When Mead Westvaco left the Manchester area and sold its holdings to the new wave of warehouse/adaptive re-use developers, they unwittingly unleashed rapid and powerful change for Downtown Richmond and specifically, Manchester. Fountainhead Properties purchased what was referred to as MWV’s Plant Zero with the intent of creating artist studios and gallery space. The lead developer for Fountainhead, Bill Chapman, saw the potential in this little corner section of the property and convinced 3 others to take the plunge with him to develop high end luxury lofts (and one commercial space) and carved off the space from what would become the Artworks section of Plant Zero.
Each loft was purchased raw and finished uniquely by the individual owner, almost taking on a suburban custom home model, and the result was a collection of lofts that are different in layout, style, size, finish and feel. A brochure for Loft B can be found here. Lee Brauer Photgraphy completes the building.
The Decatur was used as a shining example of the urban renewal occurring in RVA by being both featured on numerous corporate relocation tours and as the signature space on the 2008-10 Downtown Loft Tours. These properties will also serve to define the viability of the luxury loft in the Richmond marketplace and developers decide how to complete the next set of buildings in the Downtown redevelopment pipeline.