8-story building to rise on Arts District lot on Broad Street

Renderings of the planned building, which would reach eight stories along Broad Street.

An Arts District parking lot is set to be replaced by a building that would be among the tallest to rise along that stretch of Broad Street in recent years.

Henrico-based Bank Street Advisors is planning an 8-story mixed-use building at 219-225 W. Broad St., according to plans filed with the city.

It would rise on the plot at the corner of West Broad and North Madison streets, as well as on the majority of the former Mr. Able Propane building next door at 219 W. Broad St., which Bank Street bought in 2020 for $542,000.

The former Mr. Able Propane façade and signage would be retained and incorporated into the new building.

The façade, signage and eastern wall of the existing four-story building would be retained and incorporated into the new building. The remainder would be razed due to “significant structural, water, and finish damage,” plans show. The building fell into disrepair in the years following a merger between Mr. Able’s parent company and Revere Gas.

Bank Street is already familiar with Monroe Ward, having previously helped develop the Quirk Hotel and social club Common House, which flank the new project’s site on either side.

Bank Street principal Christian Kiniry said the latest project is another sign of the firm’s bullishness on Broad Street.

“We know the city wants density,” Kiniry said. “This is an attempt to do that and give a nod to the historic buildings around it. We want to make sure we work with the city and get it done correctly.”

Because the site is in a historic district, Bank Street and its architect for the project, SMBW, are seeking a Certificate of Appropriateness with the city’s Commission of Architectural Review.

Per the application, which was filed last week, the new building would feature 4,200 square feet of ground floor commercial space below seven stories of apartments totaling 87 units, all of which would be one-bedroom or studio units.

Another rendering of the project.

Beneath the building would be 21 parking spaces, though Kiniry said the project will have access to more than the 26 total spaces listed in the project’s plans.

“What’s interesting for us is how parking is changing and we’re having to accommodate (electric vehicle) chargers with our parking,” Kiniry said. “Parking is something we’re absolutely thinking about and what the future of it and vehicles is.”

Kiniry said he’s unsure when they’ll go before the CAR. Its next scheduled meeting is on Sept. 27.

Elsewhere in Monroe Ward, Bank Street is wrapping up work on One Canal, a seven-story project a few blocks to the south. To the west, the firm is well underway on the Soda Flats, a 7-story, 89-apartment building at 2820 W. Broad St. in Scott’s Addition.

The auto shop that once occupied the site has been demolished and a sizable pit that’ll eventually be the project’s subsurface parking deck is now visible along Broad. Kiniry said they’re hoping to have concrete poured there in the coming weeks.

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Don O'Keefe
Don O'Keefe
29 days ago

This looks like a great project. The best way to revitalize downtown is to add more housing there. This will be good for nearby businesses and the city at large. SMBW’s design is also well above the average—hope they break ground soon.

Michael P Morgan-Dodson
Michael P Morgan-Dodson
29 days ago

The building’s scale and overall design are great but that is one UGLY grey façade color and material. Since they chose to build in a City O&H District, I hope the CAR makes them pick a better exterior material and color. Looking forward to the infil and glad the old gas sign is being saved.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
29 days ago

I like the color! That architectural firm has long had a penchant for darker facades and industrial looks. This will look great there.

Peter James
Peter James
29 days ago

Oh PLEASE – ENOUGH of this kind of foolishness already!! Downtown is getting a MUCH-NEEDED new residential building that will bring RESIDENTS back into the central city, and will add vitality to that stretch of Broad in the Arts District – and somehow FACADE color is a problem? Seriously?? To all the architecture affectionados out there, may I gently remind you that the architect’s axiom CLEARLY states: “form FOLLOWS function.” This is the EXACT problem with the establishment of SO MANY of these draconian “O&H districts” – and the overbearing preservation uber alles mentality that has held Richmond back for… Read more »

Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
29 days ago
Reply to  Peter James

Despite using all caps for emphasis, your rant says a lot but does not make sense. “Form follows function” as you quote was the build and not the aesthetic. O&H districts prevent the destruction of the architecture fabric of a neighborhood and do not dictate new construction aesthetics.

Peter James
Peter James
29 days ago
Reply to  Jackson Joyner

Respectfully, new construction aethetics absolutely are impacted by O&H regs and you know that as well as I do. That a CAR even exists is proof positive of how emphasis on aesthetics impact new construction in older neighborhoods. Two new projects slated to be developed in Jackson Ward have come under tremendous scrutiny to the point that the developer had to change the design and yes – the materials used on the facades – at the risk of losing approval of the projects. So your assertion is off base. New (particularly in-fill) construction absolutely can be and often is impacted… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Peter James
Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
27 days ago
Reply to  Peter James

I looked up CAR details on new construction and I stand corrected. Still, you attack on O&H districts is ridiculous. There is value in maintaining the integrity of the architecture in these districts. Perhaps you are a builder who wants to build cheap and garish infill and you don’t like anyone telling you what do. Perhaps Midlothian Turnpike would be more appealing to you.

Justin Dooley
Justin Dooley
28 days ago
Reply to  Peter James

Agree that “pretty” shouldn’t be the bar, but neither should “slightly better than ugly”. It’s my opinion that these new developments should complement, not replicate, the older buildings surrounding them. For example, while not in the O&H district the new apartment building in the corner of the Lowe’s parking lot — It certainly conforms with today’s aesthetic, but in 20 years it won’t. We will be stuck looking at teal + white building with concrete balconies forever. Also, if anyone knows the contractor, some of the aluminum cladding is already dented and the workmen didn’t completely peel the protective plastic… Read more »

Dr. Abe C. Gomez
Dr. Abe C. Gomez
29 days ago

Rarely does the color of a building in a rendering accurately represent the final product

Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
29 days ago

It is my understanding that the role of CAR is not to define architectural styles in the area, but preserve and improve the existing historic architecture. Any new building is to be of this period and not mimic historic architecture, so the new building could be hot pink and clear their review. I suspect they are keeping the small original facade in an effort to get historic tax credits.

Barry Greene
Barry Greene
29 days ago

TOD-1 zoning showing off it’s true potential here. Bring on the density!

Peter James
Peter James
29 days ago
Reply to  Barry Greene

AMEN! I’d like this building even more if it would crack double-digit height – 8 stories is good – 10 or 12 stories (or more!) would be even better, especially given that the Parcview tower at 321 W. Grace is slated for 16 stories and the Admiral at 2nd and Marshall – if and when it ever gets underway – is to rise to 12 stories.

Tim Harper
Tim Harper
28 days ago
Reply to  Peter James

What if the monthly rent turns out to be $10,000 per unit? Will you still be a cheerleader for the project then?

Last edited 28 days ago by Tim Harper
Justin Fritch
Justin Fritch
27 days ago
Reply to  Tim Harper

If we can attract people willing and with the means to pay those rates, then heck yes!

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
29 days ago

The gentrification of Richmond continues!

Peter James
Peter James
29 days ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

So you’d prefer keeping the parking lot, then?

Thomas Nelson
Thomas Nelson
29 days ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

Ah yes, the ongoing gentrification of a city through the development of *checks notes* a surface parking lot

Peter James
Peter James
28 days ago
Reply to  Thomas Nelson

Exactly! I guess replacing rats, mice and maybe a few crickets (not to mention the beer cans and liquor bottles strewn about the parking lot) with – wait for it — actual people — is jussssssst a bit too much & in the eyes of some really shouldn’t be happening in our fair city.

Well said. 👍

Last edited 28 days ago by Peter James
Phil Perkins
Phil Perkins
28 days ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

Brian Glass is right — bring back the murder capital of the USA we enjoyed so much before “gentrification!”