The Main Street buildings for the Schewels Home corporate office headquarters and the former Leggett department store have been sold and will be redeveloped into a combination of residential and commercial space, a commercial real estate firm said Thursday.
Both properties were purchased by West on Church & Main LLC, according to a news release from Cushman & Wakefield — Thalhimer.
George Lupton and Norman Moon, with Cushman & Wakefield — Thalhimer, brokered the deal.
West on Church & Main is owned by local developer Tony West. Kandise Powell, West’s property manager, told The News & Advance on Thursday there are no building plans yet but the two properties will be used for rented residential use and most likely will be one- and two- bedrooms with less than 100 units.The Schewels building consists of 60,630 square feet at 1031 Main St. and was formerly owned by Schewels General Investment Partnership. The purchase price was $1.4 million, the news release states.
Schewels will be relocating its corporate offices. At the beginning of 2018, Schewels closed its furniture store on Main Street, consolidating inventory into its Timberlake Road location and ending a 120-year-old retail presence in downtown Lynchburg.
The Schewels corporate offices have been operating out of its former location on Main Street but will be moving into its new home at The Galleria at 915 Main St., which the company purchased and where it will be using the upper two floors in the next three weeks.
Marc Schewel, CEO of Schewels, said he will continue to lease the first-floor courtyard to the currently occupied businesses.
“We are excited about our new headquarters and also about the potential new uses of our old building,” Schewel told The News & Advance on Thursday. “I think it’s a great use for the building. It has a lot of history for us but we weren’t in a position to do any development.”
He said he is excited to have the company’s offices stay downtown amid all the new development.
“It makes it more attractive for us to continue having offices downtown,” he said.
There are a lot of memories and nostalgia associated with the building at 1031 Main St., Schewel said, and he hopes West will consider naming it the “Schewel” building when its complete.
The company was started by Elias Schewel in 1897, when he opened his first store at 206 12th St. selling furniture and housewares. The downtown location, at the corner of 11th and Main streets, opened in the early 1950s.
When Elias Schewel retired in 1920, he sold the business to his three sons, Abe, Ben and Ike, according to a 1997 News & Advance article. They expanded the business outside of Lynchburg into Altavista and Harrisonburg in the 1930s.
After World War II, Elias Schewel’s grandsons Elliot, Bert and Henry joined the business. In 1957, Ike and Henry sold their part of the company to other family members, and in 1986, Elliot’s family sold their part to Bert Schewel’s family.
Currently, Schewels Home is owned and operated by Marc and Jack Schewel, the fourth generation of the family, and Matt Schewel, the fifth generation.
The former Leggett store, a retail building consisting of 41,143 square feet at 1011 Main St., was formerly owned by Marketplace of Lynchburg LLC. The purchase price was $495,000, the release states.Leggett closed its downtown store in 1980, and the chain later was bought by Belk.