Media firm halfway through Shockoe Slip HQ rehab

Tilt reno 1

A rendering of one of the renovated spaces planned at Tilt Creative + Production’s Shockoe Slip headquarters. (Images courtesy Campfire & Co.)

After buying its Shockoe Slip homebase at the outset of the pandemic, a local video production company is in the midst of rehabbing the 150-year-old property with today’s hybrid work environment in mind.

Tilt Creative + Production is about halfway through a yearlong renovation of its headquarters complex at 23 S. 13th St.

The roughly $3 million project is revealing and restoring more of the multi-building complex’s original features and opening up and updating its interior workspaces. Plans also include a new rooftop deck and a penthouse area overlooking the street.

Tilt reno 2

Work has been visible for months outside Tilt’s building at 23 S. 13th St. (Jonathan Spiers photos)

Work began in December and has included interior demolition of non-load-bearing walls. The opened-up spaces will make way for new work areas with exposed ceiling beams and brick walls, refinished hardwood floors, and new offices, work booths and meeting rooms.

The project follows Tilt’s $2.8 million purchase in mid-2020 of the three-story, 25,000-square-foot property, which the digital content and production firm had rented for years.

The property consists of multiple buildings, including 1309 Exchange Alley, that were combined to create a connected complex that wraps around the taller 1877 Lofts apartment building at the corner of 13th and the alley.

Tilt reno 3

Tilt’s multi-building complex wraps around a taller apartment building and also fronts Exchange Alley.

Tilt CEO Ron Carey said the company started conceptualizing the project early last year and decided to pull the trigger on it when animation studio Hue & Cry, which had been subleasing the second floor, moved to another building a few blocks away.

Ron Carey

Ron Carey

“It just worked out from a timing perspective that they were able to go ahead and move into their space, and that seemed like the appropriate time for us to begin the rehabilitation of the building,” Carey said.

With the project put together over the course of the pandemic, Carey said the renovation has been shaped by the hybrid work environment that came with COVID-19 and continues for the company, with employees alternating between working on site and remotely.

“We bought the building back in 2020 and knew that at some point we’d like to do a historical remodel. Once COVID kicked in, we thought, ‘Let’s wait and figure out how we’re going to use the building.’ And then literally everyone left the building on March 16,” Carey said.

“It’s been an opportune time for us to step back and figure out what a hybrid work environment is going to look like now. The project that we’re doing today is fundamentally different than what it might have been had we embarked on a project back in 2020,” he said.

As the project has been underway, employees who were based in the building have been working remotely, Carey said. Tilt’s staff of about 60 are also spread across its production studio on Arthur Ashe Blvd. and in offices the company is leasing at coworking space Venture X in Scott’s Addition.

Tilt reno 4

The renovation includes a redesigned reception area.

For the Shockoe Slip rehab, Tilt enlisted local design firms BOB Architecture and Campfire & Co. and general contractor Team Henry Enterprises. Baker Development Resources handled its applications for demolition and building alteration permits, which are posted on the property and put the cost of each at $85,000 and $2.1 million, respectively.

Carey said Bank of America is handling financing for the project, which involves state historic rehab tax credits.

Built in the mid-1870s, the buildings that make up Tilt’s complex consist of about 8,000 square feet per floor. Carey said the second floor that Hue & Cry had been renting would continue to be leased out, while Tilt would continue to occupy the rest of the property. Andrew Ferguson, Chris Wallace and Eric Williford with CBRE are handling leasing for the second-floor space.

Carey said the renovation would highlight the buildings’ original features while updating its floorplans and maximizing use of its work areas.

Tilt reno 5

Work booths and meeting rooms will provide options for employees.

“Over many decades, lots of things have been done to the building in terms of drywall and compartmentalizing some spaces. What we really tried to do is just open it back up, so you see the original old timbers consistently throughout the building, but also (have) some of those modern amenities. Really taking it back to that beautiful old character that one might see in 1874 and then modernizing it,” he said.

“The space will be designed now to fully take advantage of the hybrid environment, where you’ve got teams coming in and collaborating and folks working together in the same physical space two, three days a week,” he said. “It will easily accommodate that, as well as accommodate the folks who are planning to be in the office four to five days a week.”

The project coincided with renovations to the 1877 Lofts next door, where additional units were added to the first floor and basement in what was formerly the longtime restaurant space of Kobe Japanese Steaks and Sushi, which closed in 2019. Corinthian Construction and Serliana Architecture were involved in that project, according to permits.

Tilt reno 6

The white-colored Tilt complex is tucked in between taller buildings along 13th Street in Shockoe Slip.

The apartment building, also called the Shockoe-Cary Building, was purchased for $2.8 million last year by an entity tied to Alex Griffith, a local investor who also owns a trio of nearby buildings anchored by Sam Miller’s restaurant.

DaveTrownsell StacyMurphy

Dave Trownsell and Stacy Murphy (BizSense file)

As majority owner of Tilt, which he co-owns with Dave Trownsell and Stacy Murphy, Carey said he feels honored to be the latest steward of the 150-year-old buildings, which previously housed the Park Group production firm that Trownsell founded over 30 years ago. Park Group merged with Carey’s Studio Squared company five years ago, creating Tilt.

“It’s interesting for me as an African-American business owner to own a building that dates back to 1874 in that part of town, Exchange Alley, where there were so many negative things that were taking place from a historical context,” Carey said. “I’m pretty honored to be able to own such a treasure and be the keeper of it for a short amount of time.”

Tilt’s output in recent years has included commercials for Audi, Walmart and Capital One. It also produced its first documentary, “Birth of a Planet,” about the former Richmond Planet newspaper editor John Mitchell Jr., which was picked up by PBS after premiering at last year’s Richmond International Film Festival.

Tilt reno 1

A rendering of one of the renovated spaces planned at Tilt Creative + Production’s Shockoe Slip headquarters. (Images courtesy Campfire & Co.)

After buying its Shockoe Slip homebase at the outset of the pandemic, a local video production company is in the midst of rehabbing the 150-year-old property with today’s hybrid work environment in mind.

Tilt Creative + Production is about halfway through a yearlong renovation of its headquarters complex at 23 S. 13th St.

The roughly $3 million project is revealing and restoring more of the multi-building complex’s original features and opening up and updating its interior workspaces. Plans also include a new rooftop deck and a penthouse area overlooking the street.

Tilt reno 2

Work has been visible for months outside Tilt’s building at 23 S. 13th St. (Jonathan Spiers photos)

Work began in December and has included interior demolition of non-load-bearing walls. The opened-up spaces will make way for new work areas with exposed ceiling beams and brick walls, refinished hardwood floors, and new offices, work booths and meeting rooms.

The project follows Tilt’s $2.8 million purchase in mid-2020 of the three-story, 25,000-square-foot property, which the digital content and production firm had rented for years.

The property consists of multiple buildings, including 1309 Exchange Alley, that were combined to create a connected complex that wraps around the taller 1877 Lofts apartment building at the corner of 13th and the alley.

Tilt reno 3

Tilt’s multi-building complex wraps around a taller apartment building and also fronts Exchange Alley.

Tilt CEO Ron Carey said the company started conceptualizing the project early last year and decided to pull the trigger on it when animation studio Hue & Cry, which had been subleasing the second floor, moved to another building a few blocks away.

Ron Carey

Ron Carey

“It just worked out from a timing perspective that they were able to go ahead and move into their space, and that seemed like the appropriate time for us to begin the rehabilitation of the building,” Carey said.

With the project put together over the course of the pandemic, Carey said the renovation has been shaped by the hybrid work environment that came with COVID-19 and continues for the company, with employees alternating between working on site and remotely.

“We bought the building back in 2020 and knew that at some point we’d like to do a historical remodel. Once COVID kicked in, we thought, ‘Let’s wait and figure out how we’re going to use the building.’ And then literally everyone left the building on March 16,” Carey said.

“It’s been an opportune time for us to step back and figure out what a hybrid work environment is going to look like now. The project that we’re doing today is fundamentally different than what it might have been had we embarked on a project back in 2020,” he said.

As the project has been underway, employees who were based in the building have been working remotely, Carey said. Tilt’s staff of about 60 are also spread across its production studio on Arthur Ashe Blvd. and in offices the company is leasing at coworking space Venture X in Scott’s Addition.

Tilt reno 4

The renovation includes a redesigned reception area.

For the Shockoe Slip rehab, Tilt enlisted local design firms BOB Architecture and Campfire & Co. and general contractor Team Henry Enterprises. Baker Development Resources handled its applications for demolition and building alteration permits, which are posted on the property and put the cost of each at $85,000 and $2.1 million, respectively.

Carey said Bank of America is handling financing for the project, which involves state historic rehab tax credits.

Built in the mid-1870s, the buildings that make up Tilt’s complex consist of about 8,000 square feet per floor. Carey said the second floor that Hue & Cry had been renting would continue to be leased out, while Tilt would continue to occupy the rest of the property. Andrew Ferguson, Chris Wallace and Eric Williford with CBRE are handling leasing for the second-floor space.

Carey said the renovation would highlight the buildings’ original features while updating its floorplans and maximizing use of its work areas.

Tilt reno 5

Work booths and meeting rooms will provide options for employees.

“Over many decades, lots of things have been done to the building in terms of drywall and compartmentalizing some spaces. What we really tried to do is just open it back up, so you see the original old timbers consistently throughout the building, but also (have) some of those modern amenities. Really taking it back to that beautiful old character that one might see in 1874 and then modernizing it,” he said.

“The space will be designed now to fully take advantage of the hybrid environment, where you’ve got teams coming in and collaborating and folks working together in the same physical space two, three days a week,” he said. “It will easily accommodate that, as well as accommodate the folks who are planning to be in the office four to five days a week.”

The project coincided with renovations to the 1877 Lofts next door, where additional units were added to the first floor and basement in what was formerly the longtime restaurant space of Kobe Japanese Steaks and Sushi, which closed in 2019. Corinthian Construction and Serliana Architecture were involved in that project, according to permits.

Tilt reno 6

The white-colored Tilt complex is tucked in between taller buildings along 13th Street in Shockoe Slip.

The apartment building, also called the Shockoe-Cary Building, was purchased for $2.8 million last year by an entity tied to Alex Griffith, a local investor who also owns a trio of nearby buildings anchored by Sam Miller’s restaurant.

DaveTrownsell StacyMurphy

Dave Trownsell and Stacy Murphy (BizSense file)

As majority owner of Tilt, which he co-owns with Dave Trownsell and Stacy Murphy, Carey said he feels honored to be the latest steward of the 150-year-old buildings, which previously housed the Park Group production firm that Trownsell founded over 30 years ago. Park Group merged with Carey’s Studio Squared company five years ago, creating Tilt.

“It’s interesting for me as an African-American business owner to own a building that dates back to 1874 in that part of town, Exchange Alley, where there were so many negative things that were taking place from a historical context,” Carey said. “I’m pretty honored to be able to own such a treasure and be the keeper of it for a short amount of time.”

Tilt’s output in recent years has included commercials for Audi, Walmart and Capital One. It also produced its first documentary, “Birth of a Planet,” about the former Richmond Planet newspaper editor John Mitchell Jr., which was picked up by PBS after premiering at last year’s Richmond International Film Festival.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
9 months ago

Ron Cary is a treasure for this city. He’d make a great Mayor. For those who don’t know, he was an All ACC DEFENSIVE TACKLE during the Welsh coached era of the Virginia Cavaliers. Ah, those were the days!