Land deal bodes well for N. Suffolk

Published 10:20 pm Thursday, September 6, 2012

Retailers are eyeing North Suffolk after a Florida-based company announced plans to begin construction on high-end apartments, a key figure in the deal says.

The Bainbridge Companies, which bills itself as “a leading owner, developer and manager of luxury multifamily apartment communities in the United States,” has paid just under $10.4 million for about 10.6 acres in the mixed-use development of Hampton Roads Crossing. The deal settled late last month.

This home constructed in 2008 was one of the first residences built in the mixed-use Hampton Roads Crossing development in North Suffolk. A Florida-based company bought 10.6 acres last month.

Bainbridge purchased the land, cradled by College Drive and Route 164, from Terry/Peterson Residential 30 LLC, an imprint of what was previously Hampton Crossing’s sole developer, Terry Peterson Residential Companies.

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John Peterson III, senior vice president of Terry Peterson Residential Companies, said that after rezoning was approved in spring, the development now has a total capacity of 1,000 units.

About 115 homes have been built so far, he said, and Bainbridge plans to construct an apartment complex with 216 units. About two-thirds of Hampton Roads Crossing’s slated residences would remain to be developed.
Retailers look closely at housing markets when deciding where to expand, and Hampton Roads Crossing has piqued their interest, Peterson said.

“As far as the impact on the retail component, we see it will be an immediate impact,” he said. “Any retailer … knows 216 new residences in very short order right next door, that’s a very attractive proposition.”

Another company is helping market the development, and “currently (we are) talking to a lot of different retailers, but nothing is confirmed yet,” Peterson added.

Dan Johnson, a senior vice president from Peterson’s representative in the sale, CBRE Hampton Roads, described the land sale as “a very significant event.”

“This mixed-use development was launched not too long before the economic downturn,” and the property deal is “a signal that the market recognizes that Suffolk is a path of progress,” he said.

“Suffolk has a very multifamily market, and it needs more (such dwellings) in my estimation.”

Johnson also thinks the development is going to attract “major retail users and other commercial users,” including new office space.

The Bainbridge development will be the first “class-A apartments” built in the area “in a long time,” Peterson added.

Sales of existing residences have picked up over the last six months, he said.