Monday, February 27, 2017

Spectrum Medical is set to open its new offices and begin taking patients at the former Dan River Research Building

Spectrum Medical is set to open its new offices and begin taking patients at the former Dan River Research Building — now River District Tower — at Bridge Street on Monday.

Danville Economic Development Director Telly Tucker said the relocation should increase patronage of downtown businesses.
“It can be exposure for businesses people have not seen,” Tucker said.
The new River District Tower — and Spectrum Medical — is “exactly the type of project we in economic development would like to continue to see,” he added. It’s what city officials expected when they embarked on the River District plan, Tucker said.
Orthopedics, pain management, spinal surgery, rheumatology, physical therapy and clinical research facilities will be under one roof instead of spread out in offices on Executive and Memorial drives — Spectrum’s previous locations.
The new facility will include more than 85 employees, said Spectrum Medical Human Resources Manager Cress Gillie.
River District Development LLC — with Dr. Mark Hermann of Spectrum Medical as president — handled the transformation of the historic building.

Also, Danville Regional Medical Center will move its Family Residency Medical Clinic to the building in April, said LeAnne Roller, DRMC director of physician relations and industry. The clinic is currently located across from the hospital.
DRMC’s Piedmont Surgery Clinic on Executive Drive will also follow in April, shortly after the relocation of the Family Residency Medical Clinic, Roller said.
The hospital’s School of Radiologic Technology will be the last to move into the River District Tower, she said.
DRMC will occupy about 24,000 square feet of space on the second floor and will have about 75 associates including employees, physicians and students, Roller said.
The moves are an opportunity to better serve the community, Roller said. Volume has increased in the two clinics.
“We anticipate more growth in both clinics,” Roller said.
The majority of Spectrum’s employees will park in the 400-space Newton’s Landing parking lot below Bridge Street, Tucker said. Parking also will be available in the 160-space parking deck — the old Acree’s Warehouse building — at 312 Bridge St., Tucker said.
Spectrum Medical’s patients can park across the street from the tower at the 125-space lot at the old Stove Furniture building, Gillie said.
City officials expect congestion, but not an unreasonable volume of traffic, Tucker said.
“Any potential detriment will be offset by the gain in patronage of downtown businesses,” Tucker said.
The River District was once the “heartbeat of the city” and River District Tower will help make it a vibrant business district for Danville, he said.
Developments like River District Tower are why Newton’s Landing — a former industrial dumping ground — was developed, Tucker said. Newton’s Landing became a parking lot in 2008.
Work on River District Tower and Spectrum Medical continued Friday.
“We will be working diligently over the weekend to get it [Spectrum Medical] ready,” Gillie said.
It will be “all hands on deck for the weekend,” Gillie added.
“We’re excited about the move,” she said. “Everything’s brand new — brand new equipment, brand new technology.”
Spectrum Medical will be operating at reduced volume for the next couple of weeks during the transition to the new facility, Gillie said.
“We’re working on a reduced schedule to work out all the kinks and make sure everything is running normal,” she said.
The office usually sees about 100-150 patients per day, Gillie said.
On the first floor of River District Tower are tenant spaces, including one planned for a pharmacy, and an area to be used by the Danville Historical Society as a small museum space highlighting the city’s history. Society member Sonja Ingram said the space will feature exhibits and should be open this year.
The annex on the north side of the building will have restaurant space, with a banquet hall — to be called Canal — on the first floor.
The first restaurant to open will be Cotton at Riverside Mill on the second floor. It is expected to open in June, with the possibility of a second fine dining restaurant or expansion of Cotton in the future.
John Crane reports for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact him at or (434) 791-7987.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Progress on the block: Two restaurants, storefronts, apartments planned for Craghead Street project

Rick Barker’s $10 million renovation of most of the 500 block of Craghead Street is moving along, with the first phase of the project — the Hughes and Venable buildings — on schedule for completion in May.

“It’s going pretty well,” Barker said, then laughed. “Of course, you always hope for faster and less expensive, but you rarely get that as part of a historic restoration.”
The two buildings, which span the current 528-536 street numbers on the block, are being painstakingly restored. The large, yellow-painted blocks on the Hughes building have been taken down so the building structure could be repaired, then replaced in exactly the same order to maintain the building’s historic value.
A few of the blocks were damaged beyond repair, Barker said, and since replacements are no longer made, the contractor created a mold from an existing block and poured new blocks to match.
Barker told the Register & Bee in October he estimates his total investment in the 500 block of Craghead Street will “exceed $10 million.”
Renovating old, historic buildings is more expensive than simply tearing them down and starting over, Telly Tucker, Danville’s director of economic development said.
The building will net four commercial spaces at street level and seven apartments upstairs.
Mark Smith, of Architectural Partners, said each of the apartments will feature unique designs.
“None of them will be the same size of layout,” Smith said. “These apartments are going to be special.”
Three of the four commercial spaces have already been spoken for, Barker said. He confirmed two will be restaurants, but declined to explain what type of restaurants or what the third space will contain.
Smith said storefronts will start going up shortly and work has begun on the 92-space parking lot that will stretch from the rear of the buildings to Lynn Street. The Industrial Development Authority will own the parking spaces and lease some for tenants on Craghead Street, with the remainder being public parking.
Barker said the design for the parking lot and rear of buildings also is being handled carefully, and there will be outdoor seating for the restaurants along the sides of the buildings.
“The landscaping will be pretty special and integrate with what we’re doing with the buildings,” Barker said. “We’re going to expose a creek, which will be a nice natural feature, and provide pockets of green space.”
A dilapidated, 1940s garage — which Barker said he considered demolishing — also will be restored and find new life as storage space for tenants.
While these buildings are on track for the May opening, two others — the Nabisco building and Virginia City Motors building — are being cleaned out and getting prepared for the next phase of reconstruction.
“When this is done, it will be a great urban setting,” Smith said. “All of the buildings will work well together.”
Barker first completed the first floor of 554 Craghead St., the former Piedmont Hardware Building, where he headquartered his company, Supply Resources, in 2015. He said the support he received for the renovation of the Piedmont Hardware Building encouraged him to take on further projects.
Denice Thibodeau is a reporter for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact her at or (434) 791-7985.

Monday, February 13, 2017

PHOTOS: Brewing equipment arrives

Ballad Brewing at 600 Craghead St. in Danville’s River District, received its brewing equipment this weekend and is in the process of setting it all up. If everything goes as planned, Garrett Schifflett, a managing partner for Ballad Brewing, and John Andorfer, head brewer, will have the first beer ready for testing in May. The brewery will have a total of 23 barrels for production. The various beers will be available to customers in the tap room by the glass or to take home. (Source: WORK IT, SOVA)

To view photos click link below

Video Tour of Ballad Brewery - River City TV