A Hermitage Road flooring company is leaving its longtime home near the Diamond for some extra headroom.
Horizon Forest Products has leased 65,000 square feet at Interport Business Center on Eubank Road near the airport. Chip Lowman, head of the company’s local office, said it is growing “by leaps and bounds” and needs more storage space.
“We wanted the higher ceilings that aren’t offered in the mid-city buildings that we typically look at,” Lowman said. “We’ve been located in Scott’s Addition for years – decades, even – but we really wanted something with a 25-foot ceiling.”
The move will be about a 20,000-square-foot expansion for the flooring company that currently operates out of the West End Printing building at 2801 Hermitage Road. Horizon plans to move in the next few weeks.
Horizon, which sells wood flooring, has 17 people working in its Richmond shop with more hires to come soon.
In addition to the company’s growth, its move was also prompted by a shake-up at the West End Printing property over the summer.
Lowman said Horizon got an email from the landlord around June that said the company would need to leave because the building was being sold.
But about 45 days later, Lowman said, Horizon’s landlord tried to call it back to the building. By that time, the deal at Interport had already been set in motion.
West End Printing owns the Hermitage building, but its president Lee Bourne could not be reached for comment on the company’s plans for the vacant space once Horizon leaves.
Pleasants Hardware, which operates a store just up the road on Broad Street, has had an eye on the Hermitage Road building as it works to nail down a new location. A Whole Foods is planned to move into its current site.
Pleasants president James Hatcher said last week he’s planning a meeting with West End Printing about the building, but he has not finalized his company’s relocation plans.
Franklin Bell, a broker with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, handled the deal on Horizon’s behalf. Evan Magrill, also from Thalhimer, handled the lease for Interport’s landlord.
Horizon’s move out of smaller industrial space and into the higher-ceiling, Class-A Interport building will take another chunk of high-bay space out of an already tight industrial real estate market.
A CBRE | Richmond market report for the second quarter estimated a vacancy rate of only 3.6 percent for Class-A warehouse space with a minimum ceiling height of 24 feet. Interport still has about 92,000 square feet of recently renovated vacant space with air conditioning and a total of 15 loading docks, Magrill said.