RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A prime piece of real estate in Richmond's downtown is about to be developed. Two local investors struck a deal this week to buy the old Reynolds aluminum foil plant near the Canal Walk. For 80 years, most of the nation's aluminum foil came from this factory, now this historic site will soon be condos and apartments.
Rick Gregory is the man behind The Plant Zero Art Center and the new Manchester Flats. He's teaming up with Richard Souter, the developer responsible for Rocketts Landing. Together they are creating Fall Line Capital, LLC. They plan to buy up all 6 acres and turn the old buildings into a mix of apartments, commercial and retail space.
"You have the river, you have the canal, you have the history, the central business district..... Everything we need to have this to be a great place," Gregory said.
The area is in the heart of the city's River District. City leaders hope it's the final piece that could jump start the Canal Walk. A vision to turn this area into neighborhood, possibly a destination, similar to the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas.
"Once you get people, you get activity then the shops and the restaurants follow," Gregory said.
The deal will close at the end of the year. Construction on the first 200 apartments will begin in January. The price of the deal was not disclosed, but it does not include any city money.
"This purchase shows the continuing strong economic interest in the city of Richmond; even during these lean economic times. We anticipate development of the Reynolds property that complements the Downtown Master Plan and continued improvements of the Canal. We are very pleased that this area is going to be developed and look forward to working with the developers," Mayor Dwight Jones said today.