An Illinois firm is digging into Richmond and adding to the city’s available warehouse space.
Becknell Industrial, a real estate developer specializing in industrial properties, plans to expand the Airport Distribution Center at South Laburnum Avenue and Darbytown Road with a 216,000-square-foot building.
The plans, which were approved by the Henrico County Planning Commission on Wednesday, would add a second structure to the 48-acre property, which Becknell purchased in June of last year for $8.4 million. An existing 115,000-square-foot structure, built in 2008, already stands on the property.
“It was an opportunity for us to come in and purchase not only a quality building in a nice park, but also an opportunity to construct some new buildings and start relationships with more tenants,” said Pete Anderson, Becknell’s executive vice president of investments.
Anderson described the structures as “modern, functional warehouse distribution buildings,” each with a 32-foot dock available per every 10,000 square feet and multiple drive-in doors.
The existing building houses three tenants: WestRock, Forward Air and Batesville Casket Co.
The new 216,000-square-foot structure will sit on the back of the property along Miller Road and could house multiple tenants, Anderson said, depending on the need. Construction should be completed by late spring of 2016.
Cliff Porter of Porter Realty is handling leasing for Becknell, which is doing its own general contracting.
Ultimately, the plans for the property will include construction of two additional buildings – one coming in at around 200,000 square feet, and the last standing at about 142,000 square feet.
Anderson did not share how much it will cost to construct the additional buildings but said Becknell is self-financing the endeavor.
“We also intend to be a long-term owner,” he said. “As a company, we’re very interested in markets like Richmond.”
In addition to the Airport Distribution Center, Becknell owns a 60,000-square-foot warehouse at 8750 Park Central Drive in central Henrico. It purchased that property in 1997 for $2.65 million.
Founded in 1990, Becknell owns 12 million square feet of industrial properties worth $700 million across the country.