Nonprofits Daily Planet, Senior Connections strike nearly $2M downtown office deal

daily planet east cary

The three-story office building stands at the intersection of East Cary and South First streets. (Mike Platania photo)

One nonprofit has replaced another in a downtown office building in Monroe Ward.  

Daily Planet Health Services recently paid $1.7 million for the three-story, 25,000-square-foot building at 24 E. Cary St., which it will use to expand its dental services. 

The seller was Senior Connections, which had used the building as its headquarters for around 30 years before moving to Manchester earlier this year.

Dental care is one of many healthcare related services Daily Planet provides, along with mental health counseling, general medical care and more. The nonprofit specializes in providing accessible healthcare to homeless people. 

Daily Planet’s director of development Sarah Tunner said when Medicaid dental benefits were expanded in Virginia in 2021, demand for the group’s dental care increased. That prompted the need for more space than it had at its other two dental labs in its existing facilities at 517 W. Grace St. and 180 E. Belt Blvd.

“This (building) was a great fit for us,” Tunner said of the newly acquired Cary Street property. “It’s reasonably close to our West Grace health center and it’s on the bus line, which is very important. We wanted to be able to meet that community need (for dental care) and 24 East Cary allows us to expand exponentially.”

daily planet east cary lot

The deal included an adjacent parking lot.

The East Cary building has been vacant since January when Senior Connections relocated with its staff of around 100 to 1300 Semmes Ave., a roughly 20,000-square-foot office just off Cowardin Avenue.

Senior Connections spokesman Christopher Leighten said the group was glad to find another nonprofit that was interested in its former headquarters.

“We wanted the Daily Planet to take that building,” Leighten said. “It was important to us that it was transferred to someone who’s using it for community good.”

The deal closed Aug. 14, and included a 0.1-acre surface parking lot just north of the building. The real estate was most recently assessed by the city at a combined $3.6 million. The property shares its block with Foushee Mews, an ongoing townhome project from Eagle Construction of VA. 

Bob Englander with CathFord Consulting represented Daily Planet in the sale. Jamie Galanti and Eliza Izard with Commonwealth Commercial represented Senior Connections. 

Tunner said Daily Planet tapped multiple funding sources to pay for the acquisition and buildout, including foundations, programmatic revenue, fundraising and loans. 

She added that Daily Planet is currently in conversation with architects as it’s trying to find out how to best reconfigure the 56-year-old building to meet its needs. Daily Planet was founded just a year after the building was constructed, and Tunner said they’re looking forward to heading into 2024 with a new building. 

“We want to be able to show our staff the new building and bring partners in as we seek funding and support from the community,” she said. “We want to be able to show them what it looks like and what our plans are,” Tunner said. 

“Access to care has always been at the forefront of our mission, so it’s exciting to be going into 2024 with a new building that’s going to help us continue that mission.”

It’s the second $1.7 million deal the Daily Planet has made in recent years. In 2020 it bought 511 W. Grace St. from Commonwealth Catholic Charities for that same amount in order to expand its overall operations. 

Another local nonprofit is also making moves in Monroe Ward, as VPM is planning to build a from-scratch five-story at 13-17 E. Broad St. as a headquarters for its public radio operations.

daily planet east cary

The three-story office building stands at the intersection of East Cary and South First streets. (Mike Platania photo)

One nonprofit has replaced another in a downtown office building in Monroe Ward.  

Daily Planet Health Services recently paid $1.7 million for the three-story, 25,000-square-foot building at 24 E. Cary St., which it will use to expand its dental services. 

The seller was Senior Connections, which had used the building as its headquarters for around 30 years before moving to Manchester earlier this year.

Dental care is one of many healthcare related services Daily Planet provides, along with mental health counseling, general medical care and more. The nonprofit specializes in providing accessible healthcare to homeless people. 

Daily Planet’s director of development Sarah Tunner said when Medicaid dental benefits were expanded in Virginia in 2021, demand for the group’s dental care increased. That prompted the need for more space than it had at its other two dental labs in its existing facilities at 517 W. Grace St. and 180 E. Belt Blvd.

“This (building) was a great fit for us,” Tunner said of the newly acquired Cary Street property. “It’s reasonably close to our West Grace health center and it’s on the bus line, which is very important. We wanted to be able to meet that community need (for dental care) and 24 East Cary allows us to expand exponentially.”

daily planet east cary lot

The deal included an adjacent parking lot.

The East Cary building has been vacant since January when Senior Connections relocated with its staff of around 100 to 1300 Semmes Ave., a roughly 20,000-square-foot office just off Cowardin Avenue.

Senior Connections spokesman Christopher Leighten said the group was glad to find another nonprofit that was interested in its former headquarters.

“We wanted the Daily Planet to take that building,” Leighten said. “It was important to us that it was transferred to someone who’s using it for community good.”

The deal closed Aug. 14, and included a 0.1-acre surface parking lot just north of the building. The real estate was most recently assessed by the city at a combined $3.6 million. The property shares its block with Foushee Mews, an ongoing townhome project from Eagle Construction of VA. 

Bob Englander with CathFord Consulting represented Daily Planet in the sale. Jamie Galanti and Eliza Izard with Commonwealth Commercial represented Senior Connections. 

Tunner said Daily Planet tapped multiple funding sources to pay for the acquisition and buildout, including foundations, programmatic revenue, fundraising and loans. 

She added that Daily Planet is currently in conversation with architects as it’s trying to find out how to best reconfigure the 56-year-old building to meet its needs. Daily Planet was founded just a year after the building was constructed, and Tunner said they’re looking forward to heading into 2024 with a new building. 

“We want to be able to show our staff the new building and bring partners in as we seek funding and support from the community,” she said. “We want to be able to show them what it looks like and what our plans are,” Tunner said. 

“Access to care has always been at the forefront of our mission, so it’s exciting to be going into 2024 with a new building that’s going to help us continue that mission.”

It’s the second $1.7 million deal the Daily Planet has made in recent years. In 2020 it bought 511 W. Grace St. from Commonwealth Catholic Charities for that same amount in order to expand its overall operations. 

Another local nonprofit is also making moves in Monroe Ward, as VPM is planning to build a from-scratch five-story at 13-17 E. Broad St. as a headquarters for its public radio operations.

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John Lindner
John Lindner
8 months ago

This is great news! I, too, am glad to see this large property continue to be used by a non-profit. It’s also close to the new hostel-turned-shelter on Second Street. Maybe one day VCU will pay them an outrageous amount of money for their Grace Street properties and they can sell them and build on their new parking lot and consolidate services into one location. I’m hoping for a similar outcome when the Salvation Amy moves into it’s new location and abandons its old Grace Street property. It would be great if that location could continue to serve those in… Read more »

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
8 months ago

They must have some other uses already in mind as this is a little large for a dental clinic. I mean I don’t think the MCV dental clinic space which I think has 20 or so chairs to see patients at one time isn’t 1/2 the size of this building’s square footage.