Despite the office market being shaken up by pandemic-induced work-from-home routines, Sauer Properties is setting its sights on a new office development in the city.
The next phase of the firm’s Sauer Center will be a four-story, 53,000-square-foot office building at 2222 W. Broad St., Sauer Properties President Ashley Peace confirmed this week.
The building will rise on a pad site behind the Broad Street-facing, CarMax-anchored Putney Building, and adjacent to a recently constructed parking deck that will support the new office building.
In addition to Whole Foods, the Sauer Center’s first phase included redeveloping about 161,000 square feet across four buildings into modern office space. Peace said about 95 percent of that space has been leased, including some deals signed during the COVID lockdown.
“We believe many companies, including ours, see value in team members working together in a physical office space,” Peace said. “We believe it is the right time to start marketing our next development as companies across the United States are re-evaluating their office and locational needs.”
One of the amenities at the new office building will be a rooftop deck. Peace said they were inspired to include one in the design after including one at the Putney Building, which is being leased primarily by CarMax.
“The views of downtown are incredible. (The Putney Building) was the design inspiration for the new office building,” Peace said. “Office users are excited about outdoor space for group gatherings and special events (that is pre- and post-pandemic). The space will set the building apart and be a competitive advantage.”
The site was part of the original development plan for the Sauer Center and will not require a rezoning or special use permit, however Peace said they hope to do some pre-leasing of the space before breaking ground.
The building was designed by Freeman Morgan Architects, and Commonwealth Commercial’s Russell Wyatt and Tucker Dowdy will have the listing. Peace said a general contractor has not yet been selected.
Sauer Properties itself is preparing a move into the new center as well.
Peace said the firm will leave its current office at 1840 W. Broad St. and head to 2000 W. Marshall St., a building it’ll share with general contractor Barton Malow. L.F. Jennings is handling the buildout for the office, which ENV Virginia is designing.
Last fall, the Sauers added to their footprint in the area with a $2 million deal for a warehouse at 1801 W. Marshall St. Peace said they don’t have any announcements to make for that parcel at this time.