Iconic Model Tobacco complex slated for redevelopment

RICHMOND, Va. — The Model Tobacco property in South Richmond is back in play for resurrection, as a Maryland-based developer has an acquisition in the works and recently purchased neighboring parcels.

The long-dormant 15-acre site at 1000 and 1100 Jefferson Davis Highway – known for its Art Deco-style main building – is under contract to C.A. Harrison Cos., according to multiple sources familiar with the deal.

Principal Chris Harrison would not comment when reached Wednesday.

Harrison has an application set to go before Richmond City Council next week to update provisions of an existing zoning agreement for the site that was approved for another developer in 2008. The city planning commission recommended approval of Harrison’s application on Monday.

The complex is known for its Art Deco-style main building. (PHOTO: J. Elias O’Neal)

The complex is known for its Art Deco-style main building. (PHOTO: J. Elias O’Neal)

The application does not include specific plans for the property, which is already zoned as mixed use.

Charles and Eileen Keck have owned the property for years. Charles Keck would not comment on the status of the property when reached by phone.

Harrison also has applied to rezone for mixed use a collection of adjacent parcels at 210 and 212 Brinser St.; 101,103,105,115, and 117 Thurman St.; and 2400 Elton St. – 2.6 acres of mostly vacant land the company purchased in May for a combined $190,000.

Also this week, Alabama-based Capstone Building Corp., the general contractor of the pending project, hosted a pre-construction walkthrough of the Model complex for contractors looking to bid on the project.

The Model Tobacco complex is comprised of seven buildings, most notably the iconic, six-story building fronting Jefferson Davis Highway that dates to 1940.

The property was most recently assessed for about $5.1 million, according to city real estate records.

C.A. Harrison specializes in a variety of mixed-use and multifamily development throughout Washington, D.C., North Carolina and Virginia — primarily throughout metro Richmond.

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