A longtime Hopewell-based general contractor is packing its bags, moving to the city of Richmond and planning to house some new neighbors once it gets there.
Harlan Construction, which has focused mostly on commercial and industrial projects through its history, is looking to build a five-story mixed-use building at 501 Orleans St. in Fulton, near Rocketts Landing.
The ground floor of the building would become the firm’s new office headquarters, while 26 apartments will make up the four floors above.
The 58-year-old firm will leave its current home at 602 Elm Court in southern Hopewell once the new project is built. The company’s work has included the expansion of the Coca-Cola bottling plant near the airport and the recently-opened SpringHill Suites hotel in Chester.
President and namesake Will Harlan said the move is motivated by a desire to be more centrally located.
“The reason for moving our business office is for the convenience of our employees, as well as to be in closer proximity to our customers,” he said. “We do a lot of design-build work, and this will put us more in the center of things than we have been.”
Jake Harlan, Will’s son and the company’s vice president, said the new 6,000-square-foot office will also provide more space for its in-office staff of 15. The company totals around 80 employees.
Jake said the move will be a sort of homecoming for the Harlans.
“We’re very familiar with the area. I live in Church Hill, (my parents) lived in Church Hill when I was born. It seemed like the obvious path of development for us,” he said.
Earlier this month, Harlan bought the 0.6-acre Orleans Street parcel from the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority for $350,000. It also bought the adjacent 0.02-acre parcel at 4811 S. 37th St. in January for $54,000.
Harlan then successfully petitioned to rezone the land from M-1 Light Industrial to B-5 Central Business district, with Roth Jackson’s Mark Kronenthal representing it in the process. The City Council approved the rezoning at its Sept. 12 meeting.
510 Architects is the project’s designer and Harlan will, naturally, be the general contractor.
In addition to the Fulton headquarters, Will Harlan said, they’re also planning to establish a facility in Chesterfield that’ll house equipment and some fabrication supplies, but details for that haven’t been finalized.
Harlan’s new headquarters will rise next to part of Zimmer Development Co.’s planned Fulton Yards project that includes over 500 apartments and 100,000 square feet of commercial space.
Will said they saw being in proximity to that as a plus.
“We’re (getting) there just a little before things are kind of really jumping over there,” he said. “It’s going to be a much more pedestrian-friendly environment after all those developments take place.”
Harlan isn’t the only construction company in town building itself a new headquarters with other uses mixed in.
The Breeden Co. is following a similar script as Harlan, albeit on a larger scale over near Scott’s Addition. The Virginia Beach-based developer is planning to build a mixed-use building at 2300 Hermitage Road that’ll include 142 apartments and a 24,000-square-foot office to be occupied by its Richmond-based Breeden Construction arm.