The sun showed up just in time Monday for the golden-shovel christening of the future site of what will become one of Richmond’s tallest buildings.
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held yesterday afternoon for Dominion Resources’ forthcoming 20-story, nearly 1-million-square-foot office building that will take shape over the next two years at 111 S. Sixth St.
On hand were Dominion CEO Tom Farrell, out-going Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, and Mark Hourigan, CEO of Hourigan Construction, which is leading construction on the project.
Once completed as expected in 2019, the tower will hold 17 floors of office space, two floors of above-ground parking and four floors of underground parking. Around 5,000 square feet of ground floor retail space is also planned for the building’s northeast side on Seventh Street and Cary.
The property, which encompasses the entire city block between Sixth and Seventh streets between Cary and Canal, was until recently home to the Richmond Plaza building. Dominion purchased the six-story, 269,000-square-foot eyesore for $5 million in 2011.
Farrell said he loathed driving past the aging building on his way to work each day at Dominion’s neighboring headquarters at 701 E. Cary St. He wasn’t sad to see it demolished this summer and fall courtesy of S.B. Cox.
“I had a particular dislike of this building,” Farrell said, drawing chuckles from the groundbreaking crowd. “I instructed (Dominion Chief Administrative Officer Carter Reid) to find a way to buy and tear it down.”
Farrell said the tower will help Dominion attract and retain talent, will operate with greater energy efficiency than its current offices and will offer more onsite parking for the company’s employees.
It currently has about 2,500 employees working downtown.
The company hasn’t disclosed total development costs for the building, though Farrell teased Monday that it’s “many multi-millions of dollars.”
Dominion has said it is also considering building a separate, neighboring tower on the site of its current headquarters that would span 850,000 square feet on 16 floors. Farrell said Monday the company will make a decision on that in the next two years.
In describing some of the specs of the undertaking, Hourigan said the building will eventually be wrapped in 335,000 square feet of glass. If you were to lay those glass panels out side-by-side, they’d stretch from downtown to Short Pump, he said.
Foundation work is expected to begin next month. A topping off of the building’s steel frame is expected in the next 12 months.
Clayco, the Chicago-based developer known locally for building the new Gateway Plaza tower downtown, is a minority partner on the development with Hourigan.
Timmons Group is the project’s civil engineer. Kendall Heaton Associates is the architect of record.
Rising just over 417 feet from its front entrance, Dominion’s new building would be the city’s second-tallest building, second only to the 29-story James Monroe Building, which stands at 449 feet at 101 N. 14th St.
Dominion, however, has emphasized that its peak will sit 509 feet above sea level, based on where it sits on the hill going up Cary and Canal. Elevation-wise, the company said, the new building would be the tallest in Richmond.