Pandemic Pivot: Bakery planned for Carver Opening in Carytown

Published by Mike Platania on  April 1, 2021 for Richmondbisense.com 

Not one to let the disaster that was 2020 put the kibosh on her dream of opening a kosher bakery in Richmond, Claudia Strobing is now Carytown-bound.

In the fall of 2019, Strobing, a Long Island, N.Y. native, signed a lease at 800 W. Marshall St. in Carver, where she was planning to open Claudia’s Bake Shop. Then the pandemic hit.

“We were getting ready to build, we had permits in Carver,” she said. “Then everything shut down.” Last spring, as VCU put its in-person classes on indefinite hold, so did Strobing with her plans for the bakery.

“My business model was based almost entirely on VCU students,” she said. “They were going to be the ones coming in every day, stopping in before class or on the way back from class.”

As the pandemic dragged on, Strobing said she eventually decided to terminate the Carver lease and begin thinking of other options.

She took a pit stop at Hatch Kitchen, an ever-expanding shared commissary kitchen and incubator on the Southside, where she sold her babka, challah and rugelach online.


Read More at Richmondbisense.com 

Popular Virginia Beach pizza place to open second location in Pungo

VIRGINIA BEACH — During the nearly 20 years that Brett Kassir and his business partners have operated ShoreBreak Pizza & Taphouse on Shore Drive, they’ve held fast to a simple concept: Keep it family-oriented.

Now, they’re taking that same approach across the city and building a second location off Princess Anne Road. Pungo Shorebreak will open in the spring next to the Sherwood Lakes neighborhood at 2750 Trent Place…

Read the full article at Pilotonline.com

Historic Chesapeake Church Celebrating Groundbreaking and Community This Weekend

Posted: Aug 16, 2021 / 07:03 PM EDT / Updated: Aug 17, 2021 / 09:29 AM EDT. 

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Nearly a year after a historic Chesapeake church went up in flames, the congregation is getting ready to celebrate breaking ground on their new building.

Last August, Gabriel Chapel AME Zion Church off Long Ridge Road caught on fire after it was struck by lightning.

While many churches were trying to find ways how to hold services virtually, Pastor Sandi Hutchinson says they were just trying to find spaces to have a service when many locations like libraries weren’t open yet.

“It’s been tough,” she said. “It hasn’t been just about the building the physical church back. It’s about building the morale of the people both physically and spiritually, whose families have been there for generations. We have people at our church who are 100 years old whose parents and grandparents attended in 1866 or donated land for it to be built.”


Read the article on wavytv.com.

 

CoVa Best of 2021: IONIC Client Awardees

Every year, Coastal Virginia Magazine hosts the Best of Readers Choice Awards. The magazine holds multiple rounds, gathering votes from the community to identify their favorite businesses, best service providers and stand-out individuals. With outstanding participation, the CoVa Awards results are widely recognized as the region’s de facto ranking of the Coastal VA business community every year. 

At IONIC, we consider ourselves lucky to partner with and build for top talent in Coastal Virginia, including many who were named in the recent 2021 results! We’d like to extend our congratulations to our partners and friends who received recognition: 

ShoreBreak Pizza and Taphouse – Overall Gold Best Family Dining/Casual, Overall Gold Best Sports Bar

The Rustic Spoon – South Side Gold Best Family Dining/Casual, Overall Gold Best Lunch, Overall Gold Best New Restaurant

Amber Ox Public House – Peninsula Silver Best Local Farm-to-Table Menu, Peninsula Bronze Best Overall Restaurant, Peninsula Gold Best Wings

Mancoll Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery – Overall Gold Best Cosmetic Surgery Center, South Side Gold Best Skin/Dermatology Practice

Navy Federal Credit Union – Overall Gold Best Credit Union, Overall Gold Best Financial Planning Company

Chartway Federal Credit Union – South Side Gold Best Credit Union

Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union – South Side Bronze Best Credit Union

Atomic Plumbing – Overall Gold Best Plumber

Patrick Henry Mall – Peninsula Gold Best Shopping Mall

Cheesesteak Brand Leases Former Starbucks Spot at Broad and Bowe

By Mike Platania | Posted by: Richmond BizSense on July 12, 2021 

Richmond’s Philly cheesesteak market is staying hot, as another option via a national chain is setting up shop near VCU.

Charleys Philly Steaks is preparing to open at 1500 W. Broad St. It will be the Ohio-based chain’s second store in the Richmond region, joining its spot in Chesterfield Towne Center that opened last fall.

Charleys has over 600 locations all over the globe, per its website.

Located near the intersection of West Broad and Bowe streets, the roughly 2,000-square-foot space was formerly home to a Starbucks. The coffee shop and its neighbors GameStop and DTLR were damaged during last summer’s riot.

While GameStop and DTLR reopened, Starbucks vacated its space, opening the door for Charleys and franchisee Ramy Yacoub.

“I went to VCU and I always went to that Starbucks,” Yacoub said. “I saw they left and thought it’s a perfect spot.”

Yacoub is leasing the space from landlord Harper Associates, which was represented in negotiations by Commonwealth Commercial’s Morgan Trible.

Charleys Philly Steaks is opening its second store in the Richmond region. (Courtesy of Charleys Philly Steaks)
Charleys’ cheesesteaks range from $7 to $11. In addition to traditional Philadelphia-style cheesesteaks, Charleys also offers variations like Buffalo-, teriyaki- and California-style cheesesteaks.


Read More on Richmond BizSense

Texas Education, Training Content Developer Will Relocate HQ to Richmond

Vytal Studios to invest $6.8M, create 155 jobs

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 9, 2021BY SYDNEY LAKE

Education and training content developer Vytal Studios will invest $6.8 million to move its corporate headquarters from Austin, Texas, to Richmond, creating 155 jobs, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.

The company will renovate the facility at 1802 Semmes Ave. to include studio space for filming content and office space for development and post-production functions.

“With one of the largest skilled tech workforces in the nation, Virginia continues to attract creative, forward-thinking businesses like Vytal Studios,” Northam said in a statement. “Central Virginia’s strong education system, talent pipeline and quality of life have helped make our commonwealth an epicenter of entrepreneurial activity and technology growth.”

Vytal Studios was founded in 2018 and develops custom employee and online training products, including assessments to gauge aptitude, attitude and interest of employees or potential employees for jobs. The company plans to work with Virginia Commonwealth University to develop an “extended reality cluster” in Richmond through nonprofit One Vytal Difference. Further details have yet to be disclosed.

“Virginia, specifically Richmond, has everything an emerging creative technology company wants,” Vytal Studios CEO Jim Smith said in a statement. “Access to talent and higher education institutions, a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, local and state governments that get it, and just a super cool vibe that reminds me of Austin 10 years ago. I feel we can be a ‘Vytal’ member of the community and drive growth that draws the extended reality industry as a whole to a home in Virginia.”

Virginia competed with Florida and North Carolina for the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Richmond and the Greater Richmond Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Northam approved a $500,000 Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund grant to help the city of Richmond with the project and Vytal Studios is eligible to receive Virginia Enterprise Zone Program benefits. VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide employee training activities.

“Our tech talent was a major driver in Vytal Studios’ decision to relocate from Austin to the city of Richmond and continue its fast-growing momentum,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement. “Virginia’s higher education system is committed to providing the training and opportunities to build the workforce of the future to attract and retain high-caliber companies, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Vytal.”

Rita’s Italian Ice Set to Open at The Strand in Virginia Beach

By ERIC HODIES /  | MAY 25, 2021 AT 10:00 AM / Pilotonline.com 

Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard, a Pennsylvania-based chain with more than 600 locations, is planning to open a 1,000-square-foot store in early 2022 at 3244 Holland Road. (Eric Hodies)

Who’s moving into the new strip shopping center, near the intersection of Holland Road and Lynnhaven Parkway?
Rita’s Italian Ice is leasing 1,000 square feet in The Strand shopping center at 3244 Holland Road.

 


Read More at Pilotonline.com

IONIC Awarded Vytal Studios New Headquarters in Richmond, VA

We are excited to announce that Ionic DeZign Studios was awarded a new office project for community-focused tech company, Vytal Studios, as they move headquarters to Richmond, VA!

Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia successfully competed with Florida and North Carolina for the project, which will create 155 new jobs.

Vytal Studios is a technology-based educational content developer and production company that will be investing $6.8 million as they relocate from Austin, TX to 1802 Semmes Avenue in RVA. We’re designing the new office, along with renovations of the previous historical structure, as well. The area will include studio space for filming content and office space for development and post-production functions.

Established in 2018, Vytal Studios is a technology company that builds and delivers custom employee and online training through immersive learning on a proprietary platform. Vytal Studios leverages the power of its state-of-the-art LED Video Wall production, Virtual Studio, combined with Epic Games Unreal Engine technology to create custom learning and development content. Vytal Studios can create any environment or simulation its clients desire to resemble a learner’s work experience and maximize training effectiveness. With a team of learning specialists and best-in-class production managers, Vytal provides everything a company needs to create and deliver high-quality, engaging learning content, from script to finished product.

Vytal intends to engage the local community and collaborate with Virginia Commonwealth University and local stakeholders to develop an extended reality cluster in Richmond through a nonprofit organization called One Vytal Difference.

“Our tech talent was a major driver in Vytal Studios’ decision to relocate from Austin to the City of Richmond and continue its fast-growing momentum,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Virginia’s higher education system is committed to providing the training and opportunities to build the workforce of the future to attract and retain high-caliber companies, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Vytal.”

“Virginia, specifically Richmond, has everything an emerging creative technology company wants,” said Jim Smith, Vytal Studios CEO. “Access to talent and higher education institutions, a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, local and state governments that get it, and just a super cool vibe that reminds me of Austin 10 years ago. I feel we can be a ‘Vytal’ member of the community and drive growth that draws the extended reality industry as a whole to a home in Virginia.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Richmond and the Greater Richmond Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Richmond with the project. Vytal Studios is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“I am so excited and pleased to see Vytal Studios come to Southside Richmond,” said Delegate Betsy Carr. “Not only will the company provide much-needed, good-paying jobs, its goal is to provide training to allow participants to become more successful employees and companies—a win-win for everyone. Moreover, its commitment to forming a nonprofit and working with Virginia Commonwealth University to develop an extended virtual reality cluster will enhance our community, making it even more appealing for families and businesses.”

IONIC is excited to be part of this amazing project and we look forward to sharing more details as they come. 

KDH Gives Preliminary Approval to Unnamed New Coffee Shop (Starbucks?)

As shared by By Kip Tabb | Outer Banks Voice on August 9, 2021

By a unanimous vote at its Aug. 9 meeting, the Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners gave preliminary approval for a proposed 2,500-square-foot drive-through coffee shop at 1208 S. Croatan Highway.

There was little discussion about the site plan. Mayor Ben Sproul commented there was a lot of detail provided in the plan. “It looks pretty thorough to me,” he said.

Commissioner John Windley added, “The neighbors of the property are very excited.”

The location is between Walgreens and AutoZone. The building currently houses several retail businesses — including OBX Scooters Vapors & Glass and Outer Banks Florist & Formals.

If the project moves forward, the existing building will be torn down.

Submission of the site plan and engineering was made by the MPF Investment Company. According to Jeffrey Fabrikant, General Partner, the new building will be a drive-through coffee shop, but at this time, the name has not been publicly disclosed.

However, on the architectural renderings of the new building created by Ionic Dezign Studios of Virginia Beach, the website PDF lists the rendering as Starbucks Kill Devil Hills\02_Design.

The preliminary plans do call for some improvements to the property, including improved access to adjacent properties and the possibility of improving Blue Jay Street, which is currently a dirt path behind the property, for safer access to the property.


Read More on Outerbanksvoice.com

See us in the HRACRE Newsletter

Founder and President D. Eugene Thompson was recently featured in HRACRE’s Fall 2017 HRACRE Newsletter, “The Voice.” Check it out on page 2:

The Voice – Fall 2017

Two offices to serve you better. Headquarters in Hampton Roads. Second office in Central Virginia.

Find out more about IONIC

IONIC Vision: Creating Places and Spaces that Enrich the Lives of Those Who Use Them.