Ferguson to expand headquarters in Newport News

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Ferguson Enterprises Inc. is expanding its footprint in Newport News.

The $82.8 million project will include construction of a seven-story headquarters building at City Center at Oyster Point, a mixed-use development approximately 4 miles from the company’s current Newport News headquarters. The expansion is expected to create 434 jobs and retain 891 positions.

Ferguson Enterprises is the largest plumbing wholesaler in the U.S. It also is a major distributor of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, fire protection systems, waterworks and industrial products and services. The company is part of Zug, Switzerland-based Wolseley plc, which was scheduled to change its name to Ferguson on July 31.

In explaining the expansion, Ferguson Enterprises said it had reached capacity at its Hampton Roads operations.  The company, which has been based in Virginia for more than 60 years, also said it opted to stay in Newport News because of its strong workforce. In addition to Virginia, Ferguson Enterprises considered expanding in California, Oregon, Nevada and South Dakota.  

Hiring for new job openings has begun and will continue until 2021. Construction on the 260,000-square-foot headquarters building will begin next year and is expected to be completed in two to three years.

City Center offers an urban feel and easy access to amenities like restaurants and shops, which will help Ferguson attract talent, says Florence Kingston, director of Newport News’ development department.

“One of our other selling points in terms of value of this location was the convenience to the corporate headquarters locations,” and quick interstate access, she says. 

The company is eligible for $4.1 million in state incentives and $11.5 million in local incentives, including grants, tax credits and infrastructure contributions. Newport News also plans to spend $25.5 million to build a 1,500-space public parking garage that will connect to Ferguson’s new offices and $700,000 to extend a private road from the garage to the building.   

The 52-acre City Center development includes restaurants, apartments and a Marriott hotel, which has a conference center owned by the Newport News Economic Development Authority. Access to the Marriott will allow Ferguson to easily bring in people for training, meetings, sales conferences and other events, says Carol Meredith, Newport News’ assistant director of development.

“They wanted to be somewhere that would be a statement,” Meredith says. The company also sought a site that offered the convenience of “being able to get out of your office to grab a coffee, or work out or do plenty of other things and never have to get into one’s car again until the end of the day.”

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