Dominion Energy office tower, parking deck to be turned into 600 apartments

A developer is planning 300 apartments to rise atop this parking deck as well as in Dominion Energy’s office building on East Main. (Mike Platania photos)

A local developer has big plans for two Dominion Energy-owned properties downtown.

Genesis Properties is under contract to purchase Dominion’s 20-story Eighth & Main office building as well as a nearby parking deck at 620 E. Cary St., and convert the properties into 600 new apartments.

According to documents filed with the city last week, Genesis is planning to convert the existing office building on East Main into 300 apartments, while building a high-rise apartment building atop the current three-level parking deck on East Cary that would house an additional 300 units. Each project also has the potential to have ground-floor commercial space.

A view of the Eighth and Main office building from the parking deck that’s also set to be sold.

Genesis Director of Development Ed Solarz and Dominion representatives each confirmed that the land is under contract to be sold. Solarz declined to comment further.

Dominion spokesman Ryan Frazier said the company, as well as other office tenants, will continue to have people working in the Eighth and Main office building for the next four months or so.

The two properties were most recently assessed at a combined $37.6 million, made up mainly by the Eighth & Main office building’s value of $35.1 million.

Genesis wrote in city documents that an engineer has told the firm that building a high-rise apartment atop the parking deck is possible.

The projects would be among the largest that Manchester-based Genesis has taken on yet. Its other recent work includes the renovations of the Holly Springs Apartments in Manchester and Bellevue Apartments in Northside. Founded by Ron Hunt in 1985, Genesis Properties often includes income-based units in its projects.

For Dominion, the pending sales are a further sign of the energy giant’s desire to shed its excess downtown real estate. Last summer it listed nearly 5 acres along Grayland Avenue in the Fan for sale, then earlier this year it issued a request-for-proposals for an entire city block it owns at 701 E. Cary St. Frazier said Dominion has not yet selected a winner among RFP respondents. The company put the Eighth and Main tower on the market last fall.

The sites Genesis is set to acquire are in a part of downtown that’s seen its share of construction and development in recent years.

Dominion Energy also recently issued an RFP for the site that would have housed its twin office tower.

The parking deck along East Cary Street is directly across the street from 600 Canal Place, Dominion’s glass-façade office tower that it completed in 2019, while the Eighth and Main office building is adjacent to the future home of an approximately 13-story office building that’s going to replace the state’s 26-story Monroe Building.

Douglas Development is putting the finishing touches on its conversion of the former Virginia Department of Environmental Quality building into 189 apartments nearby at 629 E. Main St., while just to the east is where Landmark Property Services and The Wilton Cos. are working on converting the Mutual Building at 909 E. Main St. into 170 apartments. A few blocks south across the expressway, CoStar Group is preparing to break ground on a nearly half-billion-dollar office complex at 600 Tredegar St.

A developer is planning 300 apartments to rise atop this parking deck as well as in Dominion Energy’s office building on East Main. (Mike Platania photos)

A local developer has big plans for two Dominion Energy-owned properties downtown.

Genesis Properties is under contract to purchase Dominion’s 20-story Eighth & Main office building as well as a nearby parking deck at 620 E. Cary St., and convert the properties into 600 new apartments.

According to documents filed with the city last week, Genesis is planning to convert the existing office building on East Main into 300 apartments, while building a high-rise apartment building atop the current three-level parking deck on East Cary that would house an additional 300 units. Each project also has the potential to have ground-floor commercial space.

A view of the Eighth and Main office building from the parking deck that’s also set to be sold.

Genesis Director of Development Ed Solarz and Dominion representatives each confirmed that the land is under contract to be sold. Solarz declined to comment further.

Dominion spokesman Ryan Frazier said the company, as well as other office tenants, will continue to have people working in the Eighth and Main office building for the next four months or so.

The two properties were most recently assessed at a combined $37.6 million, made up mainly by the Eighth & Main office building’s value of $35.1 million.

Genesis wrote in city documents that an engineer has told the firm that building a high-rise apartment atop the parking deck is possible.

The projects would be among the largest that Manchester-based Genesis has taken on yet. Its other recent work includes the renovations of the Holly Springs Apartments in Manchester and Bellevue Apartments in Northside. Founded by Ron Hunt in 1985, Genesis Properties often includes income-based units in its projects.

For Dominion, the pending sales are a further sign of the energy giant’s desire to shed its excess downtown real estate. Last summer it listed nearly 5 acres along Grayland Avenue in the Fan for sale, then earlier this year it issued a request-for-proposals for an entire city block it owns at 701 E. Cary St. Frazier said Dominion has not yet selected a winner among RFP respondents. The company put the Eighth and Main tower on the market last fall.

The sites Genesis is set to acquire are in a part of downtown that’s seen its share of construction and development in recent years.

Dominion Energy also recently issued an RFP for the site that would have housed its twin office tower.

The parking deck along East Cary Street is directly across the street from 600 Canal Place, Dominion’s glass-façade office tower that it completed in 2019, while the Eighth and Main office building is adjacent to the future home of an approximately 13-story office building that’s going to replace the state’s 26-story Monroe Building.

Douglas Development is putting the finishing touches on its conversion of the former Virginia Department of Environmental Quality building into 189 apartments nearby at 629 E. Main St., while just to the east is where Landmark Property Services and The Wilton Cos. are working on converting the Mutual Building at 909 E. Main St. into 170 apartments. A few blocks south across the expressway, CoStar Group is preparing to break ground on a nearly half-billion-dollar office complex at 600 Tredegar St.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago

This is a huge step up to the plate for Genesis Properties and one that will put them on the nation’s map. To build 600 apartments at one location takes a great deal of nerve and very patient money. Congratulations to Ed’s group for showing the swagger!

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
1 month ago

An excellent adaptive reuse. In my opinion this is a further indication that less office space will be needed in the foreseeable future.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

We saw the office square foot per employee ratios shrinking even before the pandemic as more companies adopted the open floor plans. Disease containment promoted more remote working the last two years, again lowering demand for office space. But some firms rely on collaboration of minds as we see in a separate article in the case of the expansion of the local advertising giant. And there are a number of very large employers working with the EDA on relocating to our City. I expect more office to be built downtown very soon. Genesis is experienced in historical rehab tax credits… Read more »

Peter James
Peter James
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Bruce: “And there are a number of very large employers working with the EDA on relocating to our City. I expect more office to be built downtown very soon.”

1.) Are you at liberty to elaborate?

2.) From your keyboard to God’s eyes, please!! This indeed would be mannah from Heaven for RVA!

Last edited 1 month ago by Peter James
Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter James

A recent VCU Real Estate forum featured a regional EDA Director who said that never in its history have so many large employers circled the City looking to land here. They’ve never been this optimistic for success. From my own experience, the number of national developers who have come here are a reflection of national capital recognizing the value of this location. It’s no longer a one-off experience.

Peter James
Peter James
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Thanks for elaborating, Bruce! Much appreciated! This is VERY good news for our fair city. The increased involvement of national developers is huge. I’ve been told that part of the reason that projects in cities like Charlotte and Austin don’t necessarily ‘tank’ (get scaled back or altogether canceled) in tougher economic times (such as an unprecedented spike in construction costs) as seems to happen all too often in RVA is that projects in those cities are built by national developers at a far greater rate than they are in RVA. The national developers generally have much deeper pockets than local… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Peter James
Thomas Nelson
Thomas Nelson
1 month ago

Love hearing this, but everytime I’m reminded of the fact that the state is replacing Monroe with a squat building half its size I get palpitations again

Randal Williams
Randal Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Nelson

The newer businesses coming into Richmond could make use of a renovated and recladded Monroe Tower.

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
1 month ago

This is good news that they are going to replace a two story parking deck with 300 units. And turn a under used office building by turning parking into housing and revenue for the city.

I really think they should make this project 800 units of housing the fact that it is in the densit part of Richmond and it won’t pave over any green space or cut down trees to make room for people.

Jerel C. Wilmore
Jerel C. Wilmore
1 month ago

This could also lead to a new life for Kanawha Plaza, especially if a pedestrian bridge is re-established.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
1 month ago

Let’s also not forget that getting more middle-class folks living downtown will do great things for downtown.

Kelly Ludwig
Kelly Ludwig
1 month ago

This is all great news and a great opportunity for the City of Richmond, let’s hope that the architects of these buildings are bold and creative. May I also state that it’s time for Richmond to have an iconic structure, like the St Louis Arch, a gateway from east to west. Richmond bridges the old north and the new south and should have a memorable and historic structure that reminds everyone that recognition of our shared past can also mean bravely leaning towards the future