Let the digging begin

gateway plaza

One of two triangular lots that will house the new tower. The portion of the street in the foreground will also be shut down and built over for the development. (photo by Michael Schwartz)

The deal has been sealed for the two sites that will be home to downtown’s newest tower.

Chicago developer Clayco began construction Friday on the Gateway Plaza, a $110 million, 16-story project at 8th and Cary Streets. It also closed on Friday on the acquisition of two triangular lots needed for the tower from Dominion Resources. It paid the utility giant $6.2 million for the properties, which comprise about an acre and sit next to its Dominion’s headquarters at Eight, Ninth, Cary and Canal streets.

“We’ll turn on the equipment Friday and work over the weekend; pretty much two shifts a day for the foreseeable future,” said Clayco Principal Larry Chapman on Thursday.

Gateway Plaza rendering

The planned 15-story building could be even taller if tenant interest is high enough.

Gateway Plaza will also eventually sit atop part of the city-owned Eighth Street connector, which cuts between the two lots. Valued at $1.6 million that piece of road will be transferred to Clayco as construction progresses.

The Richmond City Council voted unanimously in June to put up a $14 million to pay for a portion of the parking garage that will be part of the development and for an incentive grant for the developer.

The first stage of construction includes drilling holes in the ground 60 feet down to granite, Chapman said. Those holes will be filled with concrete to set up the foundation.

The 275,000-square-foot tower will be anchored by Richmond law firm McGuireWoods. McGuireWoods will relocate from its current office in nearby One James Center.

Chapman said there will be further discussions with potential tenants to join McGuireWoods in the new building, which is expected to be ready for business in 2015.

“Now is when that action really starts,” Chapman said of leasing activity. “Once people see a building under construction, all the people we’ve been talking to start getting serious. No one believes until it’s real in our business.”

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "Let the digging begin"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Bill Clay

Let’s keep our fingers crossed this building grows taller. 16 stories on this site downtown would be disappointing.


I cant tell you how much I agree Bill. At 16 stories, I say they shouldnt even build it. Go hard, or go home. This site is begging for a landmark richmond building on the skyline. It should stand out from the skyline, not blend in.