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Richmond commercial outlook

Above is a link to the Thalhimer economic development report for richmond for 2005. (some Hampton Roads stuff included but the vast majority of it is richmond related). This is a 13 page pdf file.

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I think I've read that before. It points out the problem with the Richmond office market. It's just so much cheaper to build in the suburbs in places like Innsbrook that it is difficult for the CBD to compete. Maybe tax breaks or other incentives are the answer? I think it may be a while before we see another dedicated office building after riverside on the james in the downtown.

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It points out the problem with the Richmond office market. It's just so much cheaper to build in the suburbs in places like Innsbrook that it is difficult for the CBD to compete.

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I've never understood the phenomenon of cities pricing themselves out of the leasing market. Wouldn't it make more sense to lower the rental/real estate rates than keep the prices at a level where tenants flee for the suburbs, the result of which is an abondoned downtown (like Detroit)?

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I've never understood the phenomenon of cities pricing themselves out of the leasing market.  Wouldn't it make more sense to lower the rental/real estate rates than keep the prices at a level where tenants flee for the suburbs, the result of which is an abondoned downtown (like Detroit)?

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Good point. The downtown market is stable but the suburban is much stronger. Vacancy rates are lower in the burbs. Hopefully with the infusion of people in the downtown through all the condominium projects the downtown market will be stronger.

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Good point. The downtown market is stable but the suburban is much stronger. Vacancy rates are lower in the burbs. Hopefully with the infusion of people in the downtown through all the condominium projects the downtown market will be stronger.

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Another contributor to the flight of people moving back downtown are the prices people are paying for a gallon of fuel! These suburbanites will pay high dollar for gas for only a short time (that's my prediction), then they are going to realize that it will be more cost effective to live close to work in the downtown portions of cities like Richmond. Either that will happen or something will have to be done to improve public transportation to accomodate for the massive influx of suburbanites who want to catch a bus or train to work to save some money. Hopefully, as you mentioned wrldcoupe4, this will help make the downtown market stronger.

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I'm sure you've heard the 'Alcoa property' discussed as a prime location for new development. Well here is a picture of what I'm talking about. It sits adjacent to the canal walk, across from Riverside on the James and next to Riverfront plaza.

050225.jpg

This image can be found at Riverside on the James

Edited by wrldcoupe4

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This is great news for Richmond....It is building its presence as a major player in the Biotech field.

Biotech park in line for jobs?

Sources say downtown project may be worth at least $200 million

BY DAVID RESS

TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

Apr 4, 2005

The city is on the verge of landing hundreds of jobs in downtown's Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, according to city-hall and economic-development sources. 

The deal could be nailed down as early as this week, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

"It's major," one source said. "It's a big, big deal. . . . These are high-paying jobs."

The sources said the project could represent hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment, with two sources saying the figure would be at least $200 million.

The sources said the company involved is already active in Richmond and is one of the business giants on the Fortune 500 list. They declined to name the company.

The sources said that wooing the company involved a joint effort of the city and state, which means that some incentives are likely on the table.

The rest of this article can be found here RTD VA Biotech Park Article

My guess would be Dupont or Wyeth....but who knows.

Edited by wrldcoupe4

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Here we go....!!!

$300 million Philip Morris research lab given a 2007 completion date.

Richmond.com

Monday, April 04, 2005

Mayor L. Douglas Wilder has announced plans for a $300 million research and development facility by Philip Morris USA in the city's Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in downtown. The project will create 500 new jobs such as scientists, engineers and support personnel.

The 450,000 square foot facility is scheduled to open in 2007, and will be located north of the Richmond Coliseum from 5th to 7th Street. In addition to the technical jobs created, an estimated 1,000 workers will be involved at the peak of the development's construction.

"I am pleased that Philip Morris indicated the BioTech park's location as one of its primary, favorable reasons for the development," Wilder said a written statement. As governor, Wilder worked with VCU President Eugene Trani in establishing the BioTech park. He said that its subsequent development "has clearly served as testament for those who have long believed that Richmond's downtown area is indeed able to attract quality business enterprises such as this."

The new facility will be known as the Philip Morris USA Research & Development Center. Once it is complete, the scope of laboratory, research and office space at the BioTech Park will exceed 1.1 million square feet. The park currently houses 45 biosciences companies and research institutes.

The rest of this article can be found at Richmond.com article

This is definitely a major investment in downtown Richmond's Biotech Park. I can't wait to hear more in depth details about this project. Philip Morris sure does like Richmond. First the major manufacturing facility. Then the corporate headquarters. Now the major R & D facility. 500 permanent high paying jobs is definitely good news for Richmond. $300 million investment in downtown Richmond aint bad either. :D

Edited by wrldcoupe4

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Here we go....!!!

The rest of this article can be found at Richmond.com article

This is definitely a major investment in downtown Richmond's Biotech Park. I can't wait to hear more in depth details about this project. Philip Morris sure does like Richmond. First the major manufacturing facility. Then the corporate headquarters. Now the major R & D facility. 500 permanent high paying jobs is definitely good news for Richmond. $300 million investment in downtown Richmond aint bad either. :D

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Man, I am so jealous! That is great news for you guys. Richmond just keeps building on its successes.

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There is supposed to be a press conference tomorrow morning around 11 that will go into greater detail on the project. I'll have more on it then.

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Fresh off the presses.... From the Richmond Times-Dispatch (portions have been edited out):

Philip Morris will add jobs here

Tobacco firm will build research, development plant at downtown site

BY DAVID RESS

TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

Apr 5, 2005

Philip Morris USA will build a huge research and development center in downtown Richmond, creating 500 new jobs, Mayor L. Douglas Wilder said yesterday.

The $300 million center will be one of the biggest developments ever in Richmond, which beat out North Carolina's much-vaunted Research Triangle Park, Wilder said.

"We're not strangers -- they've come to know us," Wilder said, when asked why he thought the tobacco giant picked Richmond, noting: "Obviously, you have to have confidence in the city to invest that kind of money."

For the nation's No. 1 cigarette maker, it means an even bigger focus on the Richmond area, where Philip Morris USA has headquarters and where roughly half its employees work. Philip Morris USA is the U.S. tobacco operation of New York-based Altria Group Inc., a worldwide tobacco, food and beverage giant whose brands include Marlboro cigarettes, Oreo cookies and Kraft cheese.

For Richmond, the deal means the pace is stepping up on the city's efforts to revive downtown, Wilder said.

"Look at what this does for Broad Street," Wilder said, adding that he expects the center will spark new interest in opening stores, restaurants and supporting businesses. "It is not going to be an island."

The new Philip Morris center will be located between Fifth and Seventh and Leigh and Jackson streets, north of the Coliseum, on land the city will give to the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park.

The center is due to open in 2007, and building it should mean work for up to 1,000 people.

The Philip Morris Research and Development Center will have 475,000 square feet of laboratory, research and office space, nearly doubling the space in the biotechnology park.

"We're looking at a facility, a research facility that's two-thirds the size of the convention center -- it doesn't get much bigger than that," said Vice Mayor G. Manoli Loupassi.

Roughly 80 percent of the center's employees will be scientists, engineers and other researchers, with average salaries of about $87,000. Support staff members will have average salaries of about $40,000.

Wilder said Philip Morris also is getting at least $12 million in state assistance. Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Michael Schewel would not comment when asked about the project.

"It's a tremendous shot in the arm for downtown Richmond," said Rep. Eric I. Cantor, R-7th, who helped secure $3 million in the latest federal transportation bill to pay for road work to improve the flow of traffic around the park.

Research could become an even higher priority in the future now that Philip Morris is breaking ranks with the rest of the tobacco industry in pushing for Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco.

Economic development sources said the biotechnology park project creates new jobs and is not simply moving existing Philip Morris staff up Interstate 95 from facilities near the company's giant South Richmond plant. One said it may involve bringing work now done overseas to Richmond.

Two years ago, Philip Morris USA moved its headquarters from midtown Manhattan to Henrico County.

Its executives now work at the old Reynolds Metals headquarters building on West Broad Street, a landmark of modern architecture, in western Henrico.

In addition to its manufacturing plant, just off Interstate 95 in South Richmond, the company has a tobacco-leaf processing facility in South Richmond and a processing plant in Chester. It employs about 6,500 people in the area.

Wilder, who pushed for a Richmond biotechnology park while he was governor, said the park's success "has clearly served as testament to those who have long believed that Richmond's downtown area is indeed able to attract quality business enterprises."

The research park, built on what was once a stretch of parking lots on the northern fringe of downtown Richmond, now has 45 tenants, including biotechnology companies, research institutes of Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and state laboratories. It also is home to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which manages the nation's organ transplant system.

I kept in most of the important, juicy stuff, but to read the whole article go here:

RTD Philip Morris Article

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The site is composed of 2 city blocks...475,000 sq ft on two blocks means this project may have a decent height. Maybe 10 stories?? Not to mention a parking structure may have to be built to accomodate all of the new employess. I cannot wait for specifics or rendering for this project!

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I'm sure you've heard the 'Alcoa property' discussed as a prime location for new development. Well here is a picture of what I'm talking about. It sits adjacent to the canal walk, across from Riverside on the James and next to Riverfront plaza.

050225.jpg

This image can be found at Riverside on the James

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Good to see that Riverside-on-the-James project coming along so well. Hope it's a huge sucess after it's done.

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Here's a rendering of the Philip Morris project:

4-05-05300mill_story.jpg

Looks to be only 5 or 6 stories, but an impressive design from what I can tell, nevertheless.

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Here's a rendering of the Philip Morris project:

4-05-05300mill_story.jpg

Looks to be only 5 or 6 stories, but an impressive design from what I can tell, nevertheless.

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where did you find that?

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I found it at Richmond.com.

Here's a link:

http://www.richmond.com/news/output.aspx?I...er=1&position=1

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Found it thanks...This project is definitely on the fast track. City council, which is strongly in favor of the project. will approve it on April 11. This will definitely change the view from the highway since the coliseum had always been such a major player in the view. I wouldnt be all that opposed to moving the coliseum to a new venue and freeing up more space for the bustling Biotech Park. After this project is complete, it will encompass over 1.1 million sf.

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Found it thanks...This project is definitely on the fast track. City council, which is strongly in favor of the project. will approve it on April 11. This will definitely change the view from the highway since the coliseum had always been such a major player in the view. I wouldnt be all that opposed to moving the coliseum to a new venue and freeing up more space for the bustling Biotech Park. After this project is complete, it will encompass over 1.1 million sf.

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NBC12.com video also said it will be 8 separate buildings that are connected on the site. Since they will be building all of them at the same time with an anticipated opening date of 2007, around 1000 construction workers will be required. I'm sure more information will be available in the coming days and weeks...... :)

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I'm excited because you will more than likely see this structure towering over the Richmond Coliseum as you exit 64/95 and will probably even see it from the interstate in that area as well. I agree. I'd be willing to move the Coliseum for more space downtown for the research park as well. Don't think that will happen anytime soon, but if we can get more HUGE businesses attracted to and moved to Richmond, maybe we can get one to sponsor a new facility. That would be my dream!

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The potential for the Richmond area to be a major center for Biotech is huge. Not only does it possess the downtown biotech park which sits on 34 acres; Meadowville technology park in chesterfield county is a 1300 acre satellite park for Biotech. Another satellite site is White Oak technology park which is already home to Infineon Technologies (1,300,000sf, with a $1 billion expansion and increase of 800 employees to over 2500 employees underway to boost square footage by over 550,000sf) as well as Hewlett Packard who has facilities totaling 1.4 million sf. Richmond landing the Philip Morris project is proof that we can win out against other areas like Research Triangle. I hope/know this is a sign of great things to come!

Edited by wrldcoupe4

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The potential for the Richmond area to be a major center for Biotech is huge. Not only does it possess the downtown biotech park which sits on 34 acres; Meadowville technology park in chesterfield county is a 1300 acre satellite park for Biotech. Another satellite site is White Oak technology park which is already home to Infineon Technologies (1,300,000sf, with a $1 billion expansion and increase of 800 employees to over 2500 employees) as well as Hewlett Packard who has facilities totaling 1.4 million sf. Richmond landing the Philip Morris project is proof that we can win out against other areas like Research Triangle. I hope/know this is a sign of great things to come!

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Judging by all the excitement in this forum, this may just be the thing to turn Richmond around. It may even attract additional companies to the area and possibly a few new towers.

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Judging by all the excitement in this forum, this may just be the thing to turn Richmond around. It may even attract additional companies to the area and possibly a few new towers.

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Yep. And with the DC area being so expensive Richmond would be a good fit for companies wanting to locate on the east coast. I so wish Hampton Roads could find itself with high paying jobs locating here but honestly I cannot see it happening on a large scale.

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Judging by all the excitement in this forum, this may just be the thing to turn Richmond around. It may even attract additional companies to the area and possibly a few new towers.

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Only thing is 75% of the time that new companies locate to Richmond, they find a home in the burbs. With all the new businesses that have set up shop here in the past 2 years (Philip Morris HQ, Genworth Financial HQ, Wachovia Securities HQ etc...) you would have thought another tower could happen.....

Edited by wrldcoupe4

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Some more about the Philip Morris Research facility from the Times-Dispatch

"In Richmond yesterday, what was once a closely guarded secret became a cause for public celebration.

For the second time in two years, Philip Morris USA announced a multimillion-dollar investment in the Richmond area. Two years ago, Henrico County won the company's corporate headquarters from New York City. This time, the nation's largest cigarette maker chose downtown Richmond for its next local expansion.

The company's decision to build a $300 million research and technology center on land donated by the city to the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park was hailed as an economic coup for Richmond, and a boost for Virginia's biotechnology ambitions.

The project is another surprising chapter in the Philip Morris story in Richmond, which dates back to 1919 when the company incorporated here. The 475,000-square-foot center, expected to open in 2007, will create up to 500 jobs, adding to the company's local work force of 6,450. The jobs will include about 300 Philip Morris employees and about 200 contractors.

The center will nearly double the size of the park, which fills more than 575,000 square feet of space on the northern edge of downtown....

...Philip Morris spokesmen were tight-lipped about what kind of research will be conducted at the downtown center. One local official said it would include "basic, genetic and molecular work," rather than just product development.

Robert T. Skunda, president and chief executive officer of the biotechnology park, stressed that the research could lead to advancements -- and products -- that go well beyond tobacco....

...Ebullient business leaders predicted the Philip Morris project could give downtown another shot in the arm. They believe it could bring enough workers downtown to attract more restaurants and shops, particularly in Jackson Ward and in the Broad Street corridor.

"Philip Morris in itself is invariably going to draw other companies," Skunda said. He added that the size of the facility will be such that if workers in other segments of the park lose jobs, they can tell themselves, 'I can probably find a job with Philip Morris.'"

Jack Berry, executive director of Richmond Renaissance, glanced at a rendering of the proposed development after yesterday's news conference and called it "staggering." He predicted the project will become "the new anchor for the northern segment of downtown. It will create more demand for restaurants and retail and help enliven the commercial edge of Jackson Ward."

One high-profile tenant of the park said the center will bring stature to the 34-acre campus.

"We think it will add prestige and highlight an already impressive list of people," said Walter Graham, executive director United Network for Organ Sharing, which manages the nation's organ transplant system.

Others predict the development will bring more visitors downtown. "This will be drawing in a lot of folks from around the country," said John Woodward, the city's economic development director. "And they will be staying in downtown hotels and eating in downtown restaurants."

The full article can be found here

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I was thinking about the new Philip Morris Research Center being built in downtown when I remembered the Virginia Commonwealth University is also going to be expanding their business and engineering schools! Wow, when you think about it, there is A LOT of development going on downtown Richmond, development that is definitely going to transform this city to an even greater place. Here's an article about the newly expanded business and engineering school VCU is getting ready to build (constuction to begin August of this year):

3-10-05vcubiz3_story.jpg

Perhaps as early as this summer, the expansion efforts of Virginia Commonwealth University will begin to revitalize yet another large tract of underused and dilapidated property in the City of Richmond.

The target: about 10 acres of land east of Belvidere Street between Main and Canal Streets. The area currently consists of a motley collection of small, one and two-story cinder block, brick, and wooden buildings, as well as a scattered array of surface parking and empty lots.

As part of VCU's $203 million Monroe Park Campus Addition, this will all be transformed into a corridor of classic academic architecture, complete with landscaped courtyards, vaulted archways, and red brick colonnades

Edited by eandslee

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