A Virginia Beach commercial real estate brokerage has found itself some new square footage in downtown Richmond.
Divaris Real Estate will relocate its Richmond office from the Bank of America building on 11th Street to the Williams Mullen Center at 200 S. 10th St. The 4-year-old Williams Mullen Center is owned by Armada Hoffler Properties, a Virginia Beach-based REIT and frequent Divaris client.
“We manage many of Armada Hoffler’s properties and advise them on many of their real estate transactions,” said Read Goode, manager of Divaris’ Richmond office. “They’re good friends and professional acquaintances, so if we can occupy a property one of our best clients owns, then we want to do that.”
Divaris is taking 6,000 square feet on the 10th floor of the Williams Mullen Center and vacating about 4,800 square feet on the Bank of America building’s eigth floor. The move is scheduled for early next year. The company signed a 10-year lease for the new space.
Divaris is one of the largest Richmond real estate brokerages to keep its main office downtown. A 2014 BizSense list showed Divaris was the second largest downtown commercial brokerage, trailing only Cary Street’s Shockoe Co.
Goode said the choice to be downtown was originally due to the company founders’ liking for area, but now a major account necessitates a downtown office. Last year, the state of Virginia picked Divaris to manage its real estate portfolio of more than 400,000 acres of land and 117 million square feet of space.
“We do need to be walking distance from the state office building,” Goode said.
The move will also put Divaris closer to law firm Williams Mullen, which serves as its corporate counsel and anchors the 16-story office building that bears its name.
Divaris specializes in retail brokerage, particularly tenant representation, and does some work in office space. The 1,200-square-foot expansion will give Divaris room to nearly double its Richmond-area workforce to about 25, Goode said.
Goode said Divaris hopes to expand its reach into the Richmond office and industrial real estate markets.
“We want to continue to build the Class-A office side of the business and the industrial side of the business,” Goode said. “We don’t do much industrial work now, and we’re striving to be full service.”