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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Sophia Street houses to be renovated into offices

521 and 523 Sophia St. Click for a larger image.

Local real estate investor Rich McDaniel plans to renovate two waterfront properties he owns on Sophia Street in downtown Fredericksburg into office buildings. The properties are at 521 and 523 Sophia St. Serenity Home of Fredericksburg currently uses them to provide residential substance abuse services for men, but the organization will be moving to a property it owns at 316 Bridgewater St. in the city.

McDaniel will use the historic tax credit program to renovate the properties, one of which dates back to 1746 and is among the oldest in the city, and hopes to start this spring after Serenity Home moves. The renovation will likely take about six months. He plans to relocate the businesses he oversees — Hilldrup Properties Inc. and CBRE’s local brokerage office — from their current home on Central Road in the city to one of the renovated offices (likely the one on the left while facing the property). McDaniel will seek to rent the other one to a professional-oriented business such as a law firm. The properties are across Sophia Street from the city’s parking garage.

McDaniel’s plans are on the city’s Feb. 13 Architectural Review Board agenda.