into the big picture with the harbor itself and what could happen there and how it ties in.”

McCormack added they’re already in talks with event promoters as well as landscape designers.

Waukeshaw also has deals cooking in the city of Richmond.

Once home to the Boy Scouts of America, this office building off West Broad Street is now occupied by architecture firm 3North. (BizSense file)

Earlier this month the firm listed for sale 4015 Fitzhugh Ave., the former Boy Scouts of America building just off West Broad Street. The asking price is $5.3 million.

Waukeshaw bought the 13,300-square-foot office building in fall 2020 for $1.5 million and over the summer landed architecture firm 3North to fill the entire space with a six-year lease.

McCormack said it wasn’t his initial intention to turn around and try to sell the building so quickly, but three factors led to the decision.

“The market has changed significantly. We’re seeing cap rates going down which has an inverse proportionality to in value. We’re also making a pretty big investment in the building. There’s going to be over $1 million worth of upgrades,” he said.

“And then we have a fantastic tenant in 3North. All of those things combined to really change, I think, the value of the building. We want to take advantage of the market and what’s happening out there right now.”

Waukeshaw’s initial plans included the use of historic tax credits to help fund renovations, but he’s since decided against that and is moving forward with gutting the entirety of the property for 3North. The work is expected to be completed this summer.

The building sits on about 0.6 acres and was most recently assessed by the city at $1.6 million. One South Commercial’s Ken Campbell and Tom Rosman have the listing.

Up in Church Hill, work continues on the former Richmond Association of Masonic Lodges building at 520 N. 25th St.. which McCormack is transforming into a satellite taproom for his Trapezium Brewing.

Dubbed “93 by Trapezium,” it will be Church Hill’s first brewery in the modern beer boom when it opens as expected this summer.

McCormack buys land for Petersburg outdoor entertainment park

Dave McCormack’s Waukeshaw Development paid $100,000 for this grassy 10-acre plot for the firm’s planned outdoor entertainment park. (Photo courtesy of John Rooney)

The site of a future riverfront event and festival space in Petersburg is now in the hands of one of the city’s most prolific developers.

Dave McCormack

Earlier this month, Dave McCormack’s Waukeshaw Development purchased 10 city-owned acres on Joseph Jenkins Roberts Street just off the Appomattox River, where the firm is planning Petersburg Harbor, an outdoor entertainment park.

Waukeshaw paid $100,000 for the grassy plot, which had once been envisioned as a manufacturing or industrial site.

McCormack, whose other Petersburg projects include Trapezium Brewing Co., Demolition Coffee and the 223-unit Mayton Transfer Lofts apartments, had been planning the project for years before talks heated up in 2019.

“Now we’re looking at the next phase to start thinking about the development and our events for the rest of this year and into 2023,” McCormack said. “We’ve got a little bit of work to do still with the city, and we’re also thinking about how it fits into the big picture with the harbor itself and what could happen there and how it ties in.”

McCormack added they’re already in talks with event promoters as well as landscape designers.

Waukeshaw also has deals cooking in the city of Richmond.

Once home to the Boy Scouts of America, this office building off West Broad Street is now occupied by architecture firm 3North. (BizSense file)

Earlier this month the firm listed for sale 4015 Fitzhugh Ave., the former Boy Scouts of America building just off West Broad Street. The asking price is $5.3 million.

Waukeshaw bought the 13,300-square-foot office building in fall 2020 for $1.5 million and over the summer landed architecture firm 3North to fill the entire space with a six-year lease.

McCormack said it wasn’t his initial intention to turn around and try to sell the building so quickly, but three factors led to the decision.

“The market has changed significantly. We’re seeing cap rates going down which has an inverse proportionality to in value. We’re also making a pretty big investment in the building. There’s going to be over $1 million worth of upgrades,” he said.

“And then we have a fantastic tenant in 3North. All of those things combined to really change, I think, the value of the building. We want to take advantage of the market and what’s happening out there right now.”

Waukeshaw’s initial plans included the use of historic tax credits to help fund renovations, but he’s since decided against that and is moving forward with gutting the entirety of the property for 3North. The work is expected to be completed this summer.

The building sits on about 0.6 acres and was most recently assessed by the city at $1.6 million. One South Commercial’s Ken Campbell and Tom Rosman have the listing.

Up in Church Hill, work continues on the former Richmond Association of Masonic Lodges building at 520 N. 25th St.. which McCormack is transforming into a satellite taproom for his Trapezium Brewing.

Dubbed “93 by Trapezium,” it will be Church Hill’s first brewery in the modern beer boom when it opens as expected this summer.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
4 months ago

Dave has done a lot to revive Petersburg. You failed to mention in this article his purchase of 600 West Wythe Street, the 265,000 sf historic trunk manufacturing building across from the Appomattox Governor’s School. I’m sure he’ll be disclosing his plans soon for its re-purpose.

Duke Dodson
Duke Dodson
4 months ago

The mad wizard is at it again!!! Congrats to Dave and the Team. Very exciting for Petersburg.

sara marie
sara marie
4 months ago

sounds interesting! I wonder if this is outside of and adjacent to the Pocahontas Island Historic District or is it part of it? hope what will be will be a welcome neighbor to the remaining residents. south central wastewater on the north east side sets a low bar.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
3 months ago
Reply to  sara marie

Have you ever been to the place you are talking about? There is not much there — the most historic place there was vacant for a LONG time and then was torn down.

The “historic district” is mostly an idea, more a memory.

This site is different — it is NEARBY what you are talking about, and is basically near light industrial sites and the railroad tracks —- there is nothing “sensitive” or “important about the immediate area.

Dev Parham
Dev Parham
3 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

I’m sorry but I live in Petersburg and Pocahontas Island is a Black historic place. It may not mean much to anyone else but it means a lot to the Black People of Petersburg. Fortunately for the developers that where he wants to create this place is literally feet away from the Black historic place. But what about the people who live there when they create this place????? Please everyone do your research on Pocahontas Island. Uts not much there but it has a rich history for our people.

Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
3 months ago
Reply to  Dev Parham

So, what do you think should be done with the island?

sara marie
sara marie
3 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Shawn, yes I have visited Pocahontas Island. I am not an expert, but I do believe that there are established residents here who may have an opinion on the future and their quality of life. Whether or not they would engage in online discussion, I do not know. https://www.virginia.org/listing/pocahontas-island-black-history-museum/6014/

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
3 months ago

Are there any plans to have boats and docks and water access, is is the “Harbor” thing just poetic license?

Marcus Omar Squires
Marcus Omar Squires
3 months ago

He is bringing the most amount of change to Petersburg at this time, glad to see him staying true to his commitments!