Commonwealth Architects
November 18, 2014

A Sweet Reuse: The Cookie Factory Lofts Celebrate Grand Opening

For nearly 80 years, the Southern Biscuit Works (FFV Interbake) baked cookies and snacks at its memorable baking facility in Richmond, Virginia. Now, The Rebkee Company, Commonwealth Architects, Branch and Associates, and The Capstone Contracting Co. are pleased to announce the rehabilitation of Interbake and the grand opening of The Cookie Factory Lofts in Richmond, Virginia on November 15. The $24 million rehabilitation of the former FFV Interbake Building transformed the 255,000 square foot bakery building into an upscale residential community featuring 178 apartments.


The distinctive neon roof-top sign has been restored as part of this rehabilitation and once again brightens the Richmond skyline. Residents are moving into the first phase of completed units. Though the enticing aroma of freshly baked cookies will no longer drift through the
neighborhood, architectural remnants of the building’s history have been incorporated into the new design.

KL8A5815Commonwealth Architects reconfigured the cavernous 255,000 square foot bakery into 178 apartments with amenities. The transformation of the historic building into residential units blends contemporary living with the distinctive industrial character of the original baking facility.

“The large floor plates and raw industrial nature of the building made it ideal for conversion into contemporary living spaces. The juxtaposition of requirements for modern lifestyles against the historic fabric of the building create a dynamic environment,” said Lee Shadbolt, a principal at Commonwealth Architects.

A new two-story glass entry leads into a light filled central two-story space. Large, original industrial steel sash windows bring natural light into the apartments throughout while new skylights bring light into the corridors. The new community offers 12 studios, 98 one-bedroom, 61 two-bedroom and 7 three-bedroom units. Two original rotating ovens in the tower offer unique design opportunities for six apartments.

One of the most unique features of the project is the view overlooking the new Washington Redskins Training Center. Located near the Boulevard, The Cookie Factory Lofts are also within walking distance of The Science Museum, The Diamond and Movieland at Boulevard Square – another rehabilitation project by Commonwealth Architects.Project amenities include a community room, fitness center, pool, and a sitting area with fireplaces.

Given the industrial nature of the building, the urbane interiors are an unexpected mix of the old and the new. Concrete columns, industrial maple floors, stained concrete floors, and brick walls are the backdrop for units that have high-end finishes, granite countertops and bamboo cabinetry.

The original Southern Biscuit Works Company was founded in Richmond in 1899 and opened the bakery factory that has just been rehabilitated in 1927. In 1939, the Southern Biscuit Company became an officially licensed baker of Girl Scout cookies.

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