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History of Fulton Hill Studios and Artisan Hill

“I love this neighborhood. With a rich history and a diverse and engaged community, Greater Fulton, is a great place to be. This place has lots of green space, with parks full of fun things to do. I came here long ago, when the old school was full of artists renting out the classrooms as studios, and there was still a small grocer down on Williamsburg Road. There have been lots of changes, like the breweries and brewpubs, bike trail and the BRT, but the people are still friendly, and many homes are occupied by residents who grew up in this neighborhood. I want Artisan Hill to be an integral part of this community, and, like this community, inclusive and welcoming.”

– Margaret Freund, President and Owner of Fulton Hill Properties

Artisan Hill would not have happened without one person’s vision and leadership. Born and raised in Richmond, Margaret Freund has long been a champion of repurposing older buildings as a way to provide community and energy to often underserved neighborhoods. She has been a private developer in Richmond for over 20 years, with projects representing more than $85 million of investment in the city.

A leader in the development industry, Margaret is continually exploring new ideas in commercial and residential development, infill, historic renovation, financing and sustainability. She concentrates much of her work in the city’s Old & Historic Districts, which adds a level of complexity and care to each project. This is often not an easy task and certainly not a quick endeavor. But, as she likes to say, “if this were easy, everyone would do it.”

The renewal and redevelopment of Artisan Hill has been something Margaret envisioned more than 20 years ago when she purchased the Fulton Hill Studios where she was a tenant. She renovated the studios and continued supporting the arts community by providing an enclave for creativity for artists and musicians. In fact, Margaret was a bassist and singer songwriter in a band that rehearsed in the basement, “Theories of the Old School”.

Her interest in the arts and music has informed a lot of her other projects including the serving as the first board president of Art 180, the development of a music venue on the waterfront and developments of mixed use properties in historic areas throughout Richmond. She has also been the driving force behind such projects as Bottoms Up Pizza and the Flood Zone (before there was a flood wall); Lady Byrd Hat, Canal Crossing, and Haxall View, a former eye-sore that is now transformed and home to both residential and commercial tenants.

Margaret’s hard work and commitment has been recognized and she has been the recipient of many awards and honors including the Andrew Asch Historic Developer Award, being named one of CREW Richmond’s Top 20 Women in Real Estate and selected as a Mayoral Appointee to the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Task Force. She has also served on the Technical Assistance Panels for the Urban Land Institute, 2nd Street Project, as president of the board of directors, Art 180 and on the Local Initiatives Support Corporation Institute Greater Fulton’s Future steering committee.

Artisan Hill is a culmination of more than two decades of planning and hard work. We look forward to sharing this special development with you soon.