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'Law Building' gets appropriate owners
Area law firm gets new digs

 For Rob Dodd, president of DLR Contracting and a history buff, renovating 'The Law Building' was a labor of love.
ROBERT A. MARTIN/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 11/18/2012

BY BILL FREEHLING

One of the Fredericksburg area's largest law firms has moved into its new home in an aptly named historic downtown building.

Parrish, Houck & Snead will open Monday on the top two floors of "The Law Building" at 910 Princess Anne St. The 16-member firm moved Friday from an office in Mill Race Commons that the business has leased for the past 22 years.

The law firm's partners formed an LLC in late 2010 to purchase "The Law Building" as well as a neighboring building and parking lot. Since then the partners have been relocating tenants at 910 Princess Anne and fine-tuning renovation plans.

Parrish, Houck & Snead worked with Spaces Design Studio on the architectural plans and hired DLR Contracting to do the construction work. DLR started work on the project in July and finished punch-list items this past week.

Most of the work was done on the inside of the building's second floor, which is where most of the firm's nine attorneys will have their offices. It will also be where the reception area and conference rooms are located.

For DLR Contracting President Rob Dodd, who served as project manager, the job was unlike most of what his company has done over the years. DLR has built countless new retail and office buildings for the Silver Cos. throughout the Fredericksburg area.

Dodd said he has done so many strip retail centers that he could practically build them in his sleep now. But the interior overhaul of the 19th-century "Law Building" was a more "personal" job that the longtime Civil War re-enactor and history lover very much enjoyed. His son, Keith, worked some on the job, and DLR staffer John Brookman was superintendent.

"It's good to have projects like this," Dodd said. "It keeps you fresh."

Parrish, Houck & Snead's attorneys--who picked their offices in the new building based on their seniority with the firm--say they are thrilled with the result and excited to open in the new space. Phone and fax numbers will remain the same.

Merrill Lynch continues to rent the majority of the first floor of the building, and there are a couple of additional tenants. Parrish, Houck & Snead has no plans to expand onto the first floor. The firm plans to put up a new sign outside the building soon.

In addition to the benefits of owning their own space, the firm's partners say they like the new location's history, visibility and location in a downtown corridor that is close to the new courthouse and an array of restaurants. At about 7,000 square feet, the office is also a little bigger than what the firm leased at Mill Race.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com