A peek inside downtown’s newest office tower

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After two years of construction, Gateway Plaza is finally open for business.

Colliers International broker Andrew Ferguson last week led BizSense on a tour of some of the 307,000-square-foot, 18-story building.

Developed by Chicago-based Clayco, the building has a tenant list that so far includes McGuireWoods, TowneBank and Bill Goodwin’s CCA Industries. The area’s second Potbelly Sandwich Works location has leased the property’s ground-floor restaurant space.

McGuireWoods moved into the building in April, and TowneBank is set to move in during the spring of next year. About 50,000 square feet is still available between floors eight and nine. Ferguson is handling the leasing.

Clayco did its own general contracting work on the project and worked with the Forum Studios to design the $124 million building.

New York-based Lexington Realty Trust financed the tower’s development and is now under contract to purchase the property. The deal is in the process of closing, Ferguson said.

The building was designed with efficiency in mind, Ferguson said. Its exterior walls consist entirely of floor-to-ceiling windows that are highly energy efficient and allow for great views.

The building’s design attempts to highlight its location in regard to what Ferguson calls downtown’s shifting focus.

“The focus of downtown is really getting closer to the river,” he said. “It’s not right now, but the future for downtown Richmond, I think, is moving closer to Canal and Byrd Street and the park. All these big companies are going to be opening their doors into this area. We think we’re positioned well.”

Forum Studios teamed up with Mickett/Stackhouse Studios to design three artistic concepts for the lobby. The first is a mosaic that resembles the river and rocks, called Riversong. The second, Capitol Flow, consists of flowlines that run through the lobby, figuratively connecting the river to the Capitol. And the third, Clear Passage, is a sculpture that resembles sunlight shining into the lobby.

“It was amazing how they came together during construction,” Ferguson said. “You had this building going up around these artists, putting together this amazing mosaic.”

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