California Company Plans Million-Square-Foot Distribution Center in Richmond

Monday, August 7th 2017

Panattoni Development Co. Inc., based in Newport Beach, Calif., has acquired 62 acres for the development of a 1 million-square-foot distribution center across from Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT).

The site is located along Commerce Rd., south of the Bells Road/ I-95 interchange.

In announcing the project both the city and CBRE | Richmond, who will handle the leasing, noted the site’s central location off I-95 and Richmond’s growing role as a logistics center.

“We focused on this great infill site exclusively for our first Richmond spec investment project in many years,” Whitfield Hamilton, a partner at Panattoni, said in a statement. “Its central location along the I-95 corridor, access to the Port of Virginia, and access to labor were significant factors that played a role in our decision to invest in this Richmond property.”

Panattoni will call the project Virginia I-95 distribution. The company plans to proceed in two phases. Each phase will include a 461,700-square-foot, cross-dock warehouse with a height of 36 feet, LED lighting, and multiple trailer drops. Phase I is in permitting and has an anticipated completion date of late summer 2018.

Given the growing scarcity of available regional distribution centers ranging from 200,000 to 1.5 million square feet, Panattoni’s project is expected to fill a gap in Central Virginia’s industrial market for large warehouse users such as e-commerce groups, core industrial/distribution users and third-party logistics providers.

“The Richmond industrial market has averaged about 2.2 million square feet of annual absorption for the last five years,” said Matt Anderson, senior vice president with CBRE|Richmond. “Given the lack of supply and the healthy demand, we are very excited and optimistic about this project,” added Anderson, the project’s leasing broker.

In welcoming Panattoni to the city, Richmond Mayor Stoney said, “Richmond is happening; we’re on the move, and we are growing as an epicenter of trade and commerce.”

Richmond Marine Terminal is located along the west bank of the James River. The city of Richmond owns the facility, which is leased by the Virginia Port Authority.

John Reinhart, the CEO and executive director of the Port of Virginia, said Panattoni’s confidence in Virginia’s business environment “will create more supply chain capacity in Central Virginia,” among numerous other benefits.