ALERT: Crews battle fire at Broad Street apartments near VCU

New wave of change hits 10-block stretch of Broad Street

The Central National Bank building, seen in the distance to the right, is an anchor of a burgeoning section of East and West Broad Street.

The Central National Bank building, seen in the distance to the right, is an anchor of a burgeoning section of East and West Broad Street.

RICHMOND, Va. — Take a short walk along a certain downtown stretch of Broad Street and it becomes abundantly clear what is taking place: A new wave of change.

It’s marked at street level with a longtime barbershop, pawn shop and jeweler all closing down after decades on neighboring blocks of Broad – their buildings either already sold or looking for a suitor.

Then there’s the new crop of businesses, with Quirk Hotel as the tallest example, adding to a changing vibe that has brought with it an ice cream parlor, a high-end clothing and shoes store, and a chocolate shop.

A broader, less obvious view of this evolution can be seen in city property records, which show real estate investors and developers taking a particular liking to the neighborhood in the last few months, pouncing on what is beginning to be seen as prime plots for office, retail and residential units.

Since July, six properties have sold on the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of E. Broad St. for a combined $3.1 million, according to city records, their new owners undoubtedly planning to redevelop their old storefronts into office, retail or apartment space, or perhaps go vertical with new construction. They include the sales of 209, 315, 313, 311, 309 E. Broad St.

This is all happening on the roughly 10-block drag on Broad between Belvidere Street and the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

And while the early adopters like the art galleries and restaurants like Comfort and Tarrant’s can argue they were the frontrunners, the neighborhood’s momentum seems to have shifted into another gear in the second half of 2016.

Continue reading on RichmondBizSense.com to find out why and where change is happening.