The Henrico County Planning Commission gave approval Wednesday morning to plans for a new Pleasants Hardware store along West Broad Street.

The iconic local chain is closing its flagship location on West Broad Street near the Fan District and moving 1.5 miles west to 4402 W. Broad St. in Henrico.

Pleasants is taking over the building that had been used for years by Motley’s Asset Disposition Group, which moved its headquarters and operations center to Deepwater Terminal Road across Interstate 95 from the Philip Morris USA factory in May.

The retailer is moving to make way for The Sauer Center, a proposed urban mixed-use development on West Broad Street near Hermitage Road that will include the region’s second Whole Foods Market.

The new Pleasants will be just east of Westmoreland Street. It will be sandwiched in between Owen Suter’s Fine Furniture and a Mini Price Storage facility.

Plans for the new Pleasants call for the developer to renovate the current 28,302-square-foot Motley’s Auction building, demolish a 4,700-square-foot building on the site and add a 24,220-square-foot addition.

The new Pleasants store will have about 25,000 square feet of sales floor, just like the existing location, said James T. Hatcher III, president of Pleasants Hardware. The new location also will include the chain’s headquarters.

Hatcher said the company hopes to have the new store open by the end of the year.

While the building itself is in Henrico, the parking lot and entrance from West Broad Street is in Richmond.

Once the new location opens, Pleasants will have one remaining store within the city’s limits — on Patterson Avenue near Libbie Avenue in the city’s West End. The retailer owns six other stores in the Richmond area.

Hatcher said he thinks the move will provide good opportunities for Pleasants and for Sauer Properties Inc., the division of the Richmond-based global food manufacturer C.F. Sauer Co. that is redeveloping the current Pleasants location to make way for Whole Foods. C.F. Sauer has owned the Pleasants chain since 1989.

Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, which shares a parking lot with the Pleasants location that’s closing, will stay in its current location, said Henry Loving, owner of Lee’s Richmond location.

“Not to use a trite expression, but I think it’s a win-win,” he said.

Robert W. Witte Jr., who represents the Brookland District on the Henrico Planning Commission, offered Pleasants a warm welcome during the meeting at which the plan of development was approved.

“I think that this is a wonderful improvement, and I think that it’s going to be well-accepted,” he said. “I hope the construction doesn’t cause too much of a problem on Broad Street, but we’ll deal with it.”

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Online features editor Karri Peifer contributed to this report.

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