County’s Lakeside bank branch purchase lines up Fall Line trailhead

BankOfAmerica1 scaled

The Bank of America branch at 4921 Lakeside Ave. had been closed since the COVID pandemic began. (BizSense file photo)

The closure and sale of a Lakeside bank branch has created a new opportunity for Henrico County’s portion of the in-the-works Fall Line Trail.

The county in June paid just over $1 million to buy the former Bank of America branch at 4921 Lakeside Ave., which it is planning to use as a trailhead facility for the 43-mile multiuse trail that will connect Ashland and Petersburg.

Henrico had been planning a trailhead about a half-mile northeast on Dumbarton Road but changed plans when it was able to purchase the bank branch, which is beside the trail’s planned route across Lakeside Avenue. The county was already planning a signalized crossing on Lakeside to connect the trail from Bryan Park to nearby Spring Park.

Yob Steve 1

Steve Yob

Steve Yob, Henrico’s deputy county manager for community operations, said the trailhead planned at Dumbarton would have come with costs to provide parking and bathrooms and extend water and sewer lines, all of which are already available with the bank property.

Noting the Dumbarton site was also in a floodplain, further increasing cost estimates for the project, Yob said, “(The bank property) really had almost all the infrastructure we would need for the trailhead without having to create a new parking lot.”

Yob said the county plans to incorporate the existing bank building into the facility in some way, with a primary goal to make bathrooms and a drinking fountain easily accessible. He said the building’s existing bathrooms are located in the basement, so new ones would likely be added at the ground level.

Park St

Bike Walk RVA coordinated a hike along the Fall Line Trail’s future alignment, including beside the bank property, in 2021. (Photo courtesy Henrico County)

“The parking lot itself was very attractive to us,” Yob added. “Another factor is we would likely have impacted a sliver of that property anyway with the trail coming through, because it goes right through on Park Street.”

The property became available when Bank of America vacated it last year after shuttering it for two years during the pandemic. The 1-acre property, which is half in Henrico and half in Richmond, was eventually put up for sale, with Colliers handling the listing.

The three-level building with three drive-thru bays totals nearly 6,000 square feet, and the property includes 46 parking spaces. The latest assessments by the county and the city put the property’s tax value collectively at $1.26 million.

The county’s portion of the trail would run from Bryan Park in the city across Lakeside Avenue to Park Street, which runs along the north side of the bank property. From there, the trail would follow alongside Upham Brook across from Interstate 95 and cross Dumbarton en route to Hilliard Road along the east side of the southern leg of Belmont Golf Course.

FallLineTrail Henrico

A map of Henrico County’s segment of the Fall Line Trail. (County documents)

The route would then jump over to Brook Road and head north toward St. Joseph’s Villa, where it would branch off and follow an existing powerline easement along Longdale Avenue. It would then cross Interstate 295 and continue north to Holly Hill Road west of Rivergate en route to Hanover County.

Years in the making, the $266 million Fall Line Trail is entering the construction phase, with Henrico aiming to start the Park Street section in coming weeks as the first of eight phases that will make up its segment of the trail. The first phase, which includes the Lakeside Avenue crossing, is projected to cost $1 million and end in February.

At their next meeting, Henrico supervisors are slated to consider awarding a contract for the first phase to Blakemore Construction. The nearly $700,000 contract would include 1,400 feet of 12-foot-wide, asphalt-paved trail and the push-button signalized crossing.

The county is aiming to complete its 7.5-mile segment from Bryan Park to the Chickahominy River within four to five years. The estimated cost for the full segment is $52.6 million, to be funded with a mix of county and Central Virginia Transportation Authority funds and state and federal grants.

BankOfAmerica1 scaled

The Bank of America branch at 4921 Lakeside Ave. had been closed since the COVID pandemic began. (BizSense file photo)

The closure and sale of a Lakeside bank branch has created a new opportunity for Henrico County’s portion of the in-the-works Fall Line Trail.

The county in June paid just over $1 million to buy the former Bank of America branch at 4921 Lakeside Ave., which it is planning to use as a trailhead facility for the 43-mile multiuse trail that will connect Ashland and Petersburg.

Henrico had been planning a trailhead about a half-mile northeast on Dumbarton Road but changed plans when it was able to purchase the bank branch, which is beside the trail’s planned route across Lakeside Avenue. The county was already planning a signalized crossing on Lakeside to connect the trail from Bryan Park to nearby Spring Park.

Yob Steve 1

Steve Yob

Steve Yob, Henrico’s deputy county manager for community operations, said the trailhead planned at Dumbarton would have come with costs to provide parking and bathrooms and extend water and sewer lines, all of which are already available with the bank property.

Noting the Dumbarton site was also in a floodplain, further increasing cost estimates for the project, Yob said, “(The bank property) really had almost all the infrastructure we would need for the trailhead without having to create a new parking lot.”

Yob said the county plans to incorporate the existing bank building into the facility in some way, with a primary goal to make bathrooms and a drinking fountain easily accessible. He said the building’s existing bathrooms are located in the basement, so new ones would likely be added at the ground level.

Park St

Bike Walk RVA coordinated a hike along the Fall Line Trail’s future alignment, including beside the bank property, in 2021. (Photo courtesy Henrico County)

“The parking lot itself was very attractive to us,” Yob added. “Another factor is we would likely have impacted a sliver of that property anyway with the trail coming through, because it goes right through on Park Street.”

The property became available when Bank of America vacated it last year after shuttering it for two years during the pandemic. The 1-acre property, which is half in Henrico and half in Richmond, was eventually put up for sale, with Colliers handling the listing.

The three-level building with three drive-thru bays totals nearly 6,000 square feet, and the property includes 46 parking spaces. The latest assessments by the county and the city put the property’s tax value collectively at $1.26 million.

The county’s portion of the trail would run from Bryan Park in the city across Lakeside Avenue to Park Street, which runs along the north side of the bank property. From there, the trail would follow alongside Upham Brook across from Interstate 95 and cross Dumbarton en route to Hilliard Road along the east side of the southern leg of Belmont Golf Course.

FallLineTrail Henrico

A map of Henrico County’s segment of the Fall Line Trail. (County documents)

The route would then jump over to Brook Road and head north toward St. Joseph’s Villa, where it would branch off and follow an existing powerline easement along Longdale Avenue. It would then cross Interstate 295 and continue north to Holly Hill Road west of Rivergate en route to Hanover County.

Years in the making, the $266 million Fall Line Trail is entering the construction phase, with Henrico aiming to start the Park Street section in coming weeks as the first of eight phases that will make up its segment of the trail. The first phase, which includes the Lakeside Avenue crossing, is projected to cost $1 million and end in February.

At their next meeting, Henrico supervisors are slated to consider awarding a contract for the first phase to Blakemore Construction. The nearly $700,000 contract would include 1,400 feet of 12-foot-wide, asphalt-paved trail and the push-button signalized crossing.

The county is aiming to complete its 7.5-mile segment from Bryan Park to the Chickahominy River within four to five years. The estimated cost for the full segment is $52.6 million, to be funded with a mix of county and Central Virginia Transportation Authority funds and state and federal grants.

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Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
9 months ago

Excellent use but FYI this building is in the floodplain and the basement which also includes the safety deposit boxes flooded during Gaston. Heck the back corner of the parking lot is actually lists as the floodway (per the map)!

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
9 months ago

This seems win/win because it should help that part of Upham Brook next to I-95 look better for people driving through. I also can’t imagine the old bank branch being of interest to many businesses without a tear down.

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
9 months ago

 “a primary goal to make bathrooms and a drinking fountain easily accessible. “
“The parking lot itself was very attractive to us,” Yob added.
“The county in June paid just over $1 million to buy the former Bank of America branch”
Seems like a lot to pay for bathrooms and a water fountain

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
9 months ago
Reply to  Ed Christina

It’s a deal, surprisingly. Once you factor in water line and sewer system hookups and build out for new construction, you’re easily at $900k+ for a facility used by the public. Richmond City spent over $700k for the bathrooms at Fountain Lake in Byrd Park 7+ years ago and a large part of that cost was running water/sewer to the site.

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
9 months ago

I could see renting this out to Starbucks or putting in a restaurant or something.

A example is I think a resturant with a view of the High Bridge on the Highbridge Trail in Farmville would look worth while with the road only being 0.9th of a mile from it.