Staunton Steam Laundry building to become apartments, commercial space

A Richmond developer known for breathing new life into some of Staunton’s larger historic buildings wants to preserve another piece of the Queen City’s history.
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 3:24 PM EST
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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - A Richmond developer known for breathing new life into some of Staunton’s larger historic buildings wants to preserve another piece of the Queen City’s history.

Staunton Steam Laundry closed at the end of 2020 after more than a century in business. Now, the historic building is about to get a makeover.

“It would be just terrible to tear that old building down and start from fresh,” Robin Miller of Miller and Associates said. “It’s a great location. The building’s in excellent shape. It was well maintained and it’s a easy walk to downtown Staunton.”

The developer and a partner just bought the property, and they plan to turn it into 48 apartments with some commercial space.

“Something like a restaurant, a wine bar, a brew pub, a brewery, a distillery,” Miller said.

The goal is to preserve the historic fabric and character of the buildings.

“It’s all about adaptive reuse,” Miller said. “Saving the history but turning it into a use that actually benefits the community and is economically viable.”

It’s something Miller knows a lot about. He is responsible for the ‘Old Y’ condominiums, the Beverley Apartments, and he’s about halfway through the Villages at Staunton.

“I hope to finish the rest sometime in the next 17 years,” Miller said then laughed. He adds that doing it this way often costs more than a new-build, and it’s not easy.

“You can’t move a wall. You can’t say well let’s make it two feet bigger, shift this wall out. You can’t do that in existing buildings,” Miller said. “It’s much more difficult and challenging which is why we like it.”

Miller isn’t sure what they’ll do yet with the large metal building also on the property, but as far as the apartments, he hopes to start construction this summer.

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