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Because things are slow around here right now...here is my prediction of the next tall corporate HQ tower in downtown (based off of existing businesses that I know about).  A while back (maybe a few years ago) I remember reading that Dominion Power was looking to sell their operations center/office in Innsbrook.  I'm not sure if it is still on the market, but if they can find a buyer, I see them moving all of those positions downtown to a new tower (which I had read they wanted to do).  I foresee them building a new tower on the city block just to the west of (next to) their current tower.  From what I remember, they own the property there and that ugly building that sits there currently needs to be demolished anyway.  I can see them selling the current downtown office tower and moving all corporate and operations offices together in that one single tower.  When I think about it, many other power companies in other states have a main tower downtown (in that state's prominent city) and would make sense to me if Dominion did the same in Virginia.  Might that happen in the next 5 - 10 years?  I don't know - I think a lot of this would depend on getting a buyer for their Innsbrook office.  If it does happen, I can see this new tower being THE signature tower in Richmond - 35+ stories.

Good call.  I have always dreamed of Richmond Plaza being razed and replaced with a signature tower.

Edited by Shakman
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I don't know how aggressively they are marketing the Innsbrook office, but I'm sure there are only a few types of businesses out there that could use that much space, especially in its present configuration. I presume that it will be a tough sell, unfortunately. Might be a long time before we see Dominion make a move...however, if they are desperate enough, they can make it happen. It just makes sense for them to consolidate.

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Why would they have sold the triangle lot if they were planning to build the signature tower?  That "ugly building" currently serves as parking for a bunch of people in that tower.

 

I wish the city would make them an offer they can't refuse for their riverfront headquarters and convert that into more awesome riverfront park space.  If they build a "signature tower", then all of the people from that headquarters will have to move as those are all the people who really matter.

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Manhattan based Menswear company relocating to Scott's Addition:

 

Alton Lane, a maker of custom suits, shirts, blazers and trousers, last month relocated its headquarters from a 2,000-square-foot space near Madison Square Park to 6,500 square feet in a former bus depot at 3121 W. Leigh St.

 

http://www.richmondbizsense.com/2015/05/04/menswear-brand-pins-down-new-hq-in-richmond/

Edited by Icetera

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Hopefully they bring some of the Atlanta staff up to the Richmond headquarters:

 

http://www.richmondbizsense.com/2015/05/19/mwv-announces-new-name/

 

 

 

MeadWestvaco, the local packaging giant that is in the process of merging with Georgia-based Rock-Tenn Co., announced Monday the combined company’s new name: WestRock Co.
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Hopefully they bring some of the Atlanta staff up to the Richmond headquarters:

 

http://www.richmondbizsense.com/2015/05/19/mwv-announces-new-name/

 

You know, I was thinking the same thing after reading the quote from Mr. McNeil (below).  I wonder what else they have up their sleeve?  Richmond HQ expansion?  I can wish can't I?  :)

 

“We’ll start using WestRock at that point, which is when we will also have other changes and more to share about the combined company and the new name/identity,”
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The new owner of a 90-year-old East Franklin Street building that’s home to [Penny Lane Pub] wants to bring more residents downtown.
Paley, ... plans to renovate and convert the top two floors of office space into 10 apartment units.

 

http://www.richmondbizsense.com/2015/06/18/downtown-pub-building-to-add-apartments/

Edited by Icetera

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You know, I was thinking the same thing after reading the quote from Mr. McNeil (below).  I wonder what else they have up their sleeve?  Richmond HQ expansion?  I can wish can't I?  :)

 

I wish this also but I think history has shown when this type of merger happens, the city in Richmond's shoes here gets a lot of lip service at the beginning and then eventually when the employment deals embedded in the merger expire they end up with a P.O. box and an empty shiney new building on the river.  I hope not, but this is what I fear.  I am using the term history loosely here Im trying to remember some examples.

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I wish this also but I think history has shown when this type of merger happens, the city in Richmond's shoes here gets a lot of lip service at the beginning and then eventually when the employment deals embedded in the merger expire they end up with a P.O. box and an empty shiney new building on the river.  I hope not, but this is what I fear.  I am using the term history loosely here Im trying to remember some examples.

 

So far so good:

 

 

The new company will be headquartered in MWV’s downtown tower at 501 S. Fifth St. McNeil said a program is in the works to replace the company’s signage on that building

 

 

http://richmondbizsense.com/2015/07/01/massive-mwv-merger-set-to-close-today/

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On 12/14/2015 at 0:16 PM, Icetera said:

Car Max looking into downtown for additional office space:

http://richmondbizsense.com/2015/12/14/carmax-scouting-out-space-downtown/

It would be nice to see them with some premium signage though it does not sound like they are looking at buildings where that would be likely.

One James Center would be happy to accommodate them with space and signage.  Sharing space with Dominion is a non-starter. 

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7 hours ago, blopp1234 said:

Circuit City has been revived and will open their first store in June of 2016. Hopefully they keep their headquarters in RVA.

http://m.richmond.com/business/local/article_adea3830-8faa-5377-8758-86f196308f64.html?mode=jqm

I don't want to be Debbie Downer over here, but what are the odds this actually succeeds? Smaller store layout will facilitate easier spread in urban areas, it's being marketed towards younger people, that's all well and good, but as it is brick and mortar is struggling, no? How are they to compete when they already have to compete with Best Buy, BB Express and RadioShack, etc

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1 minute ago, Icetera said:

Certainly not where I was expecting CarMax to end up:

"CarMax has signed a lease with Fulton Hill Properties for a 26,000-square-foot space in the Lady Byrd Hat factory building at 140 Virginia St."

http://richmondbizsense.com/2016/02/09/carmax-finds-its-spot-downtown/

It looks like they are doing this simply to attract new talent.  I bet they were having a difficult time attracting good talent for IT at their Goochland headquarters.

In the RTD article they even mention that it will be "like a startup" and that it would only house tech workers.  I think they're trying to attract young talent who would otherwise be allured to startups in NoVa or California. Part of that allure is not being in the traditional office setting.

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On 9/25/2014 at 10:12 AM, eandslee said:

Because things are slow around here right now...here is my prediction of the next tall corporate HQ tower in downtown (based off of existing businesses that I know about).  A while back (maybe a few years ago) I remember reading that Dominion Power was looking to sell their operations center/office in Innsbrook.  I'm not sure if it is still on the market, but if they can find a buyer, I see them moving all of those positions downtown to a new tower (which I had read they wanted to do).  I foresee them building a new tower on the city block just to the west of (next to) their current tower.  From what I remember, they own the property there and that ugly building that sits there currently needs to be demolished anyway.  I can see them selling the current downtown office tower and moving all corporate and operations offices together in that one single tower.  When I think about it, many other power companies in other states have a main tower downtown (in that state's prominent city) and would make sense to me if Dominion did the same in Virginia.  Might that happen in the next 5 - 10 years?  I don't know - I think a lot of this would depend on getting a buyer for their Innsbrook office.  If it does happen, I can see this new tower being THE signature tower in Richmond - 35+ stories.

Heh, just noticed this old post.  Nailed it!

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Why, thank you folks!  Trust me, I received no inside information before making this prediction.  I was merely going off of some public indicators that led me to believe this was possible (I was also hoping this would happen...almost as if I willed it to happen. Okay, maybe not).  But this was written about nine months before they formally made the announcement last May (and had been on my mind for quite some time before then).  This move just makes sense for Dominion Resources.  Plus they are very "Pro Richmond" and they want to make Richmond better - this project is one way to do that.  Now, there was a part that I did NOT get correct - they will still keep their operations building in Innsbrook.  Oh well, you can't always be right about EVERYTHING! :)

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haha- good call! whats next? would be fun to have someone else move their headquarters in and build a new tower. Cant really think of anyone local likely to do it soon (Capital One? Markel? nah...). Maybe someone up north will get attracted by the "quality of life" were developing down here :)

 

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1 hour ago, eandslee said:

Well, this could get interesting.

Loan on James Center Complex is in Default

http://m.richmond.com/business/local/article_d5a3c0a4-52da-543b-be02-8e2901b809b4.html?mode=jqm

The James Center is in dire need of a renovation.  I was in Xenith Bank's office in James Center I last summer and the building looked quite dated -- dated to the point where I wondered if it was still class A.  Hopefully, the influx of new class A office space in the CBD (Gateway, Locks 321, etc.) will prompt an overhaul of the James Center.  Perhaps that could couple with a vertical expansion.

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On 2/13/2016 at 8:03 AM, Wahoo 07 said:

The James Center is in dire need of a renovation.  I was in Xenith Bank's office in James Center I last summer and the building looked quite dated -- dated to the point where I wondered if it was still class A.  Hopefully, the influx of new class A office space in the CBD (Gateway, Locks 321, etc.) will prompt an overhaul of the James Center.  Perhaps that could couple with a vertical expansion.

I'm hoping that with a renovation, other companies from out in the burbs will move downtown.  Innsbrook is full of companies that should be located downtown rather than out in the burbs.  I know that they have historically located themselves in the burbs due to the cost being cheaper, but for some companies wanting to be in the mix of the growing and hip atmosphere downtown, the cost may be worth it (i.e. Information Technology companies and others that look for young talent similar to what CarMax is doing at the Lady Bird Hat Factory).  I'm hoping that CarMax is starting a trend in Richmond to help get companies to move downtown.  It's a bold move for them and I hope that this model proves advantageous - I wish them much success!  This may be just what this community needs to prove to other companies that this CAN be done, it's cool, and it works!

Edited by eandslee

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A good article about the status of commercial real estate in the Richmond area.  Talks about some of the major projects going on and the ones on deck (no mention of Dominion's tower this time).    There are some areas in which Richmond can improve.  It really needs to draw in more businesses from outside the area.  As the word of Richmond's renaissance gets out, hopefully more companies will flock to the area.  Since other cities are doing well too, I hope Richmond does not get lost or go unnoticed.  I hope it stands out as the best!

http://m.richmond.com/business/local/metro-business/article_2a8abefa-13ee-5b92-b919-368a0846c150.html?mode=jqm

Of note:

Office vacancy rates

The following shows the overall office vacancy rates at the end of 2015 compared with the end of 2014.

Downtown Richmond: 13.9 percent, up from 12.3 percent

Innsbrook:  9.9 percent, up from 8.9 percent

Richmond metro total: 9.5 percent, up from 9.4 percent

Source: Cushman & Wakefiled | Thalhimer

Edited by eandslee

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