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Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center named Project of the Year

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Print this page By Paula C. Squires


Combine NFL football with economic development and a public-private partnership that involves a hospital and what do you get?  Richmond’s top commercial real estate Project of the Year. 

The $10.8 million Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond won top honors Wednesday evening during the 13th annual real estate awards program sponsored by the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate (GRACRE). 

About 225 people turned out at the Country Club of Virginia for the presentation that honors top projects and transactions.  Before the presentation, people networked and took in spring’s show of color from a dazzling display of tulips on the club’s outdoor patio.

The city-owned training center opened last summer, drawing thousands of fans who turned out to see their favorite players during a three-week summer training camp. 

The project won GRACRE’s highest award for its innovative approach to redeveloping what had been 17 acres of state-owned land on West Leigh Street.  The project's nomination narrative said it went beyond building a 40,000-square-foot field house to complete a  “a landmark project” that has driven $120 million in private revitalization and the creation of more than 200 jobs. 

While it involved several stakeholders – the city’s Economic Development Authority, (EDA) the state, Bon Secours Virginia Health System and the Washington Redskins -- the project managed to come in on budget and on time, despite an ambitious nine-month schedule. “This project had nearly every imaginable moving part, and its broad success has provided momentum for multiple projects around the city,” the GRACE judges said.

The deal included a 10-year sponsorship package with Bon Secours that includes $3.2 million for the naming rights. The health system has a sports medicine facility on the building’s second floor and commitments have recently been made for that floor’s speculative space with a lease expected in 30 days.

“This project was an opportunity to show that the city can get projects done,” said Jane Ferrara, the city’s executive director of the department of economic and community development, after accepting the award.

The city’s EDA envisioned the project as a multi-dimensional community asset.  Amenities include a community park adjacent to the NFL athletic fields, walking paths and an amphitheater.  The project is expected to be a catalyst in the continuing redevelopment of Richmond North Boulevard and Broad Street corridors.

The architect and interior designer for the training center was 3North. Hourigan Construction served as the general contractor.

Among a total of 15 other best projects that won awards were:

Best New Office: Capital One West Creek Campus Expansion
Constructed in the heart of Capital One’s corporate campus in Henrico County, the $118.5 million project included a 200,000-square-foot office building and a
90,000 square-foot multi-purpose facility. The project represents the next generation of office space at West Creek with flexible floor plates that allow for greater workplace mobility along with more daylight and exterior views.

Best Office Lease: Deep Run 3, Henrico County.
What was once a vacant headquarters building for Circuit City Stores is now the headquarters for Travelers Insurance, which moved and consolidated its operations from Chesterfield County. A recent $15 million renovation led to six new leases signed in 2013 totaling 150,000 square feet.

Best Public Space: VCU Academic Learning Commons 
The $32 million, 102,000-square-foot building provides a student hub in the heart of campus. It includes a 400-seat lecture hall and classrooms.

Best Medical: Advanced Orthopaedics
The new $1.7 million, 29,000-square-foot space occupies the second floor of the new Francis Watkins Medical Center medical office building in Midlothian.  

Best Adaptive Reuse: The Locks
The WVS Cos. and Fountainhead Properties were recognized for their $30 million, six-acre project along Richmond’s downtown waterfront. The Locks is an urban project that combines 174 apartments and commercial spaces along the historic Haxall and Kanawha Canals.

Best Industrial: Rolls-Royce Advanced Airfoil Machining Facility
The 82,625-square-foot facility, located on a 60-acre parcel, shares common services with the recently completed Rolls-Royce Cross Pointe in Prince George County.  It was designed and built to LEED silver equivalent standards and includes such environmental features as a daylight harvesting system.

Best industrial lease: Vitamin Shoppe Worldwide Distribution Center

CBRE represented Vitamin Shoppe Industries in a lengthy site selection process that ranged from Raleigh, North Carolina to Caroline County, Va.  Multiple factors affected  the decision making process included labor, transportation, economic incentives, and proximity to UPS, USPS, and FedEx facilities. Ultimately the Ashland location was selected for the $25 million, 311,730-square-foot,  build-to-suit lease project, which will  create about 174 jobs. . 

Best Multifamily: Hopper Lofts

Hopper Paper Lofts LLC worked with  Walter Parks Architects and MGT Construction on this $21 million, adaptive reuse of a 139,000-square-foot former Philip Morris USA manufacturing facility into 138 apartments.  The building includes three-story units with skyline views of downtown from floor-to- ceiling windows.

Best Restaurant: The Daily Kitchen and Bar

The Richmond Restaurant Group revitalized the former Glass & Powder Board Shop property into a new Carytown restaurant. The 6,300-square -foot restaurant seats more than 200 people with about 30 seats on an outdoor patio. 

Best retail: American Family Fitness
The center at Virginia Center Commons was an adaptive reuse project that converted an old abandoned Dillards store.


Best Environmental: Somanath Seniors

The owner and developer, Better Housing Coalition, worked with the architecture firm of Baskervill, RTB, Timmons Group, ANW Engineering and Better Homes to create a model of affordable housing for aging citizens through the use of net-zero energy. The building’s roof in Richmond’s Church Hill has 98 photovoltaic solar panels and six solar thermal panels.The project also recently garnered a sustainable leadership award for Best Multifamily New Construction of the Year by EarthCraft Virginia.

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