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Investor pads Petersburg portfolio with $3M building buy

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Gagan Marwaha of Marwaha Investments bought a seven-story old bank building at 30 Franklin Street in a transaction that closed on July 15. (Jonathan Spiers Photography).

One of Petersburg’s skyscrapers is in the hands of a new owner who has recently been acquiring in the city.

Gagan Marwaha of Marwaha Investments bought a seven-story old bank building at 30 Franklin Street in a transaction that closed on July 15.

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The deal totaled $ 3.2 million, according to Marwaha, who purchased a multipurpose building through LLC. Petersburg’s online asset record did not reflect this week’s transaction.

The seller was 30 Franklin LLC, an entity owned by developer Tom Wilkinson. City records show that LLC has owned the building since it purchased it for $ 2.6 million in 2019. Wilkinson previously owned real estate under another LLC.

Formerly the BB & T branch, the building was previously renovated in 2012. Wilkinson has included Monument in its project, which includes a historic conservation tax credit. The city recently valued half-acre land for $ 1.8 million.

Wilkinson and Marwaha have done business before.Wilkinson late last year Sell ​​Cameron Loft Building $4.4 million from 325 Brown St. to Marwaha.

Marwaha’s other Petersburg properties include the Old Town Flats Apartments at 230 N. Sycamore Street and Bank Street’s Plaza at 25 W. Bank Street. Earlier this year, he paid $ 900,000 to the adjacent multipurpose building, 246 N. Sycamore Street. To Old Town Flats.

Mr. Malwaha said the deal with Cameron Loft resulted in another deal between Cameron Loft and Wilkinson. In addition to Franklin’s 30 buildings, Wilkinson also sold a parking lot with an ATM lease across the street at 32 E. Washington Street, Marwaha said.

“He knows I’m a credible buyer. I really believe that the cap (capitalization rate) is reasonable and the rent growth is astounding, so I myself in Petersburg I’m trying to broaden my footsteps, “Malwaha said.

“The city itself is growing, so I’m trying to get in when growth is immature,” he said. “Richmond is so mature that I think he can get more value for his dollar at (Petersburg).”

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Marwaha said nearly $600,000 was spent on upgrading the 30 Franklin Building, which currently houses event venues on the ground floor, two floors of commercial space and 20 floors of apartments. His company, of which he is the sole owner, purchases and invests in real estate through its sister company, Marwaha Real Estate.

30 There are plans to upgrade the apartment and event space, which operates as the Franklin Event and Conference Center. Where the space used to host weddings and parties, Marwaha said it is remaking the space as a more traditional conference center for hosting city and business events.

He said the building’s theater room will be built into a 6,500-square-foot ground floor space. This is a move aimed at returning the room to its past use.

“The real purpose was to act as a visitor center for the general public. I want to get it back,” said Marwaha.

“I want to make the building a landmark in the city,” he added. “We have a mix of tenants on the second floor and we will maintain this. The first floor will be strengthened (as) as a business and conference center.”

Marwaha said he was half vacant when he bought the building, but has since leased the apartment and office space completely.

He said the third floor was signed by a local government that occupies the entire 5,100-square-foot space. He refused to identify the office. Upstairs tenants include Commonwealth Transport, a non-profit Family Lifeline, and a dispatched labor company.

The apartment upgrade will take place when the unit lease is delivered. Planned enhancements for the one-, two- and three-bedroom units include new flooring, countertops and other upgrades that Marwaha said will bring them up to market prices.

“The goal is to get market rent,” he said, explaining that building rents are rarely on the market. Apartment sizes range from 600 to 1,200 square feet. According to Maruwaha, the common area will also be renovated.

The renovation will also rehabilitate the clubhouse on the 7th floor. According to Maruwaha, rooftop amenities are not available because there is an antenna on the roof and the city rents it. He said those leases would continue.

Interior refurbishment is already underway and Marwaha expects it to be completed in 60 to 90 days. Exterior upgrades are also planned and will begin in November.

Concrete contractor Richmond Primoid is working on the exterior, and Marwaha said it will protect the façade and repair leaks. He described external construction as the main cost of the project. This project was funded through Chesapeake Bank.

“I’m going to spend a lot of money on the curb’s charm just to make it look good,” he said. “I want companies to host events and conferences there.”

Petersburg was Marwaha’s heart, but his portfolio includes single-family and multi-family homes, commercial and mixed-use buildings, and land in the commercial districts of Metro Richmond and Williamsburg.

Marwaha, 38, a VCU graduate with an MBA in Finance, launched Marwaha Investments in 2015 after working for several years as a power trader and fuel trading analyst at Dominion Energy. He also spent several years as Sunoco’s Fuel Supply and Logistics Manager.

Born in India, Marwaha moved to Richmond in 2006 to attend the VCU. He said he learned the real estate business from Jay Epstein, the Williamsburg-based builder and developer behind the solar power company Health-E-Community Enterprises in Virginia. Villa in RockettsLanding Subdivision built with Fulton, Jefferson Green Condo Next to Jefferson Park.

Marwaha said he was the first homebuyer at the Rockets Landing villa and has since acquired additional properties.

“I like real estate and Jay Epstein really taught me business,” Marwaha said. “I wasn’t going to be a businessman. It just came my way. I liked it and continued.”

Marwaha Investments has offices in Petersburg and Williamsburg, in addition to the local offices on 7520 Brook Road. The Brook Road Office is one of several adjoining plots that Marwaha has edited over the years along its scope, with the long-term goal being a multi-tenant office and retail development to be anchored by Marwaha Investments. Said that.

He said he continues to look for investment opportunities throughout central Virginia.

“I’m basically looking everywhere. I have a very aggressive growth plan,” he said. “We go to problematic properties, repair them, and bring them to market value. That’s the basic strategy.”

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