Real estate group names Gateway Plaza Project of the Year
Richmond’s newest skyscraper, Gateway Plaza, was named Project of the Year for 2016 during an annual awards event Tuesday evening sponsored by the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate (GRACRE).
The winning transaction at the event was the renewal of a lease for a headquarters site for Hamilton Beach at the Innsbrook Corporate Center in Henrico County.
Nearly 300 people from the region’s commercial real estate community gathered for the 15th annual recognition of the region’s top projects and transactions at the Country Club of Virginia. This year’s awards came from a field of more than 60 nominations — a good sign, officials said, that the market is back.
“The market is very strong. We've had a lot of good properties built in the last year,” said Frank Martino, GRACRE president and director of the Central Virginia office of L. F. Jennings, a general contractor. In fact, GRACRE added some new categories this year to accommodate for an influx of new projects. “We had to add categories the spectrum was so broad,” said Jane DuFrane, director of leasing for Highwoods Properties and a co-emcee for the event with John Mercer, an attorney who specializes in real estate law for Williams Mullen.
Gateway Plaza, Richmond’s first new downtown Richmond office tower in two decades, opened last September amid great fanfare while the city was hosting an international bike race. The developer/owner is Chicago-based Clayco Realty Group. The glass and aluminum skyscraper replaced a surface parking lot at 800 East Canal Street.
The $124 million, 315,000-square-foot tower is home to law firm McGuireWoods LLP and its public relations arm, McGuire Woods Consulting LLC. The law firm leases 230,000 square feet on eight floors and serves as the building’s anchor tenant.
Other tenants include TowneBank, which will open a branch on the ground floor and will lease additional office space on other floors for its regional headquarters.
The building has a dramatic foyer with massive murals of the James River rapids along with other modern features, including coffee bars and white boards.
The broker for the project was Colliers International; the architect, Forum Studio; the lender; New York-based Lexington Realty.
Other winning projects were:
Mixed Use: The Landmark at 1700 in Richmond, a rehab project of 19,500 square feet with 22 apartments. The owner/developer is 1700 Main LLC.
Multifamily Adaptive Reuse: The Preserve at Scott’s Addition. This was a $33 million renovation of a 44-acre site that was the former home of a Coca Cola bottling factory. Owner/developer Spy Rock Real Estate transformed the site into 124 new apartments and 70 redeveloped apartments.
Transformational Impact: Libbie Mill Library, a Henrico County branch that opened as part of an 80-acre, mixed-use project off Staples Mill Road.
Hospitality: Quirk Hotel, a new 75-room, six-story boutique hotel in Richmond’s downtown arts district. The owner/developer is Ted and Katie Ukrop while W. M. Jordan served as the general contractor and 3north as the architect.
Best Historic Renovation: Powers-Taylor Building, office, Shockoe Slip, downtown Richmond. The owner/developer is 13 South 13th Street LLC, and Fultz Architects served as the architect and interior designer.
The transaction of the year award was a lease renewal for the Hamilton Beach headquarters at Innsbrook Corporate Center. The deal included a retrofit of two buildings to meet the needs of a millennial workforce. Highwoods Properties Inc. was the seller/landlord broker, and JLL was the buyer /tenant broker in a lease valued at $25.7 million that kept the headquarters site on Waterfront Drive.
Other winning transactions included:
Urban Pioneer Transaction: Manchester Town Center. Alleghany Warehouse Co. Inc. sold a 12.8-acre parcel in Manchester for $3.7 million to a local developer who plans to develop the land on Semmes Ave. into a mixed-use project. CBRE|Richmond and Cushman Wakefield | Thalhimer brokered the deal.
Land Sale Transaction: Stone Brewing Co. JLL served as the buyer/tenant broker and Jane Ferrara, with the city of Richmond, was the seller/landlord broker in a deal for Richmond’s Economic Development Authority that helped convince California-based Stone Brewing to open a 215,000-square-foot East Coast brewery on a site in Fulton Bottom. The city’s economic development authority is issuing bonds for the construction of the brewery facility, now under construction, and will lease it to Stone.
A full list of the awards can be found at the GRACRE Website at http://www.gracre.org.