Tel: 804.864.1100

Tel: 804.864.1100

Tag Archive: Richmond

Richmond’s Commercial Real Estate Market Still Robust

GreeneHurlocker’s commercial real estate attorneys, Andy Brownstein and Jared Burden, along with more than 200 real estate industry colleagues, attended the Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate (GRACRE)’s 2020 Real Estate Market Review on February 18, 2020. What’s the verdict on the health of the local commercial real estate market in the Richmond MSA? Good, with few reservations.

Among the six speakers we heard plenty of optimism about the area’s ability to absorb more commercial real estate space, including apartments, office, industrial and hospitality. However, a consistent them was that is both finite demand, given the middle-market nature of Richmond’s business environment, and finite supply, given the lead time (up to 36 months) in developing commercial property. As a result, given shifting interests rates and other financing considerations, projects will have to be carefully planned and developed.

News coverage in the Richmond Times-Dispatch of the event is here.

Richmond’s rise in the Metropolitan Statistical Area ranking (now 45th) due to its population growth (1.3 million), of which 54% are of prime working age, along with relatively constant rates of space absorption, suggests commercial development has not reached saturation. Even older office developments, such as Innsbrook, are getting seeing good demand rents due to redevelopment and improvement of old commercial stock.

If there was one property class that is especially hot, it would be multifamily. Eric Phipps of SNP Properties cited properties in Scott’s Addition and Manchester as continuing to be in very high demand. He also suggested that the West Broad Street corridor and Jackson Ward to be ripe for future commercial development, and that Richmond could consistently absorb 1,500-2,000 a year for the next few years.

Nick Patel of Kalyan Hospitality discounted the potential for multiple casinos to be developed in Virginia in the short term, even if the proposed development in Richmond goes forward, but said he felt up to 1,000 additional rooms could be built in the greater Richmond market. He did not believe the downtown hospitality market would not see any luxury hotel development until average room rates approached $200, up from approximately $150 today.

While retail is still a challenging asset class, there are a number of exciting projects underway in the Richmond area, including the redevelopment of Regency Square and Virginia Center Commons, Carytown Exchange and the Sauer Center, showing that there is still an appetite for retail development under the right circumstances. Nikki Jassey provided a window into the shifts created by the rise of Amazon and different approaches taken by retail tenants and developers.

Finally, there remains a strong demand for industrial properties, especially along the interchanges of Interstates 295 and 64 and Interstates 295 and 95. We have benefited from strong local transportation infrastructure as well as the growth of data center demand without the downsides of locating in Northern Virginia.

It sure was good to run into a number of our friends and colleagues in the real estate business and hear some promising news about the future at GRACRE. If you would like to know more about what we learned, or discuss commercial real estate opportunities in Richmond or other parts of Virginia, contact Andy (804.864.1100)  or Jared (703.258.2678) or any of GreeneHurlocker’s Virginia real estate attorneys.

Collin Atkins Joins Business Practice

Collin Atkins, business lawyerCollin Atkins, a business attorney in private practice in Richmond, has joined the business, renewable energy and corporate law practice of GreeneHurlocker PLC, co-managing member Eric Hurlocker announced today.

“Collin joins us with significant experience working with corporate clients, as well as a number of years as in-house counsel for a manufacturer, which will enhance and expand the services that we provide to our business and renewable energy clients throughout the region,” Eric said.

Atkins focuses his practice on assisting clients who require advice in formation, contract drafting, and employment and regulatory concerns. In addition, he offers counsel on a wide variety of commercial agreements across different industries, including distribution, manufacturing, service, and technology related industries, which will contribute to the expansion of the firm’s OPENgc services.

“I’m excited about joining GreeneHurlocker and partnering with clients who are growing and expanding their businesses,” Collin explains.

Atkins will be based in the firm’s Richmond office, but will also have an office at the firm’s  Harrisonburg location to support the firm’s growing practice throughout the Shenandoah Valley.

Atkins earned his undergraduate degree in history from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. He earned his J.D. at the William & Mary Law School, where he was a graduate research fellow and a member of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.

Dance at Deep Run Raises over $223,000

Deep Run High School’s Marathon Dance, which we talked about here, here, and here, raised over $223,000 for charitable causes last Friday and Saturday. The young people who organize and stage one of the nation’s largest and most successful marathon dance fund raisers deserve all the credit. Below are a a few pix from the event.

Deep run Dance Marathon 2016 Deep run Dance Marathon 2016 Deep run Dance Marathon 2016

The Dance Will Soon Begin

Deep Run High School’s Marathon Dance, which we talked about here, here, and here, will kick off tonight. We’re proud of these young people who organize and stage one of the nation’s largest and most successful marathon dance fund raisers, and who have donated over a million dollars to charity through the years. We’ll be there tonight and we will let you know how it goes!  Here’s the story that the Henrico Citizen ran this week.

Here’s an Update on Dominion’s CPCN

On October 30, 2015, the Virginia State Corporation Commission (the “SCC”) issued an Order for Notice and Hearing (the “Order”) in response to Dominion Virginia Power’s (“Dominion”) application for approval and certificates of public convenience and necessity to construct and operate three utility scale solar electric generating facilities (the “Application”). As we discussed here, Dominion has proposed to build three large-scale solar facilities with a combined capacity of 56 MW in three Virginia counties:  (i) 17 MW to be built on 165 acres in Powhatan County, (ii) 20 MW to be built on 250 acres in Louise County and (iii) 19 MW to be built on 200 acres in Isle of Wight County.

The Order provides that any person or entity who wishes to participate as a respondent in the proceeding must file a notice of participation on or before January 12, 2016. In addition, the Order sets forth that any interested person wishing to comment on the Application must file comments with the Clerk of the Commission on or before March 15, 2016. Finally, a public hearing will be convened on March 22, 2016 with respect to the Application.

You can read the Commission’s Order here.

Dominion Goes Big On Solar Project

Last week, Dominion Virginia Power filed a petition for a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) for a 20 megawatt (MW) solar project.  The company claims that this project would be Virginia’s first large scale, utility solar generation facility.  Along with the filing of the CPCN petition, the company is requesting SCC approval of a rate adjustment clause for the current recovery of the costs of the solar facility and associated interconnection facilities.

If approved, the facility could be online as soon as October 2016. The company has also filed for approval of a 2 MW Community Solar pilot program that would allow Virginia customers the option to purchase electricity from a renewable source directly.

As Virginia renewable energy and utility lawyers, we are closely monitoring this filing and working with entities in the competitive renewable energy sector to assess the impact of this type of utility project on the Virginia and regional markets.    We will update this information as this proceeding moves forward at the Virginia SCC.

If you have any questions regarding the recent Dominion filing, or the impacts that it may have on the competitive generation market in Virginia, please do not hesitate to contact one of our renewable energy or utility rate lawyers.

Secure Futures Begins Solar Project for University of Richmond

We were pleased to be involved in the University of Richmond and our client, Secure Futures, announcing an agreement to install solar panels on the roof of UR’s Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness. “Being a graduate of both Richmond College and the T.C. Williams School of Law, it is particularly rewarding to be involved in this great project for our client and the University,” said Eric Hurlocker, co-managing member of the firm. “Our firm has had a great relationship with Richmond, and we look forward to continuing to be part of the University community.”

Secure Futures is a solar energy developer based in Staunton, Va., founded in 2004. We wrote about the company last November when they received a Solar Innovation of the Year award from the Maryland-D.C.-Virginia Solar Energy Industry Association. Secure Futures now owns and manages approximately 650 kilowatts of solar capacity across the Commonwealth and expects rapid growth in 2015, with a focus on the higher education sector in Virginia. You can follow them on Twitter.

Under the power purchase agreement with University of Richmond, Secure Futures will construct, own and operate a 204-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array. Once in full operation, Secure Futures expects to sell more than 226,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity to the University each year, which is the equivalent to the average annual electricity use of for one campus residence hall. Secure Futures plans to commence construction during the summer of 2015, with commercial operation scheduled to occur before students arrive back to campus for the next school year.

Notably, this project is one of the first to participate in Dominion Virginia Power’s third party power purchase agreement pilot program, which has been implemented by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The pilot program is the result of 2013 legislation in Virginia that specifically authorizes the development of certain renewable generating facilities, such as solar, and the direct sale of the electricity produced from the facilities to end use customers in Dominion Virginia Power’s service territory. For more information on the University of Richmond project, or any renewable energy matters, please contact one of our solar energy or utility rate lawyers.