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Three-story apartment building torn down for VCU parking

Chesterfield-based C.D. Hall Construction performed the demolition.

RICHMOND, Va. — VCU’s forthcoming Institute for Contemporary Art is getting some more elbow room.

Demolition crews with Chesterfield-based C.D. Hall Construction spent the start of this week tearing down a three-story, 1920s-era apartment building at 616 W. Grace St., next door to the former Evergreen Restaurant building that also was recently demolished.

The buildings are making way for dedicated parking for the ICA, the 43,000-square-foot, $41 million art institution taking shape at the intersection of Belvidere and Broad streets. During media tours of the building last month, ICA representatives said surface parking, walkways and other site improvements would be completed by the building’s Oct. 28 opening, forming its university-facing entrance.

Demolition crews take down a building to make way for parking for the ICA, visible in the background. (Jonathan Spiers)

VCU purchased the apartment building in 2014 for $2.2 million, according to city property records. It purchased the Evergreen building last September for $2 million.

As the apartment building came down Monday and Tuesday, work continued on the ICA – an unusually shaped, metal-sided structure being built by Gilbane Building Co. It was designed by New York-based Steven Holl Architects and locally based BCWH Architects.

Its 1-acre site was donated to the school’s real estate foundation in 2014. In addition to the apartment and restaurant buildings along Grace Street, the school has purchased the since-demolished Hess gas station on the other side of Belvidere, paying $3.15 million in 2015.

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