Planned 8-story Arts District apartment building gets first city approval

The former Bistro 27 and Mr. Able Propane buildings in the Arts District are slated to get new life. (BizSense file photos)

A pair of projects in Monroe Ward have been given the green light from the city.

The city’s Commission of Architectural Review voted Tuesday to approve Bank Street Advisors’ planned 8-story apartment building at 219-225 W. Broad St., as well as Virginia Credit Union’s plan for a walkup ATM at a proposed branch two blocks east at 27 W. Broad St.

The commission’s vote gave each project a Certificate of Appropriateness, which was needed because each proposal is within the Broad Street Historic District.

Bank Street’s project includes retaining part of the façade and eastern wall of the former Mr. Able Propane building and incorporating it into a new-construction building with 87 apartments and ground-floor commercial space.

CAR approved the project unanimously with a condition that some windows be added to the new building’s eastern façade.

The project will be the fourth in that stretch of West Broad for Bank Street, which also helped develop the Quirk Hotel, social club Common House and Ledbury’s headquarters. The firm also recently invested nearly $7 million to buy a few other buildings in the neighborhood.

Local architecture firm SMBW is the project’s designer and represented Bank Street in the COA application.

Meanwhile, Virginia Credit Union’s plans for a new branch at the corner of West Broad and North Adams streets are now fully cleared.

Once the home of Bistro 27, the space had been eyed for a new restaurant last year that never materialized. Instead, the space will become one of three new branches for VACU in the city, as it also just opened a new spot in Carytown and has one in the works in Scott’s Addition.

VACU’s project needed a COA because of the planned installation of a walk-up ATM in place of a window pane on the building’s Broad Street frontage. The CAR approved VACU’s request to include the ATM.

VACU was represented by Baker Development Resources in its application.

The branch is expected to open in March.

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