By Paula C. Squires
The vacant, former corporate headquarters for Circuit City Stores is getting a new tenant. The Richmond office of Jones Lang LaSalle confirmed Monday that Mondial Assistance has leased 238,000 square feet at Deep Run I, a 292,000-square-foot building at 9950 Mayland Drive in Henrico County. The building served as one of two former headquarters facilities for Circuit City before it filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and liquidated its assets in 2009.
The move will allow Mondial, a growing specialty insurance company whose U.S. headquarters is in Richmond, to consolidate its operations under one roof. “They’re taking four out of five floors. Their business is growing. They’re doing great. This provides a great opportunity for them to expand,” said Charlie Polk, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Richmond office, and the broker who represented Mondial in the transaction.
The company, one of the nation’s largest travel insurance providers, said in a press release that it plans to start moving its employees into the building in 2012. Close to Interstate 64, the new location in the Deep Run Office Park will give Mondial more space to incorporate new technologies. Plus, the property offers amenities such as an auditorium, expanded café, a fitness center and walking trails. Mondial, which currently has offices on North Parham Road and in Innsbrook, employs nearly 900 people and expects that number to be up to 1,000 by the time of its move. Since 2000, the staff has more than quadrupled in size.
“We are not a small company anymore, but we still want to preserve the small company culture that values teamwork and camaraderie among all associates,“ Jon Ansell, CEO of Mondial Assistance, said. “Bringing everyone back under one roof is important to maintaining that culture.
The deal takes one of the largest blocks of vacant space off the market in the Innsbrook area, one of Richmond’s premiere office locations. “If you are looking for a large block of space, the options continue to dwindle in this area,” said Polk.
After the electronics retailer went out of business, Deep Run I went into foreclosure. A local developer, Michael Pruitt of the Pruitt Cos., formed DRCC Properties LLC and purchased the property in a complex transaction that took nearly a year, because the land and building had separate owners. Pruitt bought the land in August 2010 from the bankrupt Circuit City for $2.7 million. In October of that same year, his company closed a deal with the building’s servicer for $3 million. So altogether, he picked up about 58 acres and the buiding for $5.7 million at a time when the Class A property was assessed at $13.6 million.
The Pruitt Cos. have developed several major projects in Richmond, including Short Pump Town Center, The Shops at White Oak Village and West Creek Business Park. “We are thrilled to be working with Mondial Assistance and couldn’t be happier to have this growing, well-respected company as a tenant,“ Michael Pruitt said in a statement.