As the mixed-use revival of Regency mall continues across the street, the long-dormant former Toys ‘R’ Us building on Quioccasin Road is undergoing its own transformation.
Work is underway on a renovation and expansion of the former toy store, with plans pointing to a new facility for PPD, a North Carolina-based pharmaceutical research firm that expanded to Henrico County a decade ago.
Development plans filed with the county indicate a rehab of the existing 43,100-square-foot building at 8700 Quioccasin Road, along with a nearly 16,000-square-foot single-story addition to the front of the building.
The plans indicate the existing building would be used as lab space, and building permits refer to the project as “PPD” and “PPD CSD-ICD expansion.” The permits, issued in May and July, put the cost of interior and underground demolition work at $10 million, and the addition at $1.8 million.
Gilbane Building Co. is the contractor for the interior and underground demo, and Balfour Beatty Construction is building the addition. Local architecture firm PSH+ is designing the addition, and Henrico-based Draper Aden Associates is handling engineering work.
The nearly 5-acre property is owned by Birch Tree Holdings LLC, an Alexandria-based group that bought the two-parcel assemblage in 2019 for $4.2 million. Richmond Realty Group, based in Fairfax, is listed on plans as the developer and has been marketing the property for lease.
Representatives for Birch Tree and Richmond Realty did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment on the project. Randy Buckwalter, a PPD spokesman, said the company could not discuss the project.
Built in 1981 for Toys ‘R’ Us, the building was one of several local outposts for the retail chain until 2012, when the Quioccasin store was closed in favor of a Short Pump location that doubled as a Babies ‘R’ Us. Other area stores were closed and sold off in the wake of the retailer’s 2017 bankruptcy filing in Richmond federal court.
In 2014, the Quioccasin property was sold through a bank resale to an entity tied to Ashley Furniture — but a store never materialized. The property sold at that time for $1.9 million. Henrico County most recently assessed the two parcels at over $2.37 million combined.
More recently, Nova Aquatics had considered the property for its new swim facility at Regency before signing a lease for its 50,000-square-foot space in the mall’s former Macy’s South building. The $18 million facility is part of a $35 million redevelopment of the mall by Rebkee Co. and Thalhimer Realty Partners, with plans calling for a mix of residential and commercial uses.
The PPD project was previously reported by the Times-Dispatch.