Lowe’s distribution center will be built in South Richmond, not Hanover


A rendering of the upcoming Deepwater Industrial Park. (Courtesy of Hourigan Development)

A sprawling new regional distribution center for Lowe’s Home Improvement will now be built in South Richmond instead of Hanover County, where work on a previously planned site resumes after a six-month delay.

Lowe’s has signed a lease for a 1.2 million square foot facility at 3021-3205 Commerce Road in Hourigan Development’s Deepwater Industrial Park, a Lowe’s spokesperson confirmed this week.

The location is a change from Lowe’s previous plan to take a 1.1 million square foot facility under development at the Graymont Industrial Park site in Hanover.

The move also provides the Hanover site, where Indiana-based Becknell Industrial is developing the more than $ 50 million facility that will now be built to specification. Marketed as Graymont Industrial Park, the approximately 200-acre site is located just north of Ashland, north of Hickory Hill Road, along the west side of Interstate 95.

Preparation work has resumed at Graymont Industrial Park, where the equipment is shown in this February 19 photo. (BizSense File)

Preparation work on this facility recently resumed after being halted earlier this year when the county issued a stop work order because the required soil disturbance permits had not yet been approved.

These and other permits have since been approved, most of them earlier this month. They include a permit to demolish a century-old house on the site that the state has deemed eligible for historical recognition. The land was also previously the site of the former Camptown Races horse racing track.

Lowe’s spokesman Steve Salazar declined to say whether the delay in the construction had resulted in the change of location from Hanover to the city. He said the company signed a lease for the Deepwater space over the summer.

“Lowe’s is no longer looking for a facility there due to various factors,” Salazar said of the Graymont site. “Becknell has been a good partner during this process, and we greatly appreciate the support we have received from all stakeholders associated with this project. “

He added: “The location at 3021-3205 Commerce Road in Richmond will be managed by a third party, and we plan to start shipping devices and other highly deliverable items out of the Richmond Bulk Distribution Center here. summer 2022. “

Lowe’s will lease the entire facility as part of a $ 1.7 billion investment to expand the national retailer’s distribution network through 2023. The Deepwater facility would replenish inventory at more than 100 stores in the Mid-Atlantic region.

A Becknell conceptual site plan for the Graymont industrial park. (Courtesy of Hanover County)

Hourigan began work on the 110-acre Deepwater site in June. Multi-phase development along I-95 is slated for up to 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space, up from the 1.2 million reported when the project began.

A call to CEO Mark Hourigan was not returned on Wednesday. Rob Dirom and Joe Marchetti of Colliers International are marketing the Deepwater space.

With Lowe’s absent, Becknell is moving forward with the development of the Graymont distribution center as a specification building. Last month, an entity related to Becknell bought the two-plot property for just over $ 4.74 million. Hanover County recently valued the plots at just under $ 2 million in total.

The land was purchased through an LLC that lists Becknell’s head office in Indiana as its primary address. County real estate records indicate that the LLC’s mailing address is Raith Capital Partners, a New York-based private investment firm that has already made local deals with Becknell.

This spring, Raith entered the Richmond market with the purchase of five industrial properties from Becknell, losing more than $ 65 million for five warehouses in Henrico, four at the airport distribution center and another at 8750 Park. Central Drive.

The seller of the Hanover deal was Richmond-based Brooks Investment Co., which had owned the two plots since the mid-2000s, when it bought them for just over $ 1.69 million combined. Brooks was represented in the case by Clifford Porter of Porter Realty.

Linwood Thomas, director of economic development for Hanover County, said the Graymont building, when completed, will remain a valuable asset to the county as a specific site, even if an end user is not currently lined up.

“It will be one of the largest speculative buildings in the region,” Thomas said. “Over 1.1 million square feet of space in an adjoining building, with the potential for a few additional smaller sites for the economic development of this parcel.”

When asked if the project’s delay played a role in Lowe’s decision, Thomas said work on the site started before they were supposed to and they were ordered to pay a fine. But he said federal permits and other factors also delayed the project.

Although he acknowledged that Lowe’s was ready for the site, he said the company had researched the location heavily but had never signed a lease or confirmed that he would be going there.

“Becknell has always acquired the property. They were going to build their distribution facility for Lowe’s, but due to speed to market, due to timing issues, Lowe’s has since moved on, ”Thomas said.

The Graymont Industrial Park site includes the former Camptown racetrack. The Greymont house is visible on the right. (BizSense File)

“The good news is that the county is still going to generate a significant amount of capital investment and investment income from Becknell, and Becknell is one of the county’s biggest developers,” he said. “We did not get the project from Lowe’s, but we expect, due to the strong prognosis for the industrial market, that we hope to find another user who will be just as good if not better.”

Meanwhile, a comparable distribution center and regional headquarters for Wegmans Food Markets also remain under construction in Hanover.

In July, the supermarket chain paid $ 4 million for the nearly 220-acre site where its 1.1 million-square-foot, $ 175 million facility is planned. Thomas said the company has since innovated on the project.

The purchase of the land followed a string of permit approvals and court rulings in favor of Wegmans, but at least one legal challenge to the project remains on the table.

A water protection permit for the project is being challenged in Richmond Circuit Court by a group of homeowners called Protect Hanover, the Hanover NAACP and other plaintiffs. A hearing in this case is scheduled for October 25.

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