Tower’s tale gets a few more stories

“We just decided to go ahead,” said Clayco principal Larry Chapman, left. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

Downtown Richmond’s newest office tower is aiming a little higher.

More floors have been added to the plans for the Gateway Plaza project at Eighth and Cary streets.

The change will bring the project – originally proposed as a $110 million, 15- or 16-story building – to 18 stories with a price tag of $124 million.

“We just did some rearranging right at the end,” said Larry Chapman, a principal with Clayco, the building’s Chicago-based developer.

Gateway Plaza rendering

The planned tower will be 18 stories. (Courtesy of Crews Communications

Gateway Plaza’s initial plans called for 275,000 square feet of office space. That number is now 307,000 square feet, on top of 200,000 square feet of parking and 14,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, Chapman said.

“We’re confident based on the activity we’re getting,” Chapman said of the planned additions. “We just decided to go ahead.”

The updates were announced Tuesday at a ceremonial groundbreaking.

The project is being financing by an affiliate of New York-based Lexington Realty Trust. Construction began Aug. 23, the same day Clayco closed on the deal to acquire the two triangular lots from Dominion Resources for a total of $6.2 million.

Clayco is still aiming to have its anchor tenant, law firm McGuireWoods, moved in by summer 2015.

McGuireWoods has agreed to lease some of the added space. Bob Couture, executive director at McGuireWoods, said the firm is taking on an additional 10,000 square feet, or roughly half of another floor. It signed on 205,000 square feet when the project was announced in January.

“We said we could probably use a little more space for the discovery work we do,” Couture said. “It gives us more flexibility for growth.”

McGuireWoods and its more than 200 attorneys will occupy floors 10 through 17, plus half of the seventh floor.

The firm will eventually vacate its 244,000 square feet at the nearby One James Center. Its lease runs out Aug. 31, 2015, Couture said, just in time to move into its new digs.

If Clayco’s efforts pay off, McGuireWoods will have some neighbors.

The company continues to market the remaining square footage, which includes a penthouse. The space was being offered earlier this year at $28.50 per square foot per year. Colliers brokers Muscoe Garnett and Andrew Ferguson are handling the leasing.

“We’d like to see it all filled up by the time we move in,” Couture said.

The construction site was once was the Eighth Street Connector. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

The construction site was once was the Eighth Street Connector. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
7 years ago

Another parking lot eliminated and covered by a productive office building downtown! The City growth is phenomenal. Please note that Colliers agent Loretta Cataldi is handling the retail leasing.

Bill Clay
Bill Clay
7 years ago

Hopefully, this building will grow a few more stories yet before all is said and done. This site has the potential for something special. 18 stories is difficult to get excited about.

Bill Clay
Bill Clay
6 years ago

I love how a 25 story office tower is announced in Charlotte and it’s business as usual and this thing can’t even reach 20 stories on one of the best parcels of land left downtown. People are visual and the Millennials flocking to Charlotte love their skyline. Same in Nashville, and Raleigh, and Austin, and OKC….I’m sorry but a 18/19 story building on this parcel downtown is a disappointment. I would have much rather waited a couple years to see something taller go on such a prime piece of downtown real estate