I do! I always have. The old Interbake building is located very near the intersection of Boulevard and Broad in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood of Richmond, VA. Whenever Foster and I would be on our way to a house hunting expedition in Bellevue, or to a mob packet pick up at the Arthur Ashe Center we would pass this building. Forget the house hunt, I would tell him, let’s just buy the Interbake building and turn it into our house. For some reason he never went for it, oh well. It might be important to note that my love of historic, residential architecture is second only to my love of historic, industrial architecture and for a girl who has an “I love buildings” button on my purse you might begin to imagine the depths of my feelings. I am a sucker for a big, old warehouse or factory. More than that, I am a big fan…no, wait, more than that…what’s higher than a fan? A stalker, maybe?
But I digress. The truly exciting news is that the Interbake building is slated to become a mix of residential units and commercial space. (See the Richmond Times Dispatch article here.) It’s about damn time. The location is amazing – convenient to the highway and, therefore, the West End, as well as downtown and VCU. The site is also flanked by the Richmond Children’s Museum and Science Museum to the east and the Diamond to the north making it highly livable and even desirable. Though the area is still (re)developing there are some great restaurants within walking distance on the Boulevard corridor and the Bow Tie cinemas, themselves housed in an old industrial building, is also very nearby. And “new kid on the block” Hardywood Park Brewery is not far.
The Scott’s Addition “neighborhood” has a very industrial, gritty, rust belt character. Old warehouses and factories, train tracks and a sea of pavement. However, as previously stated, this area is downtown/VCU adjacent and, as all Richmonders know, VCU is spreading like a tide over downtown bringing revitalization, reuse and a reenergized sensibility. In recent years numerous businesses have located here, attracted by the proximity to downtown and the wealth of existing infrastructure. But more than that, people have been coming. Various old factories, such as the one which now houses Summit Lofts, are being repurposed. North of the James has a great article about this area and all that it has to offer.
I am hugely excited over this proposed development and can not wait to see how the rebirth of Scott’s Addition unfolds and how the Interbake adaptive reuse will add to that. What an amazing project and I am so jealous.