Thalhimer takes reins of final piece of Westhampton Commons with Bon Secours-anchored mixed-use building

westhampton commons bon secours rendering 2023

Plans are in the works for a new building with apartments and office space at Westhampton Commons, where Bon Secours plans to have an office presence. (Image courtesy of Thalhimer Realty Partners)

After years of evolving plans, Bon Secours appears closer to having a presence at the redeveloped Westhampton School by way of an office-anchored mixed-use building slated to begin construction later this year.

The health system is handing the reins of the final parcel of what’s now known as Westhampton Commons to Thalhimer Realty Partners, which is planning a five-story, 103,000-square-foot building that will feature office space, to be mostly occupied by Bon Secours, as well as apartments.

The $21 million building will front Libbie Avenue with 51,000 square feet of office space in the lower two levels and 53 apartments in the upper floors.

Thalhimer plans to break ground on the project in October, and is targeting an April 2025 completion date.

Thalhimer is under contract to buy the development rights to the 0.74-acre project site from Bon Secours, which has a ground-lease on the overall 4.2-acre Westhampton Commons site from the city. Richmond’s Economic Development Authority will continue to own the land, while Thalhimer will own the new building and pay the entire cost of the project.

It’s a similar setup to the other two buildings at Westhampton Commons: the renovated 1917 school building that’s now office space and the new-construction, mixed-use building that fronts Patterson Avenue.

“For the final component of the development, Bon Secours collaborated again with Thalhimer Realty Partners (TRP) to evaluate the highest and best use of this property for our community, ” Bon Secours spokeswoman Jenna Green said in an email. “Becoming a tenant in this new development allows us to better utilize our current space for clinical purposes, to better serve our patients, on the campus of Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital.” 

Bon Secours is expected to occupy 26,000 square feet, or about half the office space at the upcoming building, according to Thalhimer Principal Jason Guillot. He said that the project taps into the strong demand for office space in the West End, and that other users have signed letters of intent to fill out the rest of the building’s office space.

“What we’ve learned both pre- and post-pandemic, given my involvement with both Westhampton on Grove and Westhampton Commons, is that there appears to be unending demand for class A office space in this neighborhood, and while we’ve successfully leased all of our retail and restaurant space to exceptional businesses, the market is much deeper for office space,” Guillot said in an email.

Glave & Holmes Architecture was tapped to design the building’s shell. Design of the interior office spaces is being handled by architecture firm Wendel.

Kimley-Horn is the project’s civil engineer. O’Neal is on mechanical and electrical engineering. Speight Marshall Francis is the project’s structural engineer.

A general contractor has been selected for the project but Guillot declined to identify the firm.

westhampton commons bon secours site plan

A site plan showing the upcoming new mixed-use building where Bon Secours plans to lease office space. The new construction is in the upper right of the plan. (Image courtesy of City of Richmond)

The new building would be the final phase of an overall reinvention of the Westhampton School that took many turns over the past decade.

In 2012, Bon Secours signed a 60-year lease for the site as part of the deal it struck with then-Mayor Dwight Jones’ administration to help finance the now-Washington Commanders’ local training camp.

Bon Secours has proposed different facilities for the property through the years, including a nursing school and a dedicated medical office building.

It eventually brought in Thalhimer to handle development, which kicked off four years ago, while the health system held onto plans to develop the final piece itself.

In response to a question about why that plan changed, Green said in part: “Bon Secours is continuing to experience the same economic challenges that are impacting the entire healthcare industry following the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased operating costs and inflationary pressures. Being a non-profit health system is integral to fulfilling our important mission, and we are committed to reinvesting back into the communities we serve.”

Bon Secours’ deal with the city for the Westhampton lease is subject to a performance agreement, which calls for an investment of at least $25 million into the site, and for the development to create at least 120 full-time equivalent jobs and at least $10.8 million in payroll.

Guillot said the project met or exceeded its goals this past December.

He said about $62.2 million has been spent to date to build Westhampton Commons, which is at 5820 Patterson Ave.

The estimated cost of the upcoming building at 920 Libbie Ave. would bring the projected overall investment to about $83.2 million.

westhampton commons bon secours rendering 2023

Plans are in the works for a new building with apartments and office space at Westhampton Commons, where Bon Secours plans to have an office presence. (Image courtesy of Thalhimer Realty Partners)

After years of evolving plans, Bon Secours appears closer to having a presence at the redeveloped Westhampton School by way of an office-anchored mixed-use building slated to begin construction later this year.

The health system is handing the reins of the final parcel of what’s now known as Westhampton Commons to Thalhimer Realty Partners, which is planning a five-story, 103,000-square-foot building that will feature office space, to be mostly occupied by Bon Secours, as well as apartments.

The $21 million building will front Libbie Avenue with 51,000 square feet of office space in the lower two levels and 53 apartments in the upper floors.

Thalhimer plans to break ground on the project in October, and is targeting an April 2025 completion date.

Thalhimer is under contract to buy the development rights to the 0.74-acre project site from Bon Secours, which has a ground-lease on the overall 4.2-acre Westhampton Commons site from the city. Richmond’s Economic Development Authority will continue to own the land, while Thalhimer will own the new building and pay the entire cost of the project.

It’s a similar setup to the other two buildings at Westhampton Commons: the renovated 1917 school building that’s now office space and the new-construction, mixed-use building that fronts Patterson Avenue.

“For the final component of the development, Bon Secours collaborated again with Thalhimer Realty Partners (TRP) to evaluate the highest and best use of this property for our community, ” Bon Secours spokeswoman Jenna Green said in an email. “Becoming a tenant in this new development allows us to better utilize our current space for clinical purposes, to better serve our patients, on the campus of Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital.” 

Bon Secours is expected to occupy 26,000 square feet, or about half the office space at the upcoming building, according to Thalhimer Principal Jason Guillot. He said that the project taps into the strong demand for office space in the West End, and that other users have signed letters of intent to fill out the rest of the building’s office space.

“What we’ve learned both pre- and post-pandemic, given my involvement with both Westhampton on Grove and Westhampton Commons, is that there appears to be unending demand for class A office space in this neighborhood, and while we’ve successfully leased all of our retail and restaurant space to exceptional businesses, the market is much deeper for office space,” Guillot said in an email.

Glave & Holmes Architecture was tapped to design the building’s shell. Design of the interior office spaces is being handled by architecture firm Wendel.

Kimley-Horn is the project’s civil engineer. O’Neal is on mechanical and electrical engineering. Speight Marshall Francis is the project’s structural engineer.

A general contractor has been selected for the project but Guillot declined to identify the firm.

westhampton commons bon secours site plan

A site plan showing the upcoming new mixed-use building where Bon Secours plans to lease office space. The new construction is in the upper right of the plan. (Image courtesy of City of Richmond)

The new building would be the final phase of an overall reinvention of the Westhampton School that took many turns over the past decade.

In 2012, Bon Secours signed a 60-year lease for the site as part of the deal it struck with then-Mayor Dwight Jones’ administration to help finance the now-Washington Commanders’ local training camp.

Bon Secours has proposed different facilities for the property through the years, including a nursing school and a dedicated medical office building.

It eventually brought in Thalhimer to handle development, which kicked off four years ago, while the health system held onto plans to develop the final piece itself.

In response to a question about why that plan changed, Green said in part: “Bon Secours is continuing to experience the same economic challenges that are impacting the entire healthcare industry following the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased operating costs and inflationary pressures. Being a non-profit health system is integral to fulfilling our important mission, and we are committed to reinvesting back into the communities we serve.”

Bon Secours’ deal with the city for the Westhampton lease is subject to a performance agreement, which calls for an investment of at least $25 million into the site, and for the development to create at least 120 full-time equivalent jobs and at least $10.8 million in payroll.

Guillot said the project met or exceeded its goals this past December.

He said about $62.2 million has been spent to date to build Westhampton Commons, which is at 5820 Patterson Ave.

The estimated cost of the upcoming building at 920 Libbie Ave. would bring the projected overall investment to about $83.2 million.

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Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
1 year ago

I’m glad to see movement finally for this property, and I wish I could say I’m surprised it took so long (I’m not).