A developer from Hampton Roads has a plan in the works to add another 200,000 square feet of warehouse space to the region.
Virginia Beach-based Armada Hoffler submitted plans last week to Chesterfield County to construct a 221,000-square-foot distribution warehouse at 1608 Willis Road, in an industrial area near the intersection of Coach and Willis roads, according to county records.
Coined “Project River City,” the proposed development is being fast-tracked through Chesterfield’s planning division.
The site also can be expanded by 36,500 square feet, and includes a CSX rail spur north of the property.
Karen Aylward, assistant director of the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority, would not comment on future tenants of the facility or how many jobs it may bring to the area.
Armada Hoffler did not return requests for comment Monday.
The proposed facility would occupy 27 acres of a 178-acre tract owned by Alstom Power Inc., according to county documents. Alstom was purchased in 2015 by General Electric, which operates a manufacturing facility next door to the property at 1200 Willis Road.
CBRE | Richmond brokers John Carpin and Wood Thornton have listed the 178 acres for $2.5 million, according to a marketing brochure. Much of the northern half of the tract is wetlands, while 56 acres, including the proposed 27-acre distribution facility, can be developed along Willis Road.
Carpin and Thornton could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
No timeline for construction has been released. The property is zoned for industrial, meaning the project is not subject to a public hearing or final vote by the county’s board of supervisors.
Aylward said the EDA worked with Armada Hoffler to designate the proposed facility a fast-track project. Fast-tracked projects are given priority by county planning staff, and typically must complete reviews within five business days of submittal.
If granted approval by the planning department, Project River City would be Armada Hoffler’s first foray into industrial development in metro Richmond.
A publicly traded REIT known for developing multifamily, office and retail properties across Virginia, the Carolinas and greater Washington, D.C., Armada Hoffler owns several retail properties in the local market, including the Dimmock Square and Southgate Square shopping centers in Colonial Heights; Bermuda Crossroads in Chester and the Southshore Shops in Chesterfield County.
It sold the Williams Mullen Center at 200 S. 10th St. downtown in January 2016 for $78 million.
In its third quarter 2017 earnings report, Armada Hoffler noted $443 million worth of new development in its pipeline. The proposed Chesterfield distribution facility was not listed.
Armada Hoffler’s pending deal adds to the area’s growing demand for new and improved industrial spaces near the Port of Richmond.
Last month, Richmond-based Hourigan Development paid $8.5 million for 110 acres at 3021 Commerce Road for its future 1.5 million-square-foot, build-to-suit Deepwater Industrial Park.
California-based Panattoni Development Co. is constructing a 1 million-square-foot spec warehouse facility on 62 acres at 4701 Commerce Road, which was purchased from Phillip Morris.