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Foundry Park - CoStar HQ

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3 hours ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

They paid so much for the land maybe all they can afford to build now is a low rise :tw_grin:

Ha ha...  Now, any more of THAT kind of talk and I'll have to send (as George Carlin used to say) Sister Mary Discipline around with her steel ruler to crack you on the knuckles! :tw_warning::tw_neutral:

2 hours ago, eandslee said:

It's funny - we laugh, but you may not be wrong.  I've been disappointed before.  Just hoping for the best!

IKR? So much great potential has been whittled down to almost nothing because of ________________ (fill in the blank) - we've seen it too many times before. Let's hope this time around we are VERY pleasantly surprised!

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7 hours ago, I miss RVA said:

IKR? So much great potential has been whittled down to almost nothing because of ________________ (fill in the blank) - we've seen it too many times before. Let's hope this time around we are VERY pleasantly surprised!

I don’t know what took me so long, but yesterday evening I decided that I would Google the CoStar HQ in DC to see what their HQ building looks like and well...I was sorely disappointed.  Their DC HQ is nothing but a 10-11 story suburban-style building that, oddly enough, looks awfully similar to the WestRock building they’re in downtown Richmond.  If that’s any precedent, then save yourself some heartache, and don’t get your hopes high.  I have a feeling this is not going to be your signature tower that Richmond so desperately needs. We’ll have to wait for the next big company to come in or existing company make a bold move (in my opinion, that company could be Atlantic Union Bank).  Atlantic Union Bank is definitely a possibility, but it seems to have slowed its growth in the last little bit. Can’t imagine a major regional Bank not wanting a high profile perch in downtown Richmond where it is headquartered.  Anyway, that is a topic for a different thread, but CoStar...not likely to build a signature tower based on my research. They could surprise us though...we shall see. 

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46 minutes ago, eandslee said:

I don’t know what took me so long, but yesterday evening I decided that I would Google the CoStar HQ in DC to see what their HQ building looks like and well...I was sorely disappointed.  Their DC HQ is nothing but a 10-11 story suburban-style building that, oddly enough, looks awfully similar to the WestRock building they’re in downtown Richmond.  If that’s any precedent, then save yourself some heartache, and don’t get your hopes high.  I have a feeling this is not going to be your signature tower that Richmond so desperately needs. We’ll have to wait for the next big company to come in or existing company make a bold move (in my opinion, that company could be Atlantic Union Bank).  Atlantic Union Bank is definitely a possibility, but it seems to have slowed its growth in the last little bit. Can’t imagine a major regional Bank not wanting a high profile perch in downtown Richmond where it is headquartered.  Anyway, that is a topic for a different thread, but CoStar...not likely to build a signature tower based on my research. They could surprise us though...we shall see. 

Keep in mind that DC has a building height limit of 130 feet in commercial areas, so that caps the height around 10-11 floors.  I agree that the building at 1331 L St. NW is nothing special in terms of looks, but it's built about as tall as it legally can be.  I also did some digging and it's not clear to me who actually owns their DC HQ building.  There are a bunch of LLCs involved so it may ultimately be CoStar as the owners, but it could be that their leasing it from a completely separate entity.  The land they just bought is registered under Costar Realty Information Inc, so I'm guessing that they are just leasing the building in DC.

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You do bring up a good point about height limits in DC (I had actually forgot about that), but I think what I’m doing is managing my expectations so that I don’t get disappointed when a rendering of the new building is released. My fingers are still crossed and I’m hoping for the best, but expecting less than that.  400,000 sq feet is not a little bit of space, so there is great potential here, especially if the building is mixed use (residential, hotel, retail...as well as their needed office space).  

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The 400,000 sq foot question revolves around how big of a footprint do they want the building to have. A smaller footprint, obviously, will be taller. If they have enough space to build out a lot of square footage per floor, then we could see another vastly underwhelming building like WestRock go up (that's my fear)... Since they're not building in a tightly constricted space (such as, say, the corner of 7th and Grace), they could opt to build with bigger floor plans and fewer floors.

Which would stink... 

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I'm betting on larger floor plates, similar to what they have at the existing building.  +/-30k square feet. 15 stories is my guess. Maybe more if the parking is under and not adjacent to the building. So 20 including parking?

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35 minutes ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

I'm betting on larger floor plates, similar to what they have at the existing building.  +/-30k square feet. 15 stories is my guess. Maybe more if the parking is under and not adjacent to the building. So 20 including parking?

I'd say 20 stories at the most too.  In the past, when we have predicted such things as this, Coupe ALWAYS gets it right.  I hate that he's always right (only because I want see a taller building), but he is always right when it comes to these things.  So, with that, be prepared to be underwhelmed!  Well, 20 stories is respectable, but it's not your signature tower.  Just another tower that is the same height as what is around it.  Stuck in the same rut.  Sigh....

This prediction also assumes that there is no included mix use involved in the building, which is something I can't predict as well.  It's possible for it to happen, but I just wonder how forward-thinking the planning was and design will be.

Edited by eandslee

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2 hours ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

I'm betting on larger floor plates, similar to what they have at the existing building.  +/-30k square feet. 15 stories is my guess. Maybe more if the parking is under and not adjacent to the building. So 20 including parking?

20 would work! Hey, I'd rather have 20 (including parking) instead of a redux of WestRock. THAT has always been a colossal disappointment.

Consider how tall the original Locks 321 tower was SUPPOSED to be (before Sun Trust torpedoed it by bailing out) ...  Even if we didn't get a signature tower out of this (which we all want, of course), I can certainly live with a 20-story building right on the riverfront because it will add height AND density to the front end of the skyline. Definitely would be a win. Not a grand slam, but a win.

PLUS - there's ALWAYS the chance CoStar might hook up with a partner and build this thing out - either a larger tower or maybe a hotel in conjunction with the office building - or - what if they decided to add a residential component -- any chance for multi buildings?

If Coupe is the Nostradamus of calling projects ahead of time, if he's calling for a 20 (including parking) - let's walk off the 12th at Augusta with our par and exhale, yeah? Birdie would be nice - but putting it in the drink means shooting a 6. The riverfront would win with a 20-story building.

And yes yes yes... I'm still hoping for something epic! 

Edited by I miss RVA
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1 hour ago, Icetera said:

I would actually be quite happy with 20 at that location.  Personally, I would prefer something taller towards the core of the skyline rather than on the edge.

Me too. City Center. That's where I put my bid in for something huge. Would be the perfect location for a true signature skyscraper.

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4 acres is a lot of space. I would bank on seeing other uses on the 4 acres, just not likely integrated into one single tower. Hotel, some food amenity, maybe residential?

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57 minutes ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

4 acres is a lot of space. I would bank on seeing other uses on the 4 acres, just not likely integrated into one single tower. Hotel, some food amenity, maybe residential?

If I recall correctly, original plans were office uphill with hotel and townhomes (or other residential) downhill.  I could certainly see that still.

Speaking of which, I have not bothered Neo with unarchiving the old thread as I could find little of use remaining in it.  If the consensus feels otherwise, I can pursue the unarchive and merge here.

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10 minutes ago, Icetera said:

Speaking of which, I have not bothered Neo with unarchiving the old thread as I could find little of use remaining in it.  If the consensus feels otherwise, I can pursue the unarchive and merge here.

I wouldn’t bother.  Would anyone really reference the old conversations?  Not sure I would. You have my vote. 

Edited by eandslee
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4 hours ago, Icetera said:

If I recall correctly, original plans were office uphill with hotel and townhomes (or other residential) downhill.  I could certainly see that still.

Speaking of which, I have not bothered Neo with unarchiving the old thread as I could find little of use remaining in it.  If the consensus feels otherwise, I can pursue the unarchive and merge here.

You have my vote as well, brother. Go for it!

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On the topic of height and massing, I'll repost what I put in the developments thread earlier this month as I think overall urbanity matters more than height here:

Re: CoStar's possible new office in Foundry Park, I'm hopeful that they will add critical urbanity and connectivity to that part of downtown. Almost everything south of Cary from Belvidere to the Manchester Bridge has a suburban office park scale and car-centric orientation.  This isn't a perfect example as it has plenty of flaws and is a larger mixed use infill project, but I think Baltimore's Harbor East offers some positives in how to enhance connectivity and integrate thoughtfully into an existing urban fabric, which that part of downtown woefully needs. Of course, I'd much rather have CoStar add a new building on Main, Grace, etc., to add to the part of downtown that arguably has the best urban fabric:) But if the river is the draw, then I hope they do it well so it is much more than office views.

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6 hours ago, flaneur said:

On the topic of height and massing, I'll repost what I put in the developments thread earlier this month as I think overall urbanity matters more than height here:

Re: CoStar's possible new office in Foundry Park, I'm hopeful that they will add critical urbanity and connectivity to that part of downtown. Almost everything south of Cary from Belvidere to the Manchester Bridge has a suburban office park scale and car-centric orientation.  This isn't a perfect example as it has plenty of flaws and is a larger mixed use infill project, but I think Baltimore's Harbor East offers some positives in how to enhance connectivity and integrate thoughtfully into an existing urban fabric, which that part of downtown woefully needs. Of course, I'd much rather have CoStar add a new building on Main, Grace, etc., to add to the part of downtown that arguably has the best urban fabric:) But if the river is the draw, then I hope they do it well so it is much more than office views.

I'm in agreement in general. Mind you, I'd argue they both matter equally - put them on a scale and they balance out. Fully agreed that the urban fabric is vitally important - but at the same time I don't want to see a potential 20-story building reduced to 8 or 10 floors for design considerations.

While it's different, the Harbor East example is outstanding. The design there is fantastic - and the buildings have plenty of height to them. The density and size of the buildings really do give it that urban character I believe you are talking about. Hopefully this can happen here as well -- though Harbor East benefits from having a LOT of buildings packed into, arguably, a larger swath of land (with more streets) than we're talking about at Foundry Park.

BTW - I also would prefer to see CoStar build a tower on Main or Franklin or Grace - or Broad Street for that matter. Still, I'd love to see a cohesive, multi-building complex like Harbor East rise at some point, some place in Richmond along the riverfront.

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On 8/26/2020 at 8:16 AM, eandslee said:

You do bring up a good point about height limits in DC (I had actually forgot about that), but I think what I’m doing is managing my expectations so that I don’t get disappointed when a rendering of the new building is released. My fingers are still crossed and I’m hoping for the best, but expecting less than that.  400,000 sq feet is not a little bit of space, so there is great potential here, especially if the building is mixed use (residential, hotel, retail...as well as their needed office space).  

Almost nobody builds their own building in downtown DC.   You should literally read less than nothing into what their DC digs look like.  

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Just wanted to put a thought out here to give us some perspective regarding any new CoStar building:

I stumbled across an article in the Times-Dispatch from 2016 reporting that the Williams-Mullen building had sold. The article described the 15-story building as having 207,000 square feet.

NOW ... that's not to suggest that CoStar - which has stated it wants to build a 400,000 square-foot building -- will give us a 30-story signature building on the riverfront -- I'm sure the Foundry Park footprint where CoStar is looking to build is quite a bit larger than the footprint of the Mullen building. HOWEVER - (and this dovetails more to what Coupe was suggesting that we could maybe see a 20-story building including parking) - depending on exactly HOW MUCH larger the footprint of the CoStar building might be vs what the Mullen building is - is it out of the question to think that maybe we COULD see something in the 20-22-24 story range (including parking), given that the Mullen building at 200K sq ft is 15 stories?

I realize context - in this case footprint - is everything. Still... it's a nugget for us to chew on mentally as the board has gone quiet with development news being slow coming out of the Labor Day holiday.

Thoughts?

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The WestRock building is 300k SF plus a 1,000 space parking garage on 3 acres. The new site is 3.9 acres. Assuming CoStar sticks with a 400k SF building, it would likely have a similar height to the existing one. 

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5 minutes ago, Asdfjkl; said:

The WestRock building is 300k SF plus a 1,000 space parking garage on 3 acres. The new site is 3.9 acres. Assuming CoStar sticks with a 400k SF building, it would likely have a similar height to the existing one. 

Good to know the dimensions of the two sites. I knew the Foundry site was larger than the Mullen building site - but not sure how much bigger.

Wow ... it sucks to think of a yet another 10 or 11 story squat, fat building on the riverfront. Here's hoping CoStar surprises us with something with some height to it.

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Good to know the dimensions of the two sites. I knew the Foundry site was larger than the Mullen building site - but not sure how much bigger.

Wow ... it sucks to think of a yet another 10 or 11 story squat, fat building on the riverfront. Here's hoping CoStar surprises us with something with some height to it.

I will be highly disappointed if that’s the case would be a complete waste of space. I’m hoping there is more than just the costar property on that piece of land. Or maybe add another tenant to add height to it. But as much as I hate saying it I think the above person may be right. With it being 3.9 acres and the west rock building being 3 acres we may be looking at something even shorter than the west rock building with the same specifications. Would be a real shame.


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35 minutes ago, Downtowner said:


I will be highly disappointed if that’s the case would be a complete waste of space. I’m hoping there is more than just the costar property on that piece of land. Or maybe add another tenant to add height to it. But as much as I hate saying it I think the above person may be right. With it being 3.9 acres and the west rock building being 3 acres we may be looking at something even shorter than the west rock building with the same specifications. Would be a real shame.


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I'm hoping the same thing - that the CoStar  building isn't the ONLY development on that site - thus shrinking to footprint of the building and increasing the height. I realize economics don't favor that - cheaper to build a shorter building with a bigger floor plan on a larger footprint ... but one can hope. Short and squat sucks. LOL

Frankly, I'm STILL smarting over losing what would have been a 21-story tower at the 321 Locks site when SunTrust bailed and the floor dropped out of the project. Glad we have a residential building there as it is - but at 12 stories and rather short, squat, fat ... it ain't the same as having what would have been a GORGEOUS tower adding some muscle to that part of the skyline. I pray we aren't disappointed.

Edited by I miss RVA
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1 hour ago, Asdfjkl; said:

The WestRock building is 300k SF plus a 1,000 space parking garage on 3 acres. The new site is 3.9 acres. Assuming CoStar sticks with a 400k SF building, it would likely have a similar height to the existing one. 

This presumes the parking will be adjacent and not part of the tower like the current building. They could decide to build the building above a deck (although if the deck is below ground it won’t translate into additional height.  For the site as a whole, I do think it will ultimately have more than an office building and a parking deck, but I think other uses will be adjacent to and not part of an office tower. We shall see. 

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1 hour ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

This presumes the parking will be adjacent and not part of the tower like the current building. They could decide to build the building above a deck (although if the deck is below ground it won’t translate into additional height.  For the site as a whole, I do think it will ultimately have more than an office building and a parking deck, but I think other uses will be adjacent to and not part of an office tower. We shall see. 

I hope you're right, my friend. 

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