Norfolk, Virginia


100,300 square feet

Completion Date

Spring 2021


A new community of creative business will occupy a restored 400 Granby Street as a “campus” for creators and technology innovators, coming in 2021.

The four-story office “campus” is called Assembly, it is “a space designed to connect ideas and the people who make them,” according to the Assembly website. Drew Ungvarsky, CEO of GROW, a digital innovation agency said, “As we considered GROW’s expansion, we thought to align to a broader purpose: strengthen our city, advance our industry and plant a flag for our community that no one can miss.”

Assembly is occupying three historic buildings on Granby, the Ames & Brownley, c . 1919, which became Rice’s Department Store; Sears & Roebuck and an adjacent warehouse. Since 1992, the buildings have accommodated multiple City departments, which are being relocated.

Tenants in addition to GROW will include Work Program Architects, which is designing the project, 757 Startup Studios, Ario, Simon Studio, and RISE (Resilience Innovations). The studios, to accommodate 35 young entrepreneurs in 100,000 s.f., are being subsidized by 757 Angels, a local angel investor and 757 Accelerate, both of which also will join Assembly. Rent often is a stumbling block for young businesses, and Assembly also offers shared amenities they couldn’t afford on their own.

The buildings will be restored to their original beauty, with architectural details revealed. Inside, cubicles and walls will be removed to open the space. The first floor will serve as Assembly’s “living room,” with a reception area, residential furnishings, a 2,000 s.f. restaurant and coffee shop, phone booths, a large reconfigurable meeting room, open desks, and tuck-away places for conversation. GROW will occupy the second floor. The third floor will contain larger suites, accommodating 15 to 30 people, a library, and podcast room. WPA will reside on the 4 th floor, which opens to a roof deck. All landings will be furnished, generous spaces to encourage spontaneous “collisions,” among tenants.

Assembly will be packed full of shared amenities. A central atrium in space previously belonging to an historic elevator, links the floors and rooftop deck and penthouse, along with gathering spaces and casual work areas. Also included are an event space, a large conference room that can be scheduled by any of the users, wellness space, podcast recording room, game room, bike share and bike storage. These shared spaces will create a great experience for Assembly “residents.” Seating at outdoor tables along Granby Street will allow the public to glimpse the energy and creativity within.

The project will be completed in two phases, beginning with the Ames & Brownley building, 50,000 SF on Granby Street, Phase 2 is the Sears buildings, 53,000 SF, facing Freemason Street and Monticello Avenue. The intent is to offer world-class design to enable collaboration, shared resources and programming.

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400 Granby Street  Suite 301 Norfolk, VA 23510 Studio: (757) 227-5310

© 2021 WPA Website in care of Array Digital
400 Granby Street
Suite 301
Norfolk, VA 23510
(757) 227-5310
© 2021 WPA
Website in care of Array Digital