After sitting vacant for a year, a landmark property in the Museum District is now being planned for an apartment conversion.
Local development firm SNP Properties has filed plans to renovate the former Saint Gertrude High School campus at 3215 Stuart Ave. into apartments.
Plans show that SNP intends to keep the 69,000-square-foot former school building’s footprint intact and renovate its interior into 38 apartments. Some new construction is planned, as SNP is also planning to build a pair of two-story townhomes on a vacant plot at 311 Tilden St.
Since the land is zoned for single-family residential use, SNP is seeking a special-use permit to allow for the project.
SNP principal Eric Phipps confirmed that his firm has the land under contract but declined to comment further. SNP filed for its special-use permit earlier this month.
At roughly 2.2 acres, the land covers about half of a city block and was most recently assessed by the city at a combined $9.8 million. Saint Gertrude’s had operated in the building for decades until 2021, when it moved to Benedictine College Preparatory’s campus in Goochland.
The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, a monastery affiliated with Saint Gertrude’s, has owned the land since 1913, the same year the building was constructed. BSV prioress Sister Joanna Burley said she has mixed emotions about the building’s sale and redevelopment.
“We’re very happy that (SNP Properties) is aware of the history of the Sisters and Saint Gertrude’s High School in Richmond and that it’ll be a renovation rather than a complete teardown,” Burley said.
“It’s a good deal, it really is. We’re sad, I have to say that, we’re immeasurably sad that the school as it traditionally has been will no longer exist. But the school in essence continues and a good portion of the proceeds of the sale will be used to support Saint Gertrude’s out in Goochland.”
Burley said the land deal is scheduled to close this fall. Colliers International’s Rebecca Barricklow and Joe Marchetti have the listing.
Of the 38 planned units, 17 would have two bedrooms, 16 would have three bedrooms and five would be one-bedroom units. The development would have 53 parking spaces accessible through the building’s rear alleyway.
SNP has enlisted Lory Markham of Markham Planning as representation in the entitlement process. The developer also tapped historic preservation firm Sadler & Whitehead as a consultant as it works with the Department of Historic Resources for tax credits. Markham Planning and Sadler & Whitehead are quite familiar already, as they both recently moved into the same Art Deco building in Monroe Ward.
Fultz & Singh Architects is listed as the project’s designer and Gradient PC is its civil engineer. It’s unclear when the matter will be heard by the city’s Planning Commission.
While SNP Properties has plenty of new-construction projects like The Penny in Jackson Ward and The Summit in Scott’s Addition, it’s shown a recent appetite for renovations.
In the Arts District it recently converted 24 E. Broad St. into a mixed-use building with 10 apartments and ground-floor commercial space. Down the street SNP converted a once fire-damaged building at 11 W. Broad St. into a restaurant space now occupied by Juan’s Cantina and Rooftop.
One of SNP’s bigger recent deals was its acquisition of the LaDiff building in Shockoe Slip for $10.5 million. SNP has said it’s eyeing a mixed-use conversion of that building, though details haven’t been disclosed. LaDiff, meanwhile, is heading to South Richmond for its new headquarters.