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Waukeshaw Development Holds Grand Opening Ceremony of Chief Tassel

Waukeshaw Development Holds Grand Opening Ceremony of Chief Tassel
The third-floor view at the Chief Tassel building in Uptown Martinsville

Waukeshaw Development is excited to announce that it will officially open Chief Tassel at a grand opening ceremony scheduled for Thursday, April 28th at 2 PM at 51 E. Church St. in Martinsville. There will be a brief speaking program followed by tours of the building. All are invited.

Waukeshaw entered into a redevelopment agreement with the City of Martinsville for the Chief Tassel building in 2020. After conducting environmental remediation and a top to bottom renovation, the building has maintained its historic use as a mixed-use property with a modern reimagining of style and amenities. It now accommodates 2 commercial office spaces on the ground floor including a conference room and 21 residential units in the remainder of the building. Half of these units are furnished and will be leased as short-term rentals to traveling professionals and others.

The Chief Tassel building was constructed in 1929 and is an architectural cornerstone of Uptown Martinsville. Over time, the building was underutilized and began to deteriorate significantly.

The City of Martinsville acquired the property in 2018 and sought redevelopment proposals, ultimately choosing Waukeshaw as the right group for the project. This is Waukeshaw’s second Martinsville project. The company completed the redevelopment of the Henry Hotel and transformed it into The Henry in 2015, another mixed-use historic property just across Church Street from Chief Tassel.

Waukeshaw worked closely with the City of Martinsville and received assistance from the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, the Uptown Partnership, and Complete Community Economies to bring this project to fruition. Special thanks are due to Martinsville Zoning Administrator, Kris Bridges for his partnership, and to the Harvest Foundation for highlighting Chief Tassel’s redevelopment potential and the need for housing in the community during their 2019 Housing Summit.

Waukeshaw, which specializes in adaptive reuse and historic preservation work, employed historic tax credits as part of the redevelopment and will receive Enterprise Zone incentives.

Additionally, the City received a grant from the Virginia Brownfields Assistance Fund from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Department of Environmental Quality for environmental remediation work.

“We were thrilled to come back to Martinsville for this project. The Henry has been a true success for us, and we jumped at the opportunity to work with the City again on a project right across the street”, remarked Waukeshaw President, Dave McCormack. “The City has seen such a demand for housing amidst multiple economic development wins, and we are confident that these spaces are really needed to continue the upward trend Martinsville is experiencing.”

“Waukeshaw has proven to be a fantastic development partner for Martinsville. The City is seeing tremendous economic development activity, and this investment shows that the demand for market-rate housing and commercial space is here to stay,” commented City Manager Leon Towamicki.

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