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Historic Richmond skyscraper is being renovated into $30 million apartment project

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Print this page by Paula C. Squires

Richmond’s first skyscraper, the 19-story First National Bank building at 823 E. Main St., is getting a $30 million renovation that will convert the Neoclassical Revival building into apartments.  Work on the tower began in December by the owner, Rushmark Properties, based out of Falls Church. Completion of the 154 units is expected by October. “The timeline is about nine months for completion,” said Peter Barden, senior associate at Commonwealth Architects in Richmond, the architect for the project.

According to Barden, the target demographic for the apartments will be young professionals in their 20s and 30s and empty nesters. The top two floors will offer two-story apartments, Barden said, and the bottom floor will be available to a retail client. The most recent tenant in the building was BB&T, which moved in July 2010 to Riverfront Plaza.

Floor plans for the new apartments will range from 562 square feet to 2,235 square feet.  Besides the top penthouse level apartments, the project will offer loft apartments, a fitness center, a resident social lounge, game room and private garage parking. The apartments will offer views of the James River, downtown Richmond and the State Capitol Building. They will be marketed and managed by Drucker & Falk. “We are looking forward to showing the public the historic features of the original lobby and the exteriors, which will be restored to their original splendor,”
Andrew Chisholm, Drucker & Falk’s Mid-Atlantic multifamily management director, said in a statement.

The building, which dates to 1913, is keeping one of its landmark features: a copper and brass clock mounted on the building’s exterior at the corner of Ninth and Main Streets, Barden said.  Hitt Contracting of Falls Church is the project’s contractor. 

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