As with so many cases in Richmond’s history, someone from outside of Richmond sees our city in a way that we do not. They ignore conventional Richmond wisdom and the opinions voiced by the people that live here and try something different. When I say ‘different,’ what I mean is ‘hasn’t been done in Richmond.’
Gotham, in 2002, was exactly that.
REO Enterprises, whose partners have roots in Chicago and NYC, took a look at the Richmond landscape and saw a glaring omission…a true downtown urban living option. Shockoe Bottom had lofts to rent that were finished in a very average fashion but there was not an option for ownership, much less one with ownership levels of finish and with an element of contemporary design. Those in the know told them they were crazy to do this. The market told them otherwise.
8 residential units and 2-3 spaces dedicated to commercial uses were designed in a building that essentially backed up to Shockoe Slip and whose penthouse level offered views of the State Capital and Old City Hall. It was visionary (in Richmond terms) and it sold quickly.
Gotham, designed by local architect Dave Johannas and his team, quickly told Richmonders a little something about themselves…we are not as traditional as we thought. Gotham (whose name I love!) in mammy ways unlocked the creative elements in the market and allowed developers to begin to bring other buildings to the market that had contemporary elements…and industrial chic…and open lofts…and minimalist flats…and eclectic warehouse…and about any other style you can imagine.
The market owes a debt of gratitude to Gotham as one of the first buildings to say, ‘Come live downtown, it is cool and it is different and it is fun.’
1205 E Main Street
8 Residential Units and 2-3 Commercial
FHA Approved (September 2011)