The new 20-story office tower Dominion Energy is building downtown has a name: Canal Place.
“Hello my name is: 600 Canal Place. Coming 2019” was printed on a banner that went up at the construction site Tuesday. The name for the office building, which will be the city’s second-tallest building when it is finished early next year, was the result of a companywide “Name Your Tower” contest that saw 500 employees submit 1,000 potential names, Dominion spokesman Ryan Frazier said.
The winner was Michael Young, a 41-year-old security supervisor in the company’s corporate security fusion center, which monitors security at Dominion’s properties and plants. Young said the suggestion was the product of research on Richmond’s canal history and Dominion’s roots, which go back to the Upper Appomattox Trustees, a canal navigation company chartered by the General Assembly in 1787.
George Washington, who envisioned linking the James River with the Kanawha River in what is now West Virginia, was honorary president of the James River Company when work began on Richmond’s system of canals to bring goods from seagoing vessels below the falls of the James upriver.
“I thought it was an appropriate name just based on the location, that it sits on the site of the Kanawha Canal,” Young said. “It’s a great tie-in to the history of the city.”
Young, who lives in Midlothian, said the selection will lend him some bragging rights with his wife and kids.
“How many buildings have you named in downtown Richmond?” he said.
The 417-foot-tall building will total roughly 1 million square feet and will encompass the entire city block bounded by Sixth, Seventh, Cary and Canal streets. It also will include about 5,000 square feet of retail space at Seventh and Cary streets.
The only building in Richmond that will be taller is the James Monroe Building, which is 449 feet tall.
The project is a joint venture between Hourigan Construction, which built the Stone Brewing facility in Fulton and the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, and Clayco, the Chicago-based developer responsible for Gateway Plaza, which is home to the McGuireWoods law firm. Dominion has not disclosed the cost of the building.
Dominion has yet to decide what it will do with One James River Plaza, its existing office tower across from the construction site where the new building is beginning to rise from the ground.
The company may renovate the 310-foot-tall building, or it may tear the building down and build a companion tower for the 600 Canal Place building. Regardless, whatever eventually exists at that site will be rechristened 700 Canal Place.