Richmond’s Branch Building sells at auction for less than what seller paid four years ago

Posted at 6:40 AM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 06:40:00-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- After waving the white flag on the softened office market, a North Carolina investor has found a buyer for the downtown Richmond office building it bought four years ago – though it fell short of recouping its purchase price.

The Branch Building at 1015 E. Main St. sold at auction Thursday for $1.31 million. The identity of the winning bidder was not disclosed.

The seller was Durham-based developer Hem + Spire, which put the six-story building on the auction block last month, about four years after buying it for $1.47 million.

Hem + Spire specializes in historic rehabilitations and planned to use the Branch Building as its entrance into the Richmond market. But a few months after it closed on the building the pandemic arrived, stifling the office market. Hem + Spire completed some renovations on the property but struggled to fully lease it. The 12,000-square-foot building was about 50 percent leased at the time of the auction.

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