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Construction to begin on first building in Newport News’ research center

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Rendering of Building One at Tech Center Research Park courtesy of W. M. Jordan Development Co.

W. M. Jordan Development Co. said Thursday that it would begin construction on its first building in the Tech Center Research Park in Newport News on Aug. 24.

The company plans a groundbreaking ceremony that day on the $18 million, 80,000-square-foot Building One. It will be the first of several other buildings in the 50-acre research park located at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Hogan Drive.

W. M. Jordan, Virginia Tech and the city of Newport News are the developers behind the project, which is adjacent to Marketplace at Tech Center and Venture Apartments.

S. J. Collins is the joint-venture developer with W. M. Jordan Development Company on Marketplace at Tech Center while Venture Realty Group is the joint-venture developer on Venture Apartments.

The purpose of the tech center is to provide the platform and synergy to attract tenants who desire a connected, collaborative and smart business community. Infrastructure is designed to provide supportive services to help businesses succeed. For instance, tenants in Building One will have access to VT Knowledge Works, a business acceleration program; videoconferencing, conference rooms, high internet speeds, networking events and co-working space.

The location of the tech center in the city’s enterprise zone also includes economic and business incentives.

“We anticipate the first businesses will move into Building One in August 2018,” John Lawson, CEO of W. M. Jordan Co., said in a statement. “The proximity to the prestigious Jefferson National Lab is invaluable, and it is the only area in the city of Newport News that is zoned for research.”

Jeff Johnson, the park’s director, said he looked forward to becoming a destination for Virginia Tech “as it extends beyond the boundaries of Blacksburg in support of the entrepreneurial ecosystem we are catalyzing here in Hampton Roads.”

W. M. Jordan purchased the vacant property at the corner of Oyster Point Road and Jefferson Avenue in 2010 from the College of William and Mary Foundation. When complete, the center will cover 100 acres.

The scope of the $450 million development includes Tech Center Research Park,  with nearly 1 million square feet of office and laboratory space on 50 acres; 288 residential units at Venture Apartments; and Marketplace at Tech Center, anchored by Whole Foods, with more than 250,000 square feet of retail space.

One economic impact study by Magnum Economics projects that the Tech Center will create more than 5,500 jobs in Newport News, half of them in the highest paying employment sector – professional, scientific and technical services. The study also predicts the state and local tax impact at build-out to be in excess of $28 million annually.

CBRE|Hampton Roads along with Virginia Tech is leasing Building One.

“Tech Center Research Park is one of a kind in the region and perhaps the commonwealth,” Perry Frazer, managing director and senior vice president of CBRE|Hampton Roads, said in a statement. “We are happy to be a part of this unique office development and are excited to see the identity of the project begin to take shape.”

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