Hey RICHMOND!!!Do you love supporting LOCAL businesses and organizations?That's what I love MOST about my job. I’ve been in the commercial real estate and brokerage world for over 15 years. I get to help local businesses and organizations find a place to call home right here in Richmond. In fact, here are my TOP 5 Favorite Projects:#1) Flooring RVA.We helped find them a new showroom with more space AND we were able to help find a tenant to replace their previous lease so they could make a clean break.#2) The Summit (Scott’s Addition area).Such a great, action packed area of town where we were able to help long time friends sell two different properties at the same time.#3) Nomad Deli & Catering Company.Anthony and his family are proof that the American Dream is alive. They started this family owned business as tenants, but eventually bought their building and have continued a successful (and delicious) restaurant!#4) LUX ChurchThis is a great community minded organization that brought life back into a building that was over 130 years old and an area landmark.#5) Liberty Public HouseWhen Alexa told us about her dream concept of a restaurant inside a renovated, historical building, we knew we had just the right property for her! In fact, she moved all the way back to Richmond from the west coast to fulfill her dream of being a restaurant owner.
Posted by Sperity Real Estate Ventures on Tuesday, June 30, 2020
There has been a lot of attention given to the recent closings of restaurants in the Richmond area. There have been a lot lately, no doubt — here is a list of closings this year from Richmond.com that they are keeping up-to-date as things change. Some of these have been big surprises to the community at large, but it is important to keep in mind a few things.
Not all businesses close (or are for sale) because of poor sales. There are a variety of reasons:
- personal issues (divorce, wanting to spend more time with children, need to take care of an elderly parent, the owner has an illness)
- the business strategy has changed (the owners no longer want to be in a particular area of town, the owners only want to operate where they own the building)
- the owners are absentee and have other full-time jobs that are suffering because of the demands of owning a restaurant
- the business is on track to make a profit but the owners have run out of operating capital
- the owner is burned out, having spent the last XX number of years in the same location
- the owners realize that the best time to sell is when business is booming — cash out while things are good and maximize the sales price
- poor money management — sales might be great, but if you don’t manage your money well then you won’t stay open for long
- the landlord isn’t willing to renew the lease — maybe they have a better offer from another prospective tenant
- the owner isn’t changing, but they are changing the concept
There is also the counterbalancing effect of new restaurants opening up. Karri Peifer, Editor and Food Writer at Richmond.com, has been keeping track:
— Karri Peifer (@KarriPeifer) October 12, 2012
Almost one year ago, we posted a story about the transitioning of ownership of one Richmond restaurant legacy, Mulligan’s Sports Grille. The past month (Tuesday, October 9, 2012, to be exact) has unfortunately brought us the end to this story — covered here by CBS6 and here by Richmond.com. The restaurant’s official statement from their website is posted here (click the photo to enlarge) –>
Another restaurant that has gotten a lot of press coverage for its closing is Cafe Diem, at the corner of Patterson Ave and N Sheppard St in the Museum District — and right beside our office at 604 N Sheppard St. Since our company is involved in the ownership and management of their building, and most of the commercial property in the area, the media turned to us for some insight.
NBC12 coverage of Cafe Diem closing (with video and a guest appearance from yours truly)
I think the press has done an excellent job with the coverage on this closing. It is often a touchy subject, not only for the restaurant owner(s) but the landlord, the restaurant employees, the loyal patrons, the restaurant vendors, and even the surrounding businesses.
In short, there are lots of reasons why restaurants close. Sure, times are tough all around and lots of people are cutting back on spending, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. If anything, if you enjoy a particular restaurant, be sure to visit it plenty and enjoy it while it’s here. It is fun to always look for the next big thing, but don’t forget about the old favorites either. — By the way, there are LOTS of new restaurants coming soon. Keep an eye out here for announcements!
Just two decades ago, sports bars weren’t very common. This is a community story for locals and sports fans, about one of Richmond’s first sports bars, the changing city landscape around VCU and the retirement of one well-respected business owner.
One Richmond bar scores big and creates a legacy
While the city hosts numerous restaurants and acclaimed cuisine, we also have an often overlooked local sports bar–not a big chain–that’s worthy of a boisterous hurrah.
Mulligans Sport’s Grille first swung open its doors in 1990 to reveal about 20 televisions inside–none of them flat screens–all broadcasting sports games and commentary.
Think about that novelty. The playing field for sports bars used to be fairly empty of any competition.
Harken back to the early 90s, if you can. The daily routine was sans internet, cable television was not a household standard–and it certainly did not supply the multiple sports networks available now. There was an audible welcome from sports fans–to the extent that the dream of three men multiplied into six restaurants.
The first store was so successful that by its second year, the bouncers came to work before the waitstaff. They were needed to control the the crowds who would try to push inside when the waitresses arrived, as to stake early claim to the best seats in the house. The Wednesday concert series brought thousands to Innsbrook, and hundreds would just camp out at Mulligans, many taking in the concert from the comfort of the patio.
John Sweeney, along with the Hurley brothers, Mark and Matt, were experimental business owners. They tried off-the-wall things like “cook your own steak” night, where hot grills stood ready for the sports aficionado to meet tong to meet steak.
The investors ran with their game plan, opening a total of six locations. After the Innsbrook location came Mulligans in Mechanicsville, Sixth Street Market Place, Southside, the Fan and then Farmville.
Everyone can now rest easy, dancing will no longer be tolerated in the City of Richmond! (Well, when I say “everyone can now rest easy”, I really mean everyone except for those pesky dancers.) From what I hear, dancing brings about all sorts of immorality so I am relieved that we won’t have dirty dancers parading around making light of the city’s laws. (My research really is confined to movies from the first half of certain movies from the 80’s)
I’m actually a little confused because visitors or transplants to the city are always complaining about how there aren’t many dance clubs here anyways.
Style Weekly has plenty of information in this week’s edition here, including a Q&A follow up session with a representative from the Mayor’s office.
As a tribute to the new City ordinance, here’s a video of some scenes from the movie Footloose:
Actually, this ordinance is nothing new here in the Richmond metro area. Chesterfield and Henrico have been issuing permits (or NOT issuing permits, depending on who you talk to) for a couple of years now.
Here are a few links about the stink from last year about Chesterfield and dance permits:
- Richmond BizSense article from 3/24/2009
- Midlothian Exchange article from 3/24/2009
- NBC12 article from 3/27/2009
(thanks to Richmond Good Life’s time-capsule archives for those links!)
Henrico has the same type of ordinance and dance club permits, but I recently had a tenant that had to apply for one and it wasn’t a huge ordeal.
If you’ve run against any of these dance ordinances or know of how it’s handled in other areas, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Leave a comment!
Per Henrico County's website regarding the Enterprise Zone program in Virginia:
What is an Enterprise
The governing body of any county, city
or town may make written application to the Virginia Department
of Housing and Community Development to have an area or areas
declared to be an Enterprise Zone. The purpose of the Virginia
Enterprise Zone Program is to stimulate business and industrial
growth in such areas, which would result in neighborhood,
commercial and economic revitalization. Upon the recommendation
of the Director of the Virginia Department of Housing and
Community Development the Governor may designate the proposed
areas as Enterprise Zones. Upon designation of an area as
an Enterprise Zone state and local incentives become available
to qualified business firms that participate in the Program.
The trick is learning the details of the different programs that are
available. Given that we are talking about free money (grants) and
cheap money (loans), and that these are government programs, there is
quite a bit of red tape and a complex set of regulations regarding how
to qualify for the programs.
I'm no expert on the intricate regulations involved, which is why I am attending the Henrico County Enterprise Zone Spring Workshop at Belmont Recreation Center on May 7th. It is FREE to attend, but you have to register beforehand (and space may be limited).
If you're interested in the program, you may have to pull some strings since the registration deadline was April 3rd (SORRY — it's been very busy here, despite all the dark clouds cast by the media). You could still call 804-501-7615 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org and see if they have any open spots.
Otherwise, if I can find a good way to summarize what will be an enormous amount of useful information, I will post a follow up on here after the workshop!
I just finished reading The Crupi Report, and there is quite a bit that I agree with…and some that I don’t. Instead of taking this post to get into the individual points that I am for or against, I wanted to share my most immediate gut criticisms of the report:
- What was up with the misspellings? I noticed a handful sprinkled throughout the report (and I wasn’t looking for them) — "lose" was mispelled a couple of times, i.e.
- What is the "medium of house prices"? I assume Dr. Crupi meant "median", but I can’t be sure. Maybe he meant average? Who knows…
- There was a quote from "A black leader" that said "I drank from the back of the bus, but it doesn’t define my life." I get the meaning and appreciate it. But, am I missing some piece of historical reference here or is that a mixed reference — i.e., sitting at the back of the bus and having to drink at a different water fountain? Given the other mistakes in the report, I don’t know whether that is a misquote or the actual words he/she used. Either way, it’s wouldn’t have used it in the report as-is.
My point is not to be nit-picky, but come on, these are pretty simple mistakes to catch and correct. Why undermine your credibility by letting them slip through? I certainly don’t think that my writing is perfect, but I’m not getting paid to produce reports that are going to be read by an entire region.
Getting past the simple mistakes, I enjoyed the overall theme of urging cooperation and overarching vision as necessary for the strategic growth of the entire region.
One of my favorite quotes from the report was: "It is ironic that while people in the counties recognize that the city can influence it with negative pollitical and economic images, they under-appreciate the benefits of what would happen if those same images were positive."
I am anticipating a great future for the Richmond-metro area, and I think that this report was a great way to generate interest and involvement by the general populace.
There aren’t many times in a region’s development where the leaders sincerely ask for guidance and input from the general populace. Granted, this has been an initiative organized by a group of local business leaders and headed up by the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, but it is getting a lot of attention from the general population and recognition by the local governments.
If you are watching for the report delivered last Monday to be mentioned in the local news or blogs, it has been referred to as "The Crupi Report". Dr. James Crupi was brought in "to re-examine the
greater Richmond area and make recommendations that would enhance its
future development and competitive position." — (see the article about the report on Richmond.com, or another article here from RTD)
I still need to sit down and read the report for the details, and I am hoping that the majority of people in the region do the same thing. For your own You can find the report over at the GRCC‘s website by clicking here. Over the next several months, those same business leaders who commissioned the report are looking for reactions from all of us.
An open forum on the subject is scheduled for Tuesday night at 7pm at the Richmond Times Dispatch’s Public Square, which will be held at their Hanover production facility. (Click here for the announcement of the Public Square) The address is
8460 Times-Dispatch Blvd. Mechanicsville, VA 23116. See you there!
It would seem that the majority (or a vocal minority?) would say NO!!! Of course, I’m more of a city boy, so I like the development, as long as it is done well and doesn’t turn the landscape into NoVA.
The RTD ran an article yesterday about how Hanover has reached 100,000 residents. The irony, as most people have pointed out, is that the area is so popular because of the slower pace, the good school system, the larger building lots, and sparser population. Of course, more people in the area detract from these benefits that are so popular.
I have always had a negative impression of Hanover’s ability to work with businesses. Maybe my impression is founded on their working with small businesspeople, not the big box retailers that seem to be taking over Mechanicsville so easily.
Even more interesting than the article itself was the reaction in the online comments section. The commenters remind us that Hanover is not just the 360/Mechanicsville corridor, but also Doswell, Ashland, and many other sections that each have a distinctive identity from one another.
So mark me down on the side of development, but with the caveat of recognizing that the planners seem to be doing a fairly decent job of controlled growth, which is important.