Plans submitted for first phase of 450-acre Sauer Industrial Center

A conceptual rendering of one of the industrial buildings planned for the first phase of Sauer Industrial Center. (Images courtesy of Sauer Properties)

A wave of industrial development interest continues to spread across the region, as the first phase of what’s planned to be a massive new industrial park near Richmond International Airport appears to be moving forward in Henrico County.

Development plans have been submitted for Phase 1 of Sauer Industrial Center, a 450-acre site just south of RIC that local developer Sauer Properties plans to ultimately fill with 3.3 million square feet of Class A industrial building space.

Sauer Properties, which owns the land, secured zoning last fall for about half of the property, including the Phase 1 site at the northeast corner of the Airport Drive-Pocahontas Parkway interchange. Two subsequent phases would fill Sauer-controlled land on the west side of Airport Drive to as far as Laburnum Avenue.

A map of the Sauer Industrial Center site, oriented with the right side as north.

Indiana-based Becknell Industrial is developing the first phase, which would consist of two warehouse buildings totaling about 837,000 square feet on 48 acres of a 78-acre site between Airport Drive and Monahan Road. Sauer Properties will develop future phases, said Ashley Peace, the company’s president.

Peace deferred to Becknell for details on Phase 1, including potential users for the two buildings. Becknell representatives did not respond to multiple requests for comment last week.

Plans filed with Henrico show that one building would total 558,000 square feet and house 168 employees, while the other building would total 279,000 square feet and house 136 workers. The two buildings are projected to generate 324 peak-hour vehicle trips and would include 278 parking spaces.

Midlothian-based Townes Site Engineering drew up the plans, which were submitted earlier this month.

Proffers submitted by Sauer for the 226 acres that were rezoned last fall state that at least 20 percent of the larger property would be used as open space. Additional proffers address traffic impacts expected from the eventual development of that land, which the county projects to generate 12,300 weekday trips.

Elevation renderings of the proposed first phase of buildings. (Courtesy of Henrico County)

Truck access would be restricted from Monahan Road, and Miller Road would be widened to three lanes, among other road improvements.

Sauer’s development adds to other industrial projects that have been sweeping through the region in recent months.

Elsewhere in Henrico, Dallas-based Hillwood Enterprises is planning a five-story, 2.6-million square-foot warehouse complex on a 247-acre parcel just north of Richmond Raceway.

In Hanover County, Becknell also is developing a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center for Lowe’s Home Improvement on a roughly 200-acre site along Interstate 95. A similar-sized facility for Wegmans Food Markets also is in the works, while Indianapolis-based Scannell Properties is developing a multi-building industrial park at Route 1 and Cedar Lane.

And in New Kent County, Tennessee-based The Hollingsworth Cos. is preparing to begin work on a 650,000-square-foot industrial building at Southpoint Business Park.

Meanwhile, Sauer Properties also is moving forward with the next phase of its Sauer Center development in the city. The company is planning a four-story, 53,000-square-foot office building at 2222 W. Broad St., and it recently added to its holdings there with its purchase of a 23,000-square-foot warehouse building at 1801 W. Marshall St.

The building at 15 S. Auburn Ave. (Mike Platania photo)

Carytown office building bought

Sauer Properties also added to its holdings in Carytown last week. It purchased a two-story, 2,000-square-foot office building at 15 S. Auburn Ave. for $625,000. Peace said the company was drawn to the building in part because of its proximity to other Sauer properties in the area, including the Cary Court shopping center.

The deal included an off-street parking lot with 12 spaces. Peace said the company is seeking to rent out the office space, all of which is available.

BizSense reporter Mike Platania contributed to this report.

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