Richmond-based developer investing #036;20 million in Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

A Richmond-based commercial developer will be investing more than $20 million into two warehouses near downtown Suffolk over the next year.

Devon USA announced plans to construct the buildings-which will provide a total of 762,000 square feet of warehouse and distribution space-on 72 acres at the intersection of Benton and Carolina roads.

The announcement was one of several made during the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce’s State of the City address Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn and Suffolk Conference Center.

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The company’s investment in Suffolk will be its first in the region, said Edward D. Mitchell, the company’s vice president. It also owns 3.5 million square feet of office and warehouse space in the Richmond area.

&uot;We’re interested in the port-stimulated business in Hampton Roads,&uot; Mitchell said. &uot;There are not a lot of other sites in the Hampton Roads market that can meet our needs.&uot;

With construction on the first 321,000-square-foot building beginning in October, Mitchell anticipates it will be ready for occupancy in early 2006. The schedule for building the second 440,000-square-foot building will be determined by the leasing progress of the first structure.

The project-to be

called Enterchange at Suffolk-will be started on a speculative basis, with no pre-leasing, Mitchell said.

&uot;The facilities will be good for local businesses seeking to expand or new port-related users looking to expand into the region,&uot; he said.

The planned buildings will be Class A distribution facilities featuring insulated pre-cast concrete panels, ESFR (Early Suppression Fast Response) &uot;wet&uot; sprinkler systems, 32-foot ceilings, numerous dock doors and plenty of parking for automobile and trailer parking. Both buildings will have dock doors in the rear and can accommodate tenants needing up to 25,000 square feet.

&uot;These buildings will have all the bells and whistles that get warehouse people excited,&uot; Mitchell said.

Devon’s planned facilities are superior to most of the warehouse space now available in the Hampton Roads, said Stephanie Sanker, a spokeswoman with Advantis Real Estate.

&uot;The majority of the

warehouse facilities in Hampton Roads are smaller and antiquated with low ceilings,&uot; she said. &uot;This is a unique facility for the Hampton Roads market.&uot;