Former supermarket is transformed into loft apartments in Martinsville

Martinsville is kicking off the summer with a new housing complex: the Historic Fayette Street Lofts. 

Located at the corner of Fayette and Moss Streets, the lofts are the culmination of a monthslong effort by JRS Realty Partners to transform Martinsville’s old Winn-Dixie building into housing. It’s the third project under the Historic Collective brand, which takes old unused buildings and renovates them for living spaces.  

The building was constructed in 1954 as a supermarket and was later converted into a furniture store. It has been vacant since 2014. 

Last year, JRS completed the School Drive Apartments in Collinsville and the Fieldale School Apartments in Fieldale.

The Historic Fayette Street Lofts is the first of two housing initiatives that JRS currently is working on for Martinsville. The other is One Ellsworth, a mixed-use complex and event space inside the old BB&T bank building on the corner of Church and Ellsworth streets. With 63 units currently planned, One Ellsworth and the Historic Fayette Street Lofts will bring 88 new housing units to Martinsville. 

The Fayette Street project includes 25 apartments that range in price from $745 to $895 per month. The lofts are split-level, with the lower level consisting of bathrooms, kitchens and living spaces and the loft area serving as a bedroom. 

About half of the units have a skylight, while all the units are built to be energy efficient. They feature stainless steel appliances, in-unit washers and dryers, ceiling fans and air conditioning, among other amenities. 

JRS Realty Partners are transforming an old Winn Dixie grocery store building into an apartment complex. Photo by Dean-Paul Stephens.

“As with each property, our goal has been to transition this building of historic relevance into attractive living environments that are affordable to members of our local workforce,” John Garland said. 

Garland and Jim Cherney are Roanoke-based investors who make up JRS Realty Partners. The firm was largely a response to the local need for new affordable housing in Henry County. 

It’s the hope of local officials that projects like the lofts will help facilitate growth. 

“This addition of 25 apartments will inject new life into Uptown Martinsville, complementing the upward momentum we’ve been experiencing,” said Mark Heath, director of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation. “With these new residents comes new spending in the Uptown district.”

The project is more than just 25 apartment units. By the August grand unveiling, the building is scheduled to have two retail storefronts and nine workspace studios called Make Your Space Studios, which will be offered to small businesses, nonprofits and artists. 

“These large spaces will provide infinite flexibility to the ‘doers and dreamers’ of our community, like startups fulfilling online orders, an instructor needing a larger studio, or the professional looking for a new office outside the house,” Cherney said.

Property Manager Hunter Clark shows off some of the loft apartments at the new complex. Photo by Dean-Paul Stephens.


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