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BizSense Beat: February 23, 2024

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BizSense Beat is a weekly collaboration between VPM News and Richmond BizSense that brings you the top business stories during NPR's Morning Edition on Fridays.

Here’s a recap of the top stories for the week of February 23, 2024:

D.C. firm wants to build 221 apartments on former Dominion parking lot in the Fan
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

A former Dominion Energy-owned parking lot in the Fan is being eyed for what would be the largest new-construction apartment development the neighborhood’s seen in recent years.

Washington, D.C.-based Audeo Partners filed plans this week for a pair of four-story apartment buildings totaling 221 units on the 1.7-acre parcel at 2501 Grayland Ave.

Dominion had owned the Grayland Avenue lot and more than 3 acres surrounding it for decades before putting it all on the market in 2021. Audeo, as part of an investment group, bought the parking lot last year for $5.5 million. Audeo also paid $7.5 million for the neighboring former Dominion office complex at 2400 Grayland Ave., where it is already underway on converting the three-story building into 125 apartments.

Lynchburg’s Texas Inn strikes deal to take over Museum District restaurant building
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

An old-timey diner from Lynchburg is touching down in the Devil’s Triangle.

The Texas Inn, owned by Richmond advertising executive Dave Saunders, is set to take over the Izzy’s Kitchen building at 2901 Park Ave.

Izzy’s opened in the building in 2019 as a spinoff of former Fan sandwich spot Uptown Market & Deli. Behind Izzy’s was Uptown co-owner Joe Carter, who named the new restaurant for his daughter.

Four years later, Carter has struck a deal to sell his Izzy’s equipment to Saunders, who’s planning to convert the building into Texas Inn’s first Richmond outpost.

Izzy’s is expected to close in early March and Texas Inn will take over the 1,300-square-foot space in the Devil’s Triangle area of the Museum District.

Saunders said he’s waiting to sign a lease for the space and is aiming to open the Richmond Texas Inn sometime in May.

Cousins look to Manchester to expand their neighborhood market chain
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

With four neighborhood markets up and running elsewhere in the city, three cousins are now looking to bring their concept to the Southside to help quell Manchester’s grocery needs.

Ezaddin “Dean” Alasad and his cousins Wadah and Munif Alasad, who own Northside Gourmet Market in Barton Heights, Mocha Gourmet Market in Oregon Hill, National Gourmet Market in Forest Hill and Scott’s Market in Scott’s Addition, have bought their way onto Hull Street.

Earlier this month they purchased 1119-1125 Hull St. for $1.05 million.

The three-story structure counts about 6,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, about half of which is set to become their newest neighborhood market.

The Manchester market would be similar to Dean’s other stores, offering fresh produce, shelf-stable grocery items, organic items, beer, wine and more. A deli counter is also planned.

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