“We’re excited to bring new life to this old automotive building, and the new tenants will be great amenities to the neighborhood, the new student residences and the [University of Virginia] Medical Center complex,” said developer Mark Green.
Muy Pizza Southeast has leased space at 1001 W. Main St. for the Pizza Hut, which will be one of several restaurants in a restored building that previously housed Team Tire, an automotive repair site.
“We are excited about being in that part of our town,” said David Kingery of Muy Pizza.
The Pizza Hut will take up around a third of the 9,646 square feet building.
“We have leases out for additional stores, but I’m not in a position to make any announcements until the leases are signed,” Green said.
The lease was negotiated with help from John Pritzlaff of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. Pritzlaff has also been a broker for other recent renovations of area buildings.
A divided City Council voted in December 2013 to amend the historic district to include the Team Tire building and other structures along West Main. That means the Board of Architectural Review needed to be consulted before demolition could occur.
The BAR granted a certificate of appropriateness for the building’s design at a meeting in January.
Renovation work on the project stalled this year when work on the old roof was underway.
“As we got into the process, we found a lot of rotten wood, so we decided it was easier to remove it than repair,” Green said. “The delay in replacing it has been finalizing specific engineering requirements for tenant rooftop equipment.”
The building’s life began in the mid-20th century as a service station at a time when West Main was a key transportation hub. A portion of the building was used as a dance hall known as The Stagger Inn, according to a 1996 oral history included in a staff report to the council.
The building is across from the street from the UnCommon, a planned mixed-use residential development that will include 128 apartment units with a maximum of 365 bedrooms. It’s also located within a block of both the Flats at West Village and Republic Plaza.
Pizza Hut currently has only one store in the area, and that location only offers delivery. The new restaurant will be dine-in and employ a new concept for the chain.
“It has a more modern, open feel to it,” Kingery said. “The kitchen and dining room are connected and not two separate units.”
The restaurant also will stay open late in order to cater to university students. It also will offer a wide selection of beers.