CoStar has taken another big bite out of Richmond.
Last week the commercial real estate data giant bought the 117,000-square-foot former SunTrust Mortgage office building at 901 Semmes Ave. in Manchester for $20 million, city records show.
The five-story building will add to CoStar’s downtown office space as it continues to plan a nearly half-billion-dollar, 750,000-square-foot office complex just across the river on a 4-acre plot it bought at 600 Tredegar in 2020 for $20 million.
It also already occupies the former WestRock building at 501 S. 5th St., which it bought last year for $130 million.
A CoStar spokesperson said the company anticipates more than 400 of its 1,200 local employees will be based out of the Manchester office and that they plan to move in in the late summer.
The building was formerly part of SunTrust Mortgage’s Southside campus but has been vacant in recent years since SunTrust, now Truist Bank, moved its mortgage operations to its adjacent office at 1001 Semmes Ave. as well as to North Carolina.
Truist, still identified as SunTrust on the property record, continues to own and occupy the neighboring building.
CoStar’s purchase closed April 29, city records show. The seller was an entity tied to both Truist and the Richmond Redevelopment & Housing Authority. The RRHA has had a stake in the property dating back to the 1990s, when it worked with a SunTrust predecessor to develop the two-building campus.
The RRHA had a 38 percent stake in the property since 1996 and received $7.6 million through the sale. A spokeswoman for the RRHA said they haven’t yet finalized plans for how they’ll use the proceeds, “however, it is always our goal to serve as a catalyst for the creation of additional affordable housing.”
As for the future CoStar complex north of the river, the company is looking to break ground on its 26-story tower this summer. Construction is expected to take about two years.
Earlier this year, CoStar became embroiled in controversy following a series of Business Insider reports outlining an unpleasant work environment at the firm led by CEO Andy Florance. CoStar has denied the claims made in the reports.