An apartment building converted from a former Jackson Ward garage is in the hands of a new owner following a seven-figure deal.

The 15-unit Bliley’s Garage complex at 408-412 N. Third St. sold Dec. 4 for $2.25 million.

City property records list the buyer as 412 Solar LLC, an entity owned by Wasfi Chater, a local businessman who owns multiple properties in town. He was represented in the deal by Susan Haas of Joyner Commercial.

The seller was 412 North 3rd Street LLC, an entity tied to David Gammino, whose City & Guilds construction company rehabbed the building after purchasing it in 2008 for $526,000. Gammino was represented by Lory Markham, Ann Schweitzer Riley and Tom Rosman of One South Commercial.

The latest city assessment valued the 0.3-acre property at $1.75 million.

Haas, who has worked with Chater on other deals, said the buyer was interested in picking up the property as he consolidates his portfolio and moves toward retirement. Chater owns a mix of properties in town and business holdings that include The Pizza Place restaurant in Shockoe Bottom.

“He was taken with the level of detail that went into the renovation of that building and the fact that it was energy-efficient, had solar panels,” Haas said. “He just likes the building, and it has good cash flow.”

Totaling 15 units, the one- and two-bedroom apartments were fully leased at the time of the transaction, Haas said. Monthly rents start at $1,125 for a one-bedroom unit.

Haas said Chater is not planning changes to the property, which is managed by Gammino’s Urban Dwell Property Management. She said the firm is staying on as property manager.

Haas said the property was under contract to another buyer when Chater submitted a backup offer last fall. They were told the previous deal fell through and entered into negotiations, she said.

Built in 1930, the 18,000-square-foot building originally served as a service garage for a nearby Bliley’s funeral home. It was converted into apartments as a historic tax credit project and designed to meet LEED standards with energy efficiencies and technologies such as solar panels.

The sale adds to a growing trend of investment in Jackson Ward.

A couple blocks away, site work has started on developer Eric Phipps’ five-story, 167-unit apartment building at 2 E. Marshall St. A former newspaper office at 205 E. Clay St. just sold for $209,000. Architecture AF redeveloped and set up shop in a mixed-use building at 311 N. Second St., and across the road, restaurant Salt & Forge is set to open next month at 312 N. Second St.

Note: This story has been updated to include Lory Markham as part of the One South Commercial team that represented the seller.


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