Route 460 group opens officePublished 11:03pm Friday, May 3, 2013
Federal authorities are yet to receive a formal permit application for the project, let alone grant approval, but a private consortium selected to build the new Route 460 has signed a five-year lease for office space in North Suffolk.
US 460 Mobility Partners — selected in October ahead of two rival bidders to finance, design and build the toll road between Suffolk and Petersburg — has leased 17,947 square feet at Harbour View’s Bridgeway Technology Center, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE.
CBRE Hampton Roads spokeswoman Deb Thaxton confirmed the five-year lease became effective on Wednesday.
“This will be the primary office, housing the management, design and construction activities for the project,” Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Karen Meyers stated.
The lease was signed by the consortium, led by Ferrovial Agroman, a private investor in transportation projects around the world. But Route 460 Corridor Funding Corp. of Virginia employees also will work from the office, according to Meyers.
The non-stock, nonprofit corporation, created by the commonwealth, will, through the sale of tax-exempt bonds, raise net proceeds of $216 million toward the $1.369 billion project.
“There will be accommodations for up to 40 people (at the Suffolk office), but (it will be) staffed appropriately based on the project needs at the time,” Meyers wrote in an email.
“This number also includes consultants.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which must evaluate plans for the road, has raised concerns over impacts on wetlands.
The office of Tom Walker, regulatory branch chief with the corps’ Norfolk District, has not yet received a formal permit application for the new road from VDOT, district spokesman Gerald Rogers stated Wednesday.
“Norfolk District lines of communication remain open,” he added.
According to Meyers, US 460 Mobility Partners’ contract requires the company to provide office space for itself and the funding corporation.
“The leasing of the office space is unrelated to obtaining the permit from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers,” she stated.
The property had been vacant for about two years, and the consortium had considered “multiple properties,” according to Thaxton, who described the current commercial leasing market in the Harbour View area as “very active.”
“We have been involved in that submarket for about six months, and have seen about 60,000 square feet of absorption during that time,” she stated.
The city of Suffolk is pleased the project headquarters were setup in Suffolk, spokeswoman Debbie George stated.
“The new U.S. 460 project, and the ease to markets it will offer, has the potential to further strengthen the city of Suffolk’s position on the East Coast as an emerging powerhouse in the logistics industry,” she added.