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Developer Continues Cary Street Facelift

The new construction project will feature 14 two-story loft condominiums for sale, situated above 14 commercial or office spaces below. In addition to amenities such as big closets, off-street parking and private balconies, buyers can choose between two floor plans — "The Valentine" or "The Byrd" — and expect to pay anywhere from $195,000 to $210,000.

The Lofts at Cary Place should be completed by the end of summer 2005, says Franny Powell, senior vice president with East West Partners.

Once the site of a convenience store and a regular stop for loiterers and police, the property at Meadow and Cary streets are being transformed as part of an extending continuum of development and gentrification along Cary from the Boulevard east to Belvidere. It's the first time East West Partners has done business in and with the city.

"We've never had a downtown development," Powell says. "We wanted to do something out of the suburban mold and grow in a new direction." Their efforts seem to be paying off. At press time, buyers had committed to nine of the 14 condominium units.

Richmond developer Ed Eck, famous for revitalizing Main Street's colorful Uptown, already has transformed much of the area, including building new facilities for government offices. More plans are on the way. In December, East West will begin redeveloping two historic industrial buildings in the 1900 block at the corner of Cary and Granby streets. The project will include mixed residential and office use.

Powell says that, in time, the three-block area will enjoy the kind of cachet few would have imagined, given the neighborhood's past. When complete, she says, "Cary Place will be a name people think of, hopefully like Carytown." — Brandon Walters

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