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New Owners for Richmond’s 110-Year-Old Mutual Building, Maritime Square Building in Newport News

7 May 2014, 9:10 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

One of Richmond’s first high-rise office buildings is under new ownership. Parmenter Realty Partners has sold the 110-year-old Mutual Building to 909 Main, L.L.C., an entity associated with Shamin Hotels, for about $3.3 million.

Located at 909 Main St. in the city’s central business district, the 12-story building offers 132,434 square feet of space. According to a statement, it was 31 percent leased to a single tenant at the time of the sale.

The new ownership won a competitive bidding through Auction.com. Eric Robison and Catharine Spangler of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s capital markets team handled the sale on behalf of the seller.

“The Mutual Building has an abundance of  history and its location in the Main Street Banking Historic district provides a number of different options for future use.” said Eric Robison, senior vice president at Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, in a statement.

On April 9, Robinson and Spangler represented Blue Sage Ventures in its $8.6 million acquisition of Maritime Square building, located at 2600 Washington Ave. in downtown Newport News. The new owner is an affiliate of the Simpson Organization of Atlanta, Georgia.

Completed in 1970, the Maritime Square building offers 135,103 square feet of space and was 72% leased at the time of the sale. The property was renovated in 2012, adding improvements to its lobby and common areas, as well as modern, high-quality finishes.

“Maritime Square has a unique presence in the Hampton Roads office market as the only significant office building available for lease in downtown Newport News,” Robison commented in a statement. “The sale to an owner with the experience of the Simpson Organization ensures that the recent leasing momentum and commitment to quality in the building will continue into the future.”

Photo credits: Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer


Redskins’ New Training Complex Wins Award for Project of the Year

30 Apr 2014, 3:43 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Though the Washington Redskins’ 3-13 record left the team far short of the Super Bowl last season, the franchise did bring home at least one award. The Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center was recently named project of the year by the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate.

The 40,000-square foot complex opened in Richmond last July in time for summer training camp. Located on a 17-acre site behind the Science Museum of Virginia, the facility features two full-sized football fields, a practice field, a gymnasium and locker rooms, as well as improved amenities for fans.

Built at a cost of $10.8 million, the project is part of an economic development deal between the city and Bon Secours. It is expected to bring $40 million in investment to Richmond and create several hundred jobs.

The Richmond Economic Development Authority serves as the facility’s manager. Other pro football teams are considering developing training centers patterned on the new facility.

More than 165,000 people gathered last summer to watch the Redskins train, but the team uses the complex only three weeks per year. The Bon Secours Virginia Health System uses the complex year round as a full-service sports medicine rehabilitation and men’s health center. Other features include a a 2.5-acre public park with a running and walking trail, a 500-seat amphitheater, a children’s music garden and a water wall.

“It’s great because it’s very functional and everything is extremely accessible for the players,” said Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. “The proximity of the weight room, training room and locker room makes each day a smooth process for us. I can’t wait to be back there in a few months.”

Photo: redskinsrva.bonsecours.com

Armada Hoffler to Redevelop Williamsburg Outlet Mall

24 Apr 2014, 4:34 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc., a Virginia Beach-based REIT,  announced last week that it has formed a joint venture with Vistacor L.L.C. to develop a grocery-anchored shopping center in Williamsburg.  Armada Hoffler is the majority partner in the joint venture.

The developers have acquired the 230,000-square-foot Williamsburg Outlet Mall, which closed last year, and plan to replace it with a Lightfoot Marketplace shopping center. The cost of the project was not announced.

In February, the project won the backing of James City County. It will be developed in phases. Construction on phase one is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2014. It consists of 88,000 square feet and is expected to be completed in early 2016. Phase two would add 42,000 square feet.

Harris Teeter has signed a 20-year lease for approximately 53,000 square feet of space and will be the anchor tenant. The remaining 35,000 square feet will be occupied by shops and restaurants.

“This project exemplifies the development opportunities that result from deep and longstanding relationships with our partners,” said Louis Haddad, CEO of Armada Hofflers, in a statement. “Our past and continued relationship with Harris Teeter helped lead us to this new and exciting development opportunity in the heart of our mid-Atlantic footprint.”

Photo credits: James City County

Mayor Jones Announces $10M Grant for Final Phase of Main Street Station Renovation

17 Apr 2014, 3:28 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The city of Richmond has been working for more than 20 years to rehabilitate Main Street Station, one of downtown’s most visible landmarks, and turn it into a multimodal transportation center that will serve Amtrak, buses, shuttles, taxis and alternative modes of travel. Now, the renovation project is on the verge of entering its final phase of construction.

On April 10, the Richmond Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the regional body that allocates federal transportation funding, approved a $10 million grant to advance the third and final phase of the multi-year renovation. The next day, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones announced his plans to introduce an ordinance to secure the grant at the City Council Meeting on April 14.

“The region has been working for more than two decades to renovate one of Richmond’s most iconic buildings into a true multi-modal transportation center,” the mayor said in a statement. “This funding will kick-start the final renovation phase and we’re grateful to our neighboring localities for supporting this effort to strengthen the region’s transportation network.”

The grants still needs the final approval from the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The city plans to start work on the third phase of the project this summer. At a cost of $48.5 million, it is expected to be completed in 2016. The third phase includes the renovation of the train shed, reopening Franklin Street through the train shed, improving site circulation and amenities, improving existing rail passenger amenities, adding electrical vehicle charging stations, and establishing a Transit Center, a Virginia Welcome/Travel Center and a Bicycle Welcome Center within the station.

RAMPO called Main Street Station an “existing project of regional significance.” Over the years, it has gained the support of the city of Richmond, the counties of Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, New Kent, Goochland, and numerous organizations and agencies that include the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration and Amtrak.


Photo credits: City of Richmond

Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library Wins LEED Gold Certification

15 Apr 2014, 6:34 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Virginia Beach’s unique Joint-Use Library has been awarded LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, eight months after the $43 million facility opened on the Tidewater Community College campus.

A joint project of the college and the city of Virginia Beach, the 120,000-square-foot library earned its Gold-level designation for features that include motorized window shades, floor openings designed to enhance the use of natural light, advanced stormwater management techniques using retention ponds and large open spaces, and glass walls that provide views for more than 90 percent of interior spaces. The library houses more than 128,000 items, about 360 computers, a dynamic children’s room, a café, study rooms and collaborative work spaces.

In achieving LEED certification, the project team exceeded its original target. “Through great leadership and advocacy by the design architect, Carrier Johnson and RRMM, and commitment by (the Virginia Community College System) and the Gilbane construction team, the project team determined they could raise the LEED goal and aim for Gold,” explained Drew Micco, senior project manager for Gilbane Building Co., the project’s construction manager, in a statement.

For its part, Gilbane doubled the quantity of recycled and regional material used on the project from 10% to 20%, earning  2 additional points toward LEED Gold certification. “The project’s success in reaching LEED Gold demonstrates how a concerted effort by the project team can exceed original expectations without adding additional cost or time to a project,” Micco added.

Photo credits: Gilbane Building Co.

Norfolk’s 3rd DoubleTree Opens After Makeover, Rebranding

3 Apr 2014, 2:44 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

After a multi-million dollar renovation and re-branding, the DoubleTree by Hilton Norfolk Airport opened March 31. Located at 1500 N. Military Highway, the 250-key property was previously known as the Hilton Norfolk Airport.

With a re-designed entrance and lobby, the DoubleTree by Hilton Norfolk Airport features a Max & Erma’s restaurant on the lobby level, a 24-hour fitness center, free WiFi, a 24-hour business center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, as well as about 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

“Hampton Roads is a bustling region, and our newest offering in this market is poised to offer business, military and leisure guests a premier travel experience,” said John Greenleaf, global head of DoubleTree by Hilton, in a statement. The hotel is the third DoubleTree by Hilton in Hampton Roads and is owned and operated by Harmony Hospitality, Inc.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Norfolk Airport is located two miles from the Norfolk International Airport and is close to such attractions as the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Virginia Zoological Park, Nauticus, the USS Wisconsin, the Lake Wright Business Park, the Chrysler Museum of Art and MacArthur Mall.

Photo credits: DoubleTree by Hilton

Miller Associates, Spy Rock Add 334 Units to Richmond’s M-F Boom

25 Mar 2014, 5:13 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Demand for apartments in metro Richmond is at a three-year high, with more than 1,200 units absorbed over the past six months, according to Real Data’s most recent market report. Occupancy has reached 94%, while the average rent hit $909. About 3,000 units are under construction. As developers rush to meet the growing demand, two developers recently announced plans to launch projects that will bring 334 units to the market.

According to Virginia Business, Robin Miller & Associates plans to construct a $27 million apartment building on Semmes Avenue between Ninth and Commerce Streets in Manchester. Called 800 Semmes, the project will deliver a 12-story building with 140 apartments, including 6 penthouses. Amenities will include a two-story parking garage, a pool and a fire pit.

Company principal Robin Miller expects the property to attract young professionals looking for the amenities offered by Richmond’s downtown, as well as mid-career professionals and empty nesters. Construction is scheduled to start next month. The first units are expected to be ready by summer 2015.

Richmond BizSense also reported that Spy Rock Real Estate is planning a $26 million, 194-unit project (pictured in rendering at right) on the site of the Coca-Cola bottling plant at Roseneath Road and Clay Street. Spy Rock acquired the project’s 4.5-acre site from the developer David Dagenhart.

Dubbed Preserve at Scott’s Addition, the project will consist of two parts. With the help of historic tax credits, Spy Rock will first convert a 121,000-square-foot building into 70 units with a club room, media room and fitness center. Also on the agenda is a new four-story, 124-unit building.

Preserve at Scott’s Addition will total 200,000 square feet. It is designed by Virginia Beach-based Cox Kliewer & Co. Wells Fargo is financing the project.

Photo credits: Spy Rock Real Estate

Zirpoli/Perrine Plans $40M Mixed-Use Project on Ocean View Ave.

21 Mar 2014, 8:00 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

A new mixed-use project will bring up to 280 apartments and retail space to Norfolk. On March 18, the city council approved the $3 million sale of 5.7 acres at 719 E. Ocean View Ave. to Robert Zirpoli’s Ocean View Properties Inc.

The land consists of two parcels. It includes the former Ramada Inn site and the Senior Center in Ocean View. The hotel was previously a Voyager Motor Inn, a Ramada Inn and a Howard Johnson. The city condemned the building because of mold and structural problems. In 2010, it acquired and demolished the hotel. As of last July 1, the site’s assessed value was about $4.9 million.

Zirpoli/Perrine Development, which has also created subdivisions in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, plans to transform the site into an upscale $40 million mixed-use complex that could help revitalize the Ocean View area. On Zirpoli/Perrine’s agenda is a gated apartment complex with between 250 and 280 one-,two-, and three-bedroom units. Also included are about 20,000 square feet of retail.

According to a proposal submitted by the developer last year, the complex will feature a pool and an exercise facility. Its architecture will reflect East Beach-style design.

The project will be developed in three phases. According to city documents, it will generate an estimate $450,000 in tax revenue annually. The developers have yet to disclose a timeline for construction.

Photo credit: City of Norfolk

Strategic Storage Trust Pays $6.7M for Hampton Self-Storage Facility

16 Mar 2014, 11:08 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Strategic Storage Trust Inc. has paid approximately $6.7 million for a 500-unit self-storage facility at 1343 Big Bethel Road. It is the non-traded REIT’s second acquisition in the area.

The property was constructed in 2007, on a 10.1 acre site, and consists of four single-story buildings offering 71,500 square feet of storage space. About 50% of the units are climate controlled. The rest are drive-up non-climate-controlled units. In a press release, Strategic Storage Trust said the new facility was 90% occupied at the time of the acquisition, and that it will be re-branded under the SmartStop Self Storage trade name.

“We acquired this facility for its newer construction and due to the growing military market in Hampton,” said H. Michael Schwartz, chairman and CEO of Strategic Storage Trust, in a statement. ”This acquisition is a perfect complement to our other multi-story self-storage building located five miles away in Hampton.”

Since its launch in 2008, Strategic Storage Trust has acquired 123 properties in 17 states and Canada. Its portfolio includes about 78,000 self-storage units and 10.3 million square feet of storage space. In Virginia, the company now owns six facilities with 3,800 units and 415,000 square feet of space.

Strategic Storage Trust’s Virginia portfolio also includes:

  • LaSalle Avenue in Hampton (640 units, 70,100 square feet of storage space);
  • Lee Road in Chantilly (860 units/83,400 square feet);
  • Williamsburg Road in Sandston (675 units/78,000 square feet);
  • Plank Road in Fredericksburg (610 units/59,600 square feet);
  • Colonial Court in Manassas (495 units/52,800 square feet).

Photo credit: Google Maps.

Richmond’s Short Pump Submarket Gears Up for Robust 2014

10 Mar 2014, 2:44 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer projects that 2014 will be a good year for the Richmond retail market. As retailers and restaurants plan to grow and expand, a trend that started in 2013 and is expected to continue in 2014, the market will see stepped-up activity. It ended 2013 with more than 422,000 square feet of positive net absorption, an approximate 43 percent year-over-year increase, and with a vacancy rate decrease from 6.9 percent to 6.6 percent.

As a case in point, the Short Pump retail submarket is attracting robust activity. According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, it has a vacancy rate of 3.1 percent, one of the lowest in the region, as well as the highest asking rent, $23.15 per square foot. It finished 2013 with 51,874 square feet of positive absorption and indications are that 2014 will bring more of the same.

Forest City Enterprises Inc., Short Pump Town Center’s owner, recently announced that it will add 15 retailers and restaurants occupying upwards of 62,000 square feet. The list includes:

  • American Eagle Outfitters/aerie;
  • Athleta;
  • Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants;
  • Free People;
  • Gymboree;
  • Justice & Brothers;
  • kate spade new york;
  • Madewell;
  • Michael Kors;
  • Oakley;
  • Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery;
  • True Religion;
  • TUMI;
  • Vans;
  • Versona Accessories.

Forest City also plans to start work on a multi-million dollar renovation soon. It will include new gathering spaces, redesigned fountains, additional landscaping, enhanced way-finding signage, updated restrooms, canopies over walkways, a new elevator and a new pedestrian bridge that spans the Main Plaza. The project is scheduled for completion before the holiday shopping season in November.

Also in Short Pump, NVRetail announced in mid-February that Cabela’s, a leading specialty retailer of hunting, fishing, camping, shooting, and related outdoor recreation merchandise, has leased 97,500 square feet at West Broad Marketplace. This will be the Nerbaska-based company’s second Virginia location.

Situated in the heart of Short Pump, West Broad Marketplace is a new mixed-use retail development. It will offer 350,000 square feet of space and will feature a mix of retail shops, restaurants, and amenities. NVRetail is developing the center, scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.

In a statement, NVRetail said Cabela’s will construct its “next generation” store prototype at West Broad Marketplace, and that the store will “surround customers in a unique outdoor experience.”  Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Connie Jordan Nielsen has been retained to market and lease the additional retail at West Broad Marketplace. Mark Douglas is handling the mixed-use component.


Charts courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer.
Photo credits: www.facebook.com/shortpumpmall