The First National building, an example of turn-of-the-century Neoclassical Revival architecture, dates back to 1913. It was the first skyscraper in Richmond, crowning the city skyline until its height was surpassed in 1930, according the National Park Service. Developers kept intact historic features such as columns, marble detailing and plaster ceiling vaults. The plan for the former bank branch on the first floor is to lease it to a restaurant or retailer, Lowe said. “The lobby is iconic, but then you go on the elevator into a brand new community,” he said.
The building’s owner, Rushmark Properties in Fairfax, bought the property in 2000 for $9.5 million. The most recent tenant was BB&T Corp., which moved into Riverfront Plaza in 2010.
The renovation began in December 2011.