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BizSense Beat: May 31, 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 May 31, 2024:

Waukeshaw Development bringing 400 more apartments to Olde Towne Petersburg
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

Dave McCormack continues to bet big on Petersburg.

His longtime firm, Waukeshaw Development, is working on a slate of new projects that’ll bring nearly 400 apartments and new commercial space to the city’s Olde Towne area.

At 600 W. Wythe St. and 221 Bollingbrook St., Waukeshaw is planning conversion projects that’ll see the two warehouses turned into 295 and 82 apartments, respectively.

The company also is renovating a long-vacant building at 416 Third St. into 10,000 square feet of commercial space that will face Trapezium Brewing Co., which Waukeshaw also owns and operates.

Over at 530 E. Washington St., just off Interstate 95, the firm is under contract to purchase the blighted former Travel Inn hotel, McCormack said.

Chesterfield board OKs bond issuance to fund Powhite extension, other road projects
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jack Jacobs

The effort to line up funding for the long-planned Powhite Parkway extension in western Chesterfield County took another step forward this month.

The county Board of Supervisors in early May approved the issuance of up to $350 million in bonds for transportation projects, among them the first phase of the Powhite extension.

The initial phase of the extension would lengthen the parkway by 2.25 miles to Woolridge Road from its current terminus near its interchange with Route 288. That first stage also involves construction of an interchange at Charter Colony Parkway and overpasses on Watermill and Brandermill parkways.

County officials previously estimated the first phase of the project to cost $170 million, which would be covered by the bonds and other funding sources.

Southside bike shop shifting to new name, business model after closure last year
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jack Jacobs

After a tumultuous few months both professionally and personally, Clint Kronenberger is shifting gears with a new incarnation of his bike shop at the corner of Semmes and Forest Hill avenues.

Cornerstone Cycle is expected to open in early June at 3416 Semmes Ave., the same storefront where Kronenberger operated Coqui Cyclery for more than a decade.

Kronenberger’s plan for Cornerstone is to focus on bike service and repairs rather than bike sales, which was the emphasis at Coqui.

The business model pivot, which Kronenberger said is in response to larger trends in the bicycle retail sector, comes in the wake of an unannounced and weekslong closure of Coqui that began in late 2023 and ran into January, frustrating customers who couldn’t gain access to their bikes in the shop at the time.

Seasoned C’ville bakers opening café in new Forest Hill development
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

Two veterans of the Charlottesville bakery scene have signed on as the first commercial tenants at a new development in Forest Hill.

Janet’s Cafe & Bakery is expected to open next year at 4701 Forest Hill Ave., where a three-story mixed-use building is currently taking shape on the site of a former Bank of America branch.

Will Darsie and Janey Gioiosa are behind Janet’s, which will offer fresh baked bread and pastries as well as sandwiches, salads, coffee and other items.

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