The most colorful building in Richmond is off the market.
The Gay Community Center of Richmond this summer listed its 50,000-square-foot building near the Diamond for $1.5 million but this month scrapped the idea to sell it.
The nonprofit runs its main moneymaker, Diversity Thrift, out of the building, which sits on 2.5 acres at 1407 Sherwood Ave. and has a rainbow-colored facade visible from I-95.
“When we put the building up for sale earlier in the year, we had no plan in regards to where we would move the store if the building sold,” said Bill Harrison, the head of the Gay Community Center organization. “It turns out the cost of leasing another location, with even less space than we have now, was going to be more expensive. And that didn’t include meeting spaces of offices or anything that we have in the current building.”
Harrison took the helm of the organization in February and has sought to realign the center to better meet the needs of the community. Recent moves included the shuttering of Diversity Thrift’s second location, DT2, on Main Street.
“It’s been a big year for us,” Harrison said. “We’ve made some adjustments ‑ cut some expenses and tightened the purse strings ‑ and by the end of the year we’ll have about $15,000 to $20,000 left over to distribute to other organizations and causes around town.”
Harrison said the center’s revenue generators ‑ bingo nights and the thrift store ‑ are doing well this year.
In 2011, the thrift store did more than $600,000 in sales, he said.
That part of the city has seen a lot of activity recently.
The Rebkee Company recently sold the neighboring Wyeth pharmaceuticals plant to Michael & Son, a heating and air conditioning servicing company that plans to use the property as a base of operations in Richmond.
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer is marketing part of the Wyeth property as office and industrial space that the HVAC company won’t be using.
“It’s actually really nice office space,” said Jim Ashby, the Thalhimer broker who represents Michael & Son “I was fairly surprised the first time I walked around it.”
A few blocks away, a large industrial property owned by local developer Charles Keck at 1650 Overbrook Road is headed to the auction block next month.