Douglas Development Kicks Off Construction on Rehabilitation of Former Central National Bank

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Contributed by Douglas Development

Rendering of new apartment unit

Rendering of new apartment unit

Richmond, VA – November 12, 2013– Douglas Development today announced that construction has begun on the former Central National Bank building, located at 219 East Broad Street in downtown Richmond, Virginia. Working with Commonwealth Architects, Douglas Development will rehabilitate one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and convert it into a 23-story residential community. The mixed-use project will combine modern functionality and amenities with a historically preserved building that will help revitalize Richmond’s central business district.

This will be Douglas Development’s first residential building in Richmond, Virginia, and its first collaboration with Commonwealth Architects. Douglas Development currently owns several mixed-use office buildings in Richmond, including the former bank building at 800 East Broad Street and a six-story, class A office building at 411 East Franklin Street.

Douglas Development Principal and Senior Vice President, Norman Jemal comments on the new development opportunities in Richmond: “The city is changing and more office buildings, restaurants, and shops are opening in downtown Richmond. Now the Central National Bank building will offer contemporary housing for those who want to live closer to work or school.”

Constructed in 1929-30, the redeveloped Central National Bank building will retain its current Art Deco design with improvements made to the building’s interior and exterior. The limestone and brick facades will be restored, and existing windows refurbished and replaced with energy efficient glass and interior storm windows.

On the former bank’s upper floors, the rehabilitation will offer prospective tenants more than 200 studio, one, and two bedroom apartments, approximately 220,000 square feet. The building will provide modern amenities, including a fitness center, an outdoor pool, community rooms, and outdoor entertainment areas. Resident parking will be provided at a nearby parking deck.

The most significant interior space will be the existing public banking hall on the building’s first floor facing Broad Street. The soaring three-story hall includes large windows, a richly ornamented coffered ceiling, patterned terrazzo floors, and bronze decorative features. The banking hall, along with ground floor retail, will be dedicated to future commercial use.

Individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building contributes to the Grace Street Commercial Historic District and is a key piece in the revitalization of the surrounding area – a bustling mix of restaurants, galleries and theaters in downtown Richmond. As an historic investment tax credit project, the rehabilitation will preserve the architectural character of the building.

About Commonwealth Architects:

Commonwealth Architects’ award-winning design of the rehabilitation of the former First National Bank in Richmond opened in early 2013. Commonwealth Architects has built its practice around a mission of “Rebuilding Community.” A full service Architecture, Historic Architecture, Interior Design, Planning, Landscape Architecture and 3D Visualization firm, Commonwealth Architects serves clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.

About Douglas Development:

Douglas Development Corporation is the largest private property owner in the Washington, DC region and offers a fully integrated real estate company featuring a portfolio of commercial office, retail and residential mixed used properties.  The company has completed more than 180 successful redevelopment projects and is a leading force in the revitalization of the District of Columbia and Richmond, Virginia.  Currently, Douglas Development owns and manages more than 8 million square feet of real estate and has more than 4 million square feet of developable property in the pipeline.  Founded by Douglas Jemal in 1985, the company has a passion to preserve and redevelop historic buildings, including iconic properties like the Woodward & Lothrop flagship building and Chinatown’s historic row across from the Verizon Center.  For more information about the company, please visit or follow @douglasdevdc on Twitter and LikeDouglas Development Corporation on Facebook.


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