Pamunkey Tribe names W.M. Jordan, Suffolk as Norfolk casino builders
Contract requires high participation from Black-owned subcontractors, suppliers
Newport News-based construction company W.M. Jordan Co. will team up with a national firm, Suffolk, to build Norfolk’s $500 million HeadWaters Resort & Casino project on the Elizabeth River, according to a Friday announcement from the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, the casino’s operator.
Suffolk, which earns $4 billion in annual revenue and employs 2,500 people in locations across the United States, has built new casinos and made major expansions to others in Florida, Arkansas and the Boston Harbor, and was named the No. 1 hotel sector construction firm in 2020 by Building Design + Construction, a trade publication. Jordan, a familiar name in Hampton Roads, has completed more than 100 projects in the city of Norfolk, including the Hilton Norfolk The Main, Nauticus, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters and buildings at Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and Eastern Virginia Medical School.
The Pamunkey tribe, which is partnering with Tennessee billionaire Jon Yarbrough on the casino, said in a statement Friday that Jordan and Suffolk were chosen for their use of local subcontractors and suppliers, and the Norfolk casino contract will require “high participation goals” for Black-owned businesses and Black workers in the construction process.
“This construction team will bring this project to life, one nail at a time. They are known for the quality of their work, and I have confidence they can deliver a magnificent project on schedule,” Pamunkey Chief Robert Gray said in a statement. “Just as important as their commitment to quality work, they are equally committed to providing opportunities for small and minority-owned subcontractors and suppliers to play a significant role in this project.”
The 300-room hotel, casino and entertainment venue is expected to produce at least 2,000 construction jobs. Groundbreaking is set for later this year or early 2022, the tribe has said, with the casino opening scheduled in 2023.