CoStar Group expanding campus, adding 2,000 jobs to Richmond location
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond’s skyline could be changing soon with the expansion of CoStar Group’s campus.
On Friday, Governor Ralph Northam and Richmond City Mayor Levar Stoney announced a $460 million investment by CoStar to expand its footprint of South 5th Street along the James River, adding 2,000 new jobs to the mix.
“I am thrilled CoStar is investing yet again in Virginia,” Northam said. “Their continued success is a direct result of our attractive business climate and dynamic workforce found across the state.”
The company came to Richmond in 2016 with a goal of 730 employees. Fast forward to 2021, more than 1,000 employees work out of the Richmond location daily.
“Richmond has become a technology hub with a diverse tech workforce, and CoStar Group’s continued expansion demonstrates how a region’s infrastructure and talent powers the growth and success of businesses,” said Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Brian Ball.
Over the last 20 months, office buildings were left empty due to employees working from home. However, CoStar’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Florance, said roughly 80-90% of his employees have returned to working in the office building downtown.
“The reality is you can’t replace the collaboration, innovation, connections you build, and learning you have when you get together and work together face to face,” Florance said.
With Friday’s announcement, 2,000 new jobs will be coming to Richmond, with many positions focused on residential and international growth.
“Richmond is a growing community with access to a deep pool of diverse, highly-skilled workers, a vibrant culture of innovation, and a wonderful quality of life for our existing and future employees,” Florance said. “The strong partnerships we have established with the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Richmond, and institutions of higher education such as VCU, will be critical for our continued growth. Virginia, Richmond, and Costar Group all have bright futures ahead, and we are excited to grow together.”
To support the increasing size of the workforce, a 26-story LEED-certified office building will be constructed.
“We have an absolute commitment to sustainability; we’ve long had that as a core value,” Florance said. “It’s hard to tell in the image, but the skin of the building actually has solar panels and generates a significant amount of electricity for the building.”
In addition, a six-story multi-purpose building for employee amenities will also be located on campus. The facility is expected to include conference facilities, fitness and wellness opportunities, and an auditorium.
However, CoStar Group is also focused on community attraction and bringing Tredegar Street alive.
“Bringing some restaurants, art galleries, some retail down here,” Florance said. “When there are wonderful events like the Folk Festival or Friday Cheers, we’ll be able to offer thousands of parking spaces for those folks.”
“[It’s] totally a game-changer,” Stoney said. “2021 has been a year of recovery, but it’s also been a year of investment, and this kind of investment sort of plants the seeds for the future.”
Meanwhile, this project is likely Northam’s last major economic development announcement before leaving office in January.
“This is just an exciting day for Richmond,” he said. “Again, just a lot of collaboration, folks have worked together. It’s why Virginia is the best place to live, work and raise our families.”
With new Virginia leadership coming on board in just a few weeks, Florance - a long-time friend of Glenn Youngkin - believes economic development will continue in the Commonwealth.
“[We] will go from strength to strength and retain its leadership; Virginia will be open for business,” he added.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Richmond, Greater Richmond Partnership, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission to help bring this project to the Commonwealth.
“The project will leverage public infrastructure upgrades around the new campus to be funded by the Commonwealth through an investment approved by the Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission of up to $15 million, subject to approval by the General Assembly,” a press release stated. “These upgrades will address commuter and pedestrian access, roadway and traffic improvements, safety, and offsite utility extensions around the new campus.”
The hope is to have the campus completed by 2024.
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