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2015-01-14 / Real Estate Briefs

Big commercial projects make 2014 a banner year

By Michael Buettner
NEWS EDITOR


Cuisine Specialist Eric Henkel stocks the prepared meals at the new Martin’s Food Market on Midlothian Turnpike, which opened last year. The 74,000-square-foot store helped boost the county’s commercial real estate market in 2014. 
Ash Daniel/Chesterfield Observer Cuisine Specialist Eric Henkel stocks the prepared meals at the new Martin’s Food Market on Midlothian Turnpike, which opened last year. The 74,000-square-foot store helped boost the county’s commercial real estate market in 2014. Ash Daniel/Chesterfield Observer Commercial construction in Chesterfield County jumped to a two-year high in 2014, propelled mainly by multiple multifamily housing developments along with big warehouse projects, new grocery stores and some health- and senior-related projects.

Building permits for an estimated $203.2 million in commercial construction were issued last year by the county Department of Building Inspection, the highest total since 2012, when permits totaling $209.5 million were issued.

Commercial construction varies widely from year to year, depending on the number of large projects entering the pipeline. The 2013 total, for example, was just $82.8 million, roughly in line with the totals seen in 2009-2011.

In contrast, 2012’s total was pushed higher by two mega-projects in Meadowville Technology Park: the first phase of the Amazon.com fulfillment center, which had an estimated cost of $27.2 million, and Capital One Financial’s data center, with an estimated cost of $88 million.

Last year’s total, however, reflected a large number of projects with estimated values above the million-dollar mark – 32 of the 709 building permits issued – accounting for about two-thirds of the year’s total construction value. In 2013, only nine projects topped the $1 million level and 15 in 2012.

Four of those big permits last year were for separate buildings within tobacco giant Altria Group’s project in the Rivers Bend Industrial Park. At $7.6 million each, the four buildings as a group added $30.4 million to the 2014 total.

Another project with multiple buildings, the Element at Stonebridge apartment complex at the former Cloverleaf Mall site, pushed the year’s total higher by $25 million, split among three buildings.

The largest single permit issued, with an estimated cost of $13 million, was for construction of a new four-story building at the Brandermill Woods senior living complex off Old Hundred Road. Two other million-dollar-plus permits were issued for the complex – $5.8 million for interior renovations and additions, including an indoor swimming pool, and $1.4 million for a one-story addition – raised the complex’s total contribution for the year to $20.2 million.

A new 404,000-square-foot distribution center for Mundelein, Ill.-based medical supply maker Medline Industries was expected to cost $9.1 million. That building was completed during the year and opened in November.

Also among the year’s larger projects is the renovation of the Chesterfield County Police Department headquarters and Lane B. Ramsey Administration Building in the County Government Complex. The estimated cost of that project is $8.5 million, according to the permit issued in November.

German specialty chemicals manufacturer Evonik received a permit with an estimated cost of $3.8 million for a reconfiguration of its building in the Airport Industrial Park off Iron Bridge Road. The company announced last year it plans to invest a total of $15 million to create a new research and development facility at the Chesterfield location.

Two new grocery stores added about $3.6 million each to the year’s total: the Martin’s Food Market location at Midlothian Turnpike and Charter Colony Parkway, which has already opened, and Kroger’s 10800 Iron Bridge Road store, which is under construction.

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