New industrial park near Oilville a go after cross-county approvals

OilvilleIndustrialPark2

The site at 1468 Pony Farm Road, where a 14-lot industrial park is planned. (File image courtesy Commonwealth Commercial)

After securing zoning approvals from two jurisdictions, the team behind a new industrial park near Oilville is moving forward with the project that’s set to add needed inventory for Richmond’s office-warehouse and flex space market.

Local developers Patrick Dolan and Todd Walton plan to start construction this summer on Pony Farm Industrial Park, a 14-lot park on an 84-acre site off Pony Farm Road, just north of the Interstate 64 Oilville-Goochland exit.

Located beside the existing Oilville Business Park, the site straddles the Goochland-Hanover line, with about 40 acres in Goochland and 44 in Hanover. Because of that, separate zoning approvals were needed from each jurisdiction, an 18-month process that wrapped up in January with a final approval from the Hanover Board of Supervisors.

Local attorney Andy Condlin with Roth Jackson Gibbons Condlin represented Dolan and Walton in the rezoning process, and Michael Mayhew with Commonwealth Commercial will be marketing the site after bringing the idea for the project to Walton two years ago.

The undeveloped site had been listed by Joe Buhrman, Mayhew’s colleague at Commonwealth Commercial, who also brought it to Walton’s attention after he sold his Tuckahoe Landscaping and Lawn Care business.

When the group presented the project to Hanover, they were told there was “a less than 2% chance” that the county would rezone its portion of the site, which was zoned for agricultural use.

Michael Mayhew

Michael Mayhew

“When we first met with Hanover, that was the feedback that we had received,” Mayhew said. “That was from the EDA office, which is almost always pro-development.

“I think what made our group unique is that they’re not major corporate developers. They’re two guys that are local to the area,” he said. “What makes them different is they can go in and make changes to a potential conceptual plan and make concessions that a large group probably wouldn’t.”

Mayhew said they worked with both counties to address concerns that included impacts on traffic, hours of operation and landscaping design for 50-foot buffers that are planned on the west and east sides of the property. Building heights were restricted to 35 feet, and a 30,000-gallon water tank is to be included in the development for firefighting use.

A right turn lane also is to be added along Pony Farm Road, which provides the only access to the cross-county site. That limited access was among the reasons that South Anna District Supervisor and Hanover Chairwoman Susan Dibble cited in leading the board to approve the rezoning.

At that board meeting in January, Dibble said before the vote: “When this project was brought to me and they suggested the M-2 industrial use, it was kind of laughable. I’m like, well, what are you thinking? That’s not what we have planned. But one of the key components to this particular parcel is it is only accessible through Goochland County, and that does make it unique.

“At the end of the day, we’re talking about five lots,” Dibble said, referring to the portion that’s planned on the Hanover side of the site. Referring to the proffers and restrictions that were put on the project, Dibble added, “We have tried and I think done a really good job, and I appreciate the applicant’s willingness to work with us on this.”

Mayhew said both counties were easy to work with, echoing Walton’s sentiments last year when the project was working its way through the approval process. Richmond civil engineering firm RK&K assisted the group in the process.

“We worked hand in hand with the planning department in Hanover and the Board of Supervisors in Hanover, which was really a great process, because our guys were able to sit down with them and say, ‘If you were to allow a park here, what would it look like?’” Mayhew said. “We kind of just worked through the process backwards and finally came to the solution that works for everybody.”

OilvilleIndustrialPark1

A site plan shows the lots would be accessed via a dead-end road off Pony Farm Road. (Goochland County documents)

The 14 lots will range in size from 2.5 to 6 acres and will be accessed via a road ending in a cul-de-sac. With outdoor storage allowable on the site, the group expects the park will appeal to such users as service contractors, HVAC groups, pipe fitters, electricians and landscaping companies. Mayhew said they’ve heard from several prospective users but have not signed any contracts yet.

Mayhew said the park will meet a growing demand for light industrial space in the Richmond market. He cited a recent CoStar report that lists Richmond as the 13th tightest market in the country for available industrial space, with an availability rate of 2.6 percent for properties smaller than 50,000 square feet.

“When you look at some of the other cities on that list, it’s incredible that we’re on a top 20 list of lowest industrial vacancies in the nation compared to port cities like Los Angeles and New York. That is the story of Richmond and a lot of cities along the East Coast,” Mayhew said.

“The last three years, the vacancy rate in the (western metro area) has been lower than the Richmond average, lower than the national average. I’d say less than a percent, which is essentially zero,” he said. “Hopefully what we’re going to be doing is bringing some product to the market that can help absorb some of the demand. I think we might be looking into the future and saying I wish we had more than 14 lots.”

Development is scheduled to start mid-summer, and Mayhew said the first lots should be delivered early next year, with completion later in the first quarter.

Walton and Dolan have yet to close on the site, which they have under contract. County records show the land is owned by Garland Anderson and assessed at over $3 million between the two portions.

That’s up from a $794,000 combined assessment last year, the change attributable to a $2.3 million increase in Goochland’s assessment since its portion of the property was rezoned last fall.

OilvilleIndustrialPark2

The site at 1468 Pony Farm Road, where a 14-lot industrial park is planned. (File image courtesy Commonwealth Commercial)

After securing zoning approvals from two jurisdictions, the team behind a new industrial park near Oilville is moving forward with the project that’s set to add needed inventory for Richmond’s office-warehouse and flex space market.

Local developers Patrick Dolan and Todd Walton plan to start construction this summer on Pony Farm Industrial Park, a 14-lot park on an 84-acre site off Pony Farm Road, just north of the Interstate 64 Oilville-Goochland exit.

Located beside the existing Oilville Business Park, the site straddles the Goochland-Hanover line, with about 40 acres in Goochland and 44 in Hanover. Because of that, separate zoning approvals were needed from each jurisdiction, an 18-month process that wrapped up in January with a final approval from the Hanover Board of Supervisors.

Local attorney Andy Condlin with Roth Jackson Gibbons Condlin represented Dolan and Walton in the rezoning process, and Michael Mayhew with Commonwealth Commercial will be marketing the site after bringing the idea for the project to Walton two years ago.

The undeveloped site had been listed by Joe Buhrman, Mayhew’s colleague at Commonwealth Commercial, who also brought it to Walton’s attention after he sold his Tuckahoe Landscaping and Lawn Care business.

When the group presented the project to Hanover, they were told there was “a less than 2% chance” that the county would rezone its portion of the site, which was zoned for agricultural use.

Michael Mayhew

Michael Mayhew

“When we first met with Hanover, that was the feedback that we had received,” Mayhew said. “That was from the EDA office, which is almost always pro-development.

“I think what made our group unique is that they’re not major corporate developers. They’re two guys that are local to the area,” he said. “What makes them different is they can go in and make changes to a potential conceptual plan and make concessions that a large group probably wouldn’t.”

Mayhew said they worked with both counties to address concerns that included impacts on traffic, hours of operation and landscaping design for 50-foot buffers that are planned on the west and east sides of the property. Building heights were restricted to 35 feet, and a 30,000-gallon water tank is to be included in the development for firefighting use.

A right turn lane also is to be added along Pony Farm Road, which provides the only access to the cross-county site. That limited access was among the reasons that South Anna District Supervisor and Hanover Chairwoman Susan Dibble cited in leading the board to approve the rezoning.

At that board meeting in January, Dibble said before the vote: “When this project was brought to me and they suggested the M-2 industrial use, it was kind of laughable. I’m like, well, what are you thinking? That’s not what we have planned. But one of the key components to this particular parcel is it is only accessible through Goochland County, and that does make it unique.

“At the end of the day, we’re talking about five lots,” Dibble said, referring to the portion that’s planned on the Hanover side of the site. Referring to the proffers and restrictions that were put on the project, Dibble added, “We have tried and I think done a really good job, and I appreciate the applicant’s willingness to work with us on this.”

Mayhew said both counties were easy to work with, echoing Walton’s sentiments last year when the project was working its way through the approval process. Richmond civil engineering firm RK&K assisted the group in the process.

“We worked hand in hand with the planning department in Hanover and the Board of Supervisors in Hanover, which was really a great process, because our guys were able to sit down with them and say, ‘If you were to allow a park here, what would it look like?’” Mayhew said. “We kind of just worked through the process backwards and finally came to the solution that works for everybody.”

OilvilleIndustrialPark1

A site plan shows the lots would be accessed via a dead-end road off Pony Farm Road. (Goochland County documents)

The 14 lots will range in size from 2.5 to 6 acres and will be accessed via a road ending in a cul-de-sac. With outdoor storage allowable on the site, the group expects the park will appeal to such users as service contractors, HVAC groups, pipe fitters, electricians and landscaping companies. Mayhew said they’ve heard from several prospective users but have not signed any contracts yet.

Mayhew said the park will meet a growing demand for light industrial space in the Richmond market. He cited a recent CoStar report that lists Richmond as the 13th tightest market in the country for available industrial space, with an availability rate of 2.6 percent for properties smaller than 50,000 square feet.

“When you look at some of the other cities on that list, it’s incredible that we’re on a top 20 list of lowest industrial vacancies in the nation compared to port cities like Los Angeles and New York. That is the story of Richmond and a lot of cities along the East Coast,” Mayhew said.

“The last three years, the vacancy rate in the (western metro area) has been lower than the Richmond average, lower than the national average. I’d say less than a percent, which is essentially zero,” he said. “Hopefully what we’re going to be doing is bringing some product to the market that can help absorb some of the demand. I think we might be looking into the future and saying I wish we had more than 14 lots.”

Development is scheduled to start mid-summer, and Mayhew said the first lots should be delivered early next year, with completion later in the first quarter.

Walton and Dolan have yet to close on the site, which they have under contract. County records show the land is owned by Garland Anderson and assessed at over $3 million between the two portions.

That’s up from a $794,000 combined assessment last year, the change attributable to a $2.3 million increase in Goochland’s assessment since its portion of the property was rezoned last fall.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
2 months ago

The one commercial real estate category that has grown in value better than multi-family the last ten years is industrial space, especially for large tracts that attract high bay users.The development of small space and open lot storage industrial lot use has been largely ignored but the need is dire. When Thurston Spring Service sold its property in Manchester, it was able to afford the facility of its dreams further south on I-95, greatly improving its business efficiency. That’s the upside to the evolving relocation of businesses further out the interstates. The trade-off to travel time is the improvement in… Read more »

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
2 months ago

I’ve been saying for a while all the companies cashing in and moving out need to go somewhere. The biggest issue with going too far out though is labor. Not all workers can get to a location so far away without public transportation.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
2 months ago
Reply to  David Humphrey

Actually, David, many of the trade workers had already moved to the more rural areas or were already born and raised there. They were commuting to the city. Their jobs are following them home.

Peter James
Peter James
2 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

Spot on, Bruce.

I know a couple of folks who are trade workers and this is exactly what their situation currently is and has been previously. One of the guys I know was part of one of the crews that handled electrical work during construction of the new Parc View Commonwealth building on W. Grace Street downtown, and he commuted in from the sticks for that job.