VACU to add Arts District branch in former Bistro 27 space

A rendering of the planned branch at the corner of Broad and Adams streets. (Images courtesy of VACU)

The region’s largest credit union continues to increase its visibility in the city.

Virginia Credit Union has a new branch in the works at 27 W. Broad St., in a former longtime restaurant space in the Arts District.

That location would add to the $5 billion credit union’s new branch in Carytown and one slated to open in Scott’s Addition next month. Those are both VACU’s first locations in those two neighborhoods.

VACU spokesman Glenn Birch said the downtown location is planned to open in March.

VACU will be on the ground floor of the SNP Properties-owned building.

It would replace VACU’s existing downtown branch at 720 E. Broad St. on the ground floor of the building next to The National. That location has operated since 1993.

“Like the Carytown branch that opened in June and the Scott’s Addition branch that will open Dec. 12, this is part of our growing commitment to the city of Richmond with smaller branch locations that can serve members through a combination of technology and personal service,” Birch said in an email. “The North Adams branch will be our location in that area of downtown as a more accessible and visible location than the current location at 720 E. Broad.”

VACU will lease the former Bistro 27 space at the corner of Broad and Adams streets from landlord SNP Properties. As part of converting the former restaurant space into a bank branch, VACU hopes to add a walk-up ATM into the side of the building at the intersection. SNP has applied for permission from the city’s Commission for Architectural Review to make the alteration for the ATM.

SNP is represented in that process by Baker Development Resources. Its CAR application states that the ATM would replace a windowpane on the circa-1910 building’s exterior.

VACU’s branch in Scott’s Addition is nearing completion in The Icon mixed-use development.

“The proposed design would be compatible with the historical fabric of the block and would allow for the tenant to utilize the building for its initial purpose as a commercial storefront. The proposed design allows for the utilization of an existing historic building in the neighborhood while also addressing the pedestrian realm and increasing the functionality of the overall commercial use. The extremely minimal intrusion into the structure, with just the replacement of a pane of glass, protects the historic façade of the structure while allowing for a simple replacement should another tenant occupy the building in the future,” the application states.

The request is set to be heard at CAR’s Nov. 22 meeting.

Bistro 27 had been in the Broad Street storefront for 15 years before closing in 2020. Another restaurant had been in the works since then but never materialized.

VACU’s continued expansion in the city shows it isn’t shying away from growth despite recently losing a yearslong legal battle over its attempts to add the members of the Medical Society of Virginia to its field of membership. A group of Virginia Banks and the Virginia Bankers Association successfully fought to vanquish that effort.

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Karen Shipman
Karen Shipman
11 days ago

Glad to see the space being used. Sorry it’s not a restaurant but we do have plenty of places to eat well!. Good move for VACU.