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Franklin Johnston Brings 2 Affordable Housing Communities to Norfolk

15 May 2014, 2:54 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Virginia Beach-based Franklin Johnston Group is working to bring two new affordable housing communities to Norfolk. Together, the two projects call for the construction of more than 450 units.

Although FSG was founded just last year, the company’s portfolio already includes 38 properties and 5,000-plus units throughout the eastern U.S. One of the firm’s two Norfolk communities is The Crossings at Berkley Station, a 156-unit gated apartment community with a pool, fitness center and playground. FJG plans to start work on the project later this year. The three-story building will be constructed on the 10-acre former site of the Berkley Lumber Yard. It is the first new development in Berkley in years and is expected to revitalize the entire area. FJG did not disclose the cost of the project.

The second Norfolk project is The Pointe at Pickett Farm,. Development is already underway on this $39 million project, and its first phase is expected to open this summer. The Pointe at Pickett Farm will be a 300-unit apartment community, with a clubhouse, swimming pool, fitness center and tot lot. It is being constructed on a 24-acre former horse farm, on Broad Creek.

Recently, FJG has also been selected by Marlyn Development Corp. of Virginia Beach to manage two of its senior housing communities. The two properties are the Forrest Pines Senior Community, scheduled to open next month in Newport News, and The Woodlands, a 132-unit community for independent seniors under construction in the Phoebus community in Hampton.

“We are a market-driven company,” said Taylor Franklin, COO of Franklin Johnston Group, in a statement. “By that I mean that we take great care in determining what apartment niches are not being satisfied and we build to those needs. We see a great need for high quality affordable housing in Hampton Roads and we are leading the way in meeting those needs. Likewise, Marlyn Development is responding to the aging population in the region and the accompanying demand for senior housing. We have extensive experience in senior living management and welcome these two communities to our management portfolio.”

Photo credits: www.pointeatpickettfarm.com



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