CoStar makes $18M pledge to VCU for arts building
Groundbreaking for CoStar Center for Arts and Innovation set for fall
CoStar Group, the Washington, D.C.-based real estate data analytics company with a large presence in Richmond, has committed to give $18 million to Virginia Commonwealth University to build an arts and innovation academic building in Richmond, the company announced Friday.
The building, which will tentatively be named the CoStar Center for Arts and Innovation, will house VCU’s School of the Arts and interdisciplinary programs involving business, sciences, medicine and engineering. Groundbreaking for the building, which will be at the intersection of Broad and Belvidere streets across from VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art, is set this fall. The center is expected to open in early 2027, according to the news release. The building is expected to be 213,000 square feet and include performance spaces, makerspaces and classrooms.
“CoStar Group’s strategic partnership — the second largest corporate commitment in VCU history — will provide a launch pad for generations of VCU innovators, artists, makers and performers,” Michael Rao, president of VCU and VCU Health, said in a statement. “We’re excited about our plan to name the CoStar Center for Arts and Innovation, which will recognize the tremendous alliance that has grown between VCU and CoStar Group. This collaboration will enrich our students, CoStar Group’s workforce, and the city of Richmond alike.”
CoStar’s founder and CEO, Andy Florance, has been a member of VCU’s board of visitors since 2021, and the company previously gave the university $2.5 million to establish a chair of real estate analytics at the School of Business.
“VCU has proven to be a constant source of innovation and energy, and CoStar Group has drawn heavily from its graduates and creative talent in recent years. As we continue to expand our business, our interests align seamlessly with VCU’s commitment to educational excellence,” Florance said. “I am confident that Dr. Rao’s leadership will continue to make a positive lasting impact and that he will be a thoughtful steward of the center’s resources. This partnership will support VCU’s world-class educational programs as well as contribute culturally to the City of Richmond and the commonwealth of Virginia, which CoStar Group calls home.”
In November 2022, CoStar broke ground on its $460 million expansion in downtown Richmond, which will bring its total footprint in the city to 1 million square feet. Currently the company employs more than 1,500 people in Richmond, and it expects to more than double that number when the new CoStar campus opens in 2026.