Sauer Center development lands another tenant

SingleStone has leased the entire second floor of the building at the intersection of West Marshall Street and Hermitage Road. (Mike Platania)

With CarMax and Whole Foods already on board, Sauer Properties has landed another new tenant for its new high-profile project in the city.

Local IT firm SingleStone is moving its headquarters from Innsbrook to 2000 W. Marshall St. in The Sauer Center development.

Laura Dunning, SingleStone’s director of employee operations, said they’ve leased the entire 14,000-square-foot second floor of the building at the intersection of West Marshall Street and Hermitage Road, which is being refurbished.

The 22-year-old tech consulting firm was founded in Charlottesville before moving to Richmond about 10 years ago. It’ll leave its current offices at 4101 Cox Road, with plans to move into Sauer Center in spring 2020.

SingleStone follows CarMax – which is one of the firm’s clients – as the second office tenant to sign on for the Whole Foods-anchored development. CarMax is taking 78,000 square feet in the former Putney Shoe factory building at 2220 W. Broad St.

Other SingleStone clients include Owens & Minor, Discover, Pacific Life and Dave Matthews Band.

The company has a staff of about 100 in 8,000 square feet in Innsbrook. Dunning said they’re “bursting at the seams” in their current office and wanted to move closer to where many of their employees live.

“A lot of our employees don’t live near Innsbrook or the West End where it used to be a more popular office space,” Dunning said. “What we’re excited about with Sauer Center is we’ll have room to breathe a little bit more. … We just wanted to be in Richmond and feel like a part of the city.”

SingleStone first announced the move Wednesday evening at Richmond BizSense’s Hard Hat Happy Hour, held in the annex of the Putney building.

Thalhimer’s Brian Berkey represented SingleStone in lease negotiations. Commonwealth Commercial’s Tucker Dowdy and Russell Wyatt represent Sauer. ENV is designing SingleStone’s space and L.F. Jennings is the project’s general contractor.

Sauer Properties owns more than 36 acres of land on and around the Sauer Center site. The company is now a standalone business after the Sauers sold the family spice business, C.F. Sauer Co., to private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount.

Following the CarMax and SingleStone deals, over 170,000 square feet of office space remains available at the Sauer Center: 14,000 on the first floor of 2000 West Marshall, about 143,000 in the Putney Building and its annex, and 17,000 at 840 Hermitage Road.

Sauer Properties’ President Ashley Peace said they’ve got another deal in the works for 840 Hermitage Road that they hope to announce in a few weeks.

“We’re incredibly excited, we’ve just got a ton of momentum now with CarMax and SingleStone,” Peace said. “We’re cooking at a good pace over here. … It’s exceeded expectations for sure.”

CarMax, Whole Foods and SingleStone represent a first phase of the Sauer Center redevelopment, Peace said, and in 2020 they’ll kick off a master planning process for the remaining acreage there.

Whole Foods has been rumored to be opening in the first quarter of 2020, but the Amazon-owned grocery chain has not announced an opening date.

“Whole Foods doesn’t even tell us as the landlord,” Peace said, laughing. “But anybody can go and look in the windows and see they’re quite far along.”

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John Lindner
John Lindner
9 months ago

It’s great to see those incredible old buildings come back to life. Sauer has certainly been patient in redeveloping their properties in part of town. Hopefully this becomes a tipping point that brings even more investment to that area.

Now about that old Sears building next to Lowes….

Ashley Peace
Ashley Peace
9 months ago
Reply to  John Lindner

John, thanks for your support. The Sears building will eventually be redeveloped as part of The Sauer Center master plan.

charles Frankenhoff
charles Frankenhoff
9 months ago
Reply to  Ashley Peace

The Sears building is currently a blight it would be wonderful to see that redeveloped

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
9 months ago

The building exterior needs work but I rather have an ugly exterior full of well paid factory workers then say low paying retail. The Sauers factory in the old Sears is moved I hope it stays in the City.

Ryan Courson
Ryan Courson
9 months ago
Reply to  Michael Dodson

The real blight is the panhandler palace at Broad and Allen. Every whino within a 20 block radius hangs out there. Do something about that and people will flock to the area.

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
9 months ago

Look in the windows and check their website. Whole Foods is hiring the entire store and shelves, registers, etc are all going in. They are going to take 3-4 months to train, set up, and stock shelves They had professional photographer take photos a couple of weeks ago (moved fences around parking lot, some stock on shelves). I think by early March it will be open. So excited for Brad and team that have transformed the area. Just not looking for forward to to traffic at 5PM so I hope all the CarMax employees take the Pulse!