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Venable Street property facing imminent demolition

The recently condemned commercial corner building at 2322 Venable Street (dated circa 1882) is facing demolition “as soon as possible”:

Notice of Pending Demolition of Imminent Hazard to Public Safety – 2322 Venable Street

In accordance with Section 36-105 of the Code of Virginia, as the Commissioner of Buildings for the City of Richmond I have signed the attached imminent hazard order. This building has deteriorated to the point that its immediate removal is necessary. As a result of this order, the building will be removed, as soon as possible, by either the City of Richmond or the property owner.

If you have questions about the unsafe conditions and the code enforcement status of this building, please contact Michelle Coward, Code Enforcement Program Manager (at or 646-6357).

Please keep in mind that the issuance of the imminent hazard order means that in accordance with City Code Section Sec. 114-930.6. (j), for those properties in City Old and Historic districts demolition can proceed without a certificate of appropriateness being issued by the Commission of Architectural Review (CAR). Also if the building is an area identified for Federal funding, in accordance with the terms of the Richmond Programmatic Agreement, the City will complete Section 106 review of the property on an emergency basis.

If you have questions regarding these historic preservation programs please contact T. Tyler Potterfield (at 804-646-6364 or Mr. Potterfield can also add or remove individuals from the distribution list for future imminent notices.


Douglas H. Murrow, AIA, CBO
Commissioner of Buildings
City of Richmond
Planning and Development Review
Bureau of Permits and Inspections
900 East Broad Street, Room 110
Richmond, Virginia 23219
804.646.6958 – Office 804.646.4169
Cell 804.972.4786 – Fax 804.646.6948


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Cadeho 02/03/2014 at 8:41 PM

Eventually the only corner stores will be in the Fan, “the most historic neighborhood in Richmond.”

Next Friend 02/04/2014 at 8:57 AM

If you do a search of these owners’ other properties, you will find they own a few that are pretty regular blight problems. Unfortunately, unsophisticated owners like these see the prices of renovated properties nearby and think their shoddy property should go for the same price.
This is also an example of displacement by blight. No one can live in this building or operate a business here so long as this property is unstable.

Nearby neighbor 02/04/2014 at 2:48 PM

It is my understanding that if the city tears your building down then you have to pay the city back eventually. Is that correct? If so this will be a vacant lot for many many years to come. Because the owner who won’t sell for a reasonable price now, definitely won’t sell if he/she needs to make tons of money for themselves and pay back the city.

crd 02/04/2014 at 8:09 PM

@4 yes, that is correct, the city will bill the owner for the demo if the owner does not order it and pay for it.

P.Mayo 06/20/2014 at 8:35 PM

Unfortunately this building came down this afternoon.

BAF 06/21/2014 at 5:23 PM

What fascinates me is that an “imminent danger” as noted in bold in Mr. Murrow’s memo to the Thornes takes six months to abate. Only in Richmond can a building that “has deteriorated to the point that its immediate removal is necessary” mean drag your feet for six months. If this building were truly an imminent danger, it should have been down in February. Either it was not that imminent, or the city just drags it feet on everything, even alleged life/safety hazards.


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