Grace Street ‘Feels the Bern,’ Fulton gets Hillary

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RICHMOND, Va. — With the primary elections in full swing, presidential campaigns are scooping up space around Richmond.

Bernie 2016 moved in earlier this month to a 1,700-square-foot space in the Daniel Call House at 217 W. Grace St. The campaign for the Democratic senator from Vermont has a short-term lease on the space, with an option to extend its stay contingent on Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic nomination for president.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has staked a temporary claim in Fulton Hill. Photos by Michael Thompson.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has staked a temporary claim in Fulton Hill. Photos by Michael Thompson.

Sanders’ democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, had her Hillary for Virginia acolytes arrive just days later, setting up at 1000 Carlisle Ave. in Fulton Hill. An event celebrating the opening of the office was attended by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Sanders’ campaign chose its Richmond headquarters after getting in touch with Marty Mooradian of local real estate firm Cornerstone Commercial. Mooradian has a background in politics – most recently he ran an unsuccessful campaign as a democrat for the 27th District in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign has a lease with an option to extend on the Grace Street building.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign has a lease with an option to extend on the Grace Street building.

“I’m the go-to campaign person mostly because of my political background,” Mooradian said. “I don’t discriminate. If Republicans called me, I’d help them too.”

He said the challenge for campaigns looking for real estate is that they only need space for a short amount of time. The Virginia presidential primaries are March 1, also known as Super Tuesday.

“They’re looking through to Super Tuesday,” Mooradian said. “They are very reluctant to sign a long-term lease.”

Mooradian put Bernie 2016 in touch with Snipes Properties, helmed by local developer Carter Snipes. Snipes said the West Grace Street property used to be a school. The space Bernie 2016 took is an auditorium-like room with high ceilings, and still has space to lease. Snipes said the space would make good for an events space.

“It’s not very rentable other than what they want to use,” Snipes said. “It’s got this big auditorium with 25-foot ceilings.”

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