Center for Healthy Living
2900 Nine Mile Road
UrbanCore was awarded the job after submitting a thorough and competitive bid and completing the necessary construction work for the client as directed by the site plans.
2600 Nine Mile Road was an abandoned gas station and convenience store known as Parsley’s. The building was completely dilapidated when Bon Secours purchased it in 2014. We completed an adaptive reuse of 3,000 square feet and added an additional 1,900 square feet to the rear. We also created a community commercial kitchen, conference room and coffee shop. This was an adaptive reuse project.
Our Role: Development & Construction
Developer: UrbanCore Construction
Client: Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital
Designer: Steward H&G
THE PROJECT: Build up. Don’t tear down.
For 110 years, Bon Secours has operated a community hospital in the East End, and recently made a promise to invest in one of Richmond’s most at-risk communities and create a welcoming presence.
That promise is fulfilled in the Bon Secours Center for Healthy Living Sarah Garland Jones Center. This adaptive reuse project transformed a dilapidated gas station, Parsley’s, into a place where members of the community can meet, enjoy a cup of coffee, and talk about the issues that matter (and of course, just-as-important small talk). The center also gives employees of the Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital – located just across the street – a place to take a break and engage with members of the community. Previously, there was nowhere to wander outside the hospital walls.
THE CHALLENGE: Tear down. Then build back up.
The gas station renovation included creating a community commercial kitchen. The 1,100-square-foot space offers hands-on cooking classes and nutrition education. For residents of a food desert-neighborhood laden with chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, it’s also an outlet to learn simple healthy cooking methods.
But there was no foundation footing to hold a kitchen in place, and an existing brick wall was in the way. UrbanCore teams tore down an existing brick wall to construct proper footings, and later rebuilt the wall with historic brick – a re-construction so seamless that you’d have no idea the old wall ever temporarily disappeared.
THE RESULT: Good healthcare. Great neighbors.
Construction details include an outdoor park with benches (almost always full), a roll-up garage door on the café and meeting space, and even a reuse of the gas station canopy to provide shade to benches and tables below.
A new 1,800 square foot addition will be home to the Front Porch Café, a coffee shop operated by Church Hill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT) to provide job training and build life skills for young adults in the area, many of whom lack older adult role models.
Bon Secours believes that good healthcare is provided outside the walls of a hospital, in the communities that it serves. The health system lives this mission by creating a safe space for families, civic and religious groups, and non-profits to learn and gather.
Many who have lived in the neighborhood for decades are happy to see life come back to a once ramshackle corner near the center of some of the city’s most vulnerable populations. We were honored to help it come to life.
Images courtesy of Mick Anders