WINCHESTER — The northeast corner of North Kent and East Piccadilly streets is being transformed one brick at a time.
Demolition crews from DeHaven’s Masonry Concrete in Frederick County have spent the last four weeks meticulously dismantling six buildings at the site, clearing the way for construction of a new mixed-use complex called EPicc Lofts.
Winchester Development Services Director Shawn Hershberger said on Tuesday that DeHaven was paid a flat rate of $115,000 plus tipping fees to remove four commercial structures from 202 to 214 E. Piccadilly St., plus two houses at 204 and 206 N. Kent St.
No timetable was established for the demolition, but Hershberger said the site should be cleared by the end of September.
“From the street level, it’s easy to think there isn’t progress being made, but they’re actually behind the buildings tearing things down,” Hershberger said.
It’s not the type of demolition where a wrecking ball is brought in to make short order of the buildings. Hershberger said DeHaven crews are salvaging as much of the block, metal and debris as possible for future building projects.
Work on EPicc Lofts — a five-story, $10 million to $11 million complex proposed to include 44 apartments, two retail stores or restaurants and indoor parking for all tenants — is expected to begin this spring.
“It will be approximately a 12-month build,” Hershberger said, meaning the structure should be completed in spring of 2021.
EPicc Lofts is a public-private partnership between Winchester’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Providence Capital Partners LLC. The EDA purchased the six properties between December 2017 and February 2018 for a total of $1,298,000. Once Providence is ready to begin construction, it will buy the site from the EDA for $1,062,000 and reimburse the authority for the demolition and hazardous materials abatement costs.
Hershberger said Providence Capital is pursuing financing through the Virginia Housing Development Authority, which includes a workforce housing stipulation requiring that 20% of the apartments have monthly rents that would be affordable to tenants who earn up to 80% of the area’s median household income of $46,466.