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Sons of former La Vogue owner look to revive Grace St. stretch

A business entity tied to the Bernstein family is pushing new commercial uses to fill 501-521 E. Grace St. (J. Elias O’Neal)

RICHMOND, Va. — Carrying on what their late father started decades ago, two local brothers have laid claim to a swath of downtown buildings that have sat largely dormant as much of the surrounding blocks have begun to sprout new life.

Jason and Marc Bernstein recently gained control of the six buildings at 501-521 E. Grace St. and are making a push to fill the properties’ combined 51,000 square feet of commercial space, making it one of the largest available inventories for retail or office tenants along that stretch.

“We have it for lease now,” said Jason Bernstein, adding that the properties will not be sold. “It’s exciting. We just want to get some new tenants in the space to add to what’s occurring there.”

Through 501-521 E Grace Street LLC, the brothers took over the properties through an internal family transfer valued at $1.5 million, according to city records. The properties have been in the Bernstein family for more than 60 years.

All the buildings are vacant, with the exception of 501 E. Grace St., which houses the Secret Sandwich Society restaurant.

CBRE | Richmond brokers Barry Hofheimer and Scott Boyers were retained to lease the property. Hofheimer said the group has not secured any leases for the buildings, but interest is high.

“They are a very conservative family … and they want to find the best tenant for the spaces that are available,” he said.

 

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