Dominion Resources Inc. plans to tear down a six-story office structure — the Richmond Plaza building at 111 S. Sixth St. — and construct a 20-story office tower in its place.
Demolition is expected to start in late June and take four months. Construction on the new building is targeted for completion in early 2019.
A decision about what will happen to the nearby One James River Plaza, where Dominion Virginia Power operates, will be made in 2019, company spokesman C. Ryan Frazier said.
That 21-story building at 701 E. Cary St. either will be gutted and renovated or a new tower will be built in its place, Frazier said.
If the second building is constructed, it would be 850,000 square feet and 16 stories tall, Frazier said. An auditorium would be built on the property, and a connector would go over South Seventh Street.
About 1,300 employees work in One James River Plaza, about the same number who will work in the new tower at 111 S. Sixth St.
The development plans were filed with the city Thursday afternoon.
Dominion bought the Richmond Plaza and parking deck in 2011 for $5.5 million but never occupied the building, which was built in 1922, according to city records. One James River Plaza was built in 1977.
The 908,000-square-foot tower going up this year in place of Richmond Plaza, which has been vacant for at least a year, will have 17 office floors, retail space at the northeast corner of the building at South Seventh and East Cary streets, above-ground parking, and four floors of underground parking.
“Dominion believes that the proposed development will not only add to Richmond’s already impressive skyline but also retain thousands of employees downtown,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and CEO of the Richmond-based energy company.
“It will also promote productivity and enhance efficiencies that will redound to the benefit of our employees and customers alike.”
The new office tower will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. The cost for the building was not disclosed. “We are still working on an engineering, procurement and construction contract. And those details will be confidential,” Frazier said.
Dominion will be the only office tenant in the building on the block bound by South Sixth and South Seventh streets and East Cary and East Canal streets. The company’s Tredegar Street campus along the James River will be maintained as the headquarters.
The tallest building in Richmond is the James Monroe Building at 101 N. 14th St. at 449 feet, according to Skyscraperpage.com. Dominion’s new building will be 413 feet tall. One James River Plaza is 310 feet.
Gateway Plaza, which is next door to the current Dominion building, opened last summer and is the headquarters for the McGuireWoods law firm. Other tenants lease space in the building.
“Dominion is a very strong company financially; it can afford a new building,” said Mark Douglas, a senior vice president at Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, a commercial brokerage in Henrico County.
“The building will help the skyline,” Douglas said. “It will help employment, especially for downtown services like restaurants, the shoe cobbler and dry cleaner.”
But in the end, it will create a lot of new office space in the central business district, which already is seeing high office vacancies, Douglas said. The vacancy rate in downtown Richmond remained elevated at 14.2 percent in the first quarter, according to the Thalhimer market report.
“We have a lot of new construction going on downtown,” Douglas said.
The changing skyline will include a 21-story apartment and office building going up in The Locks development along the Haxall Canal, a few blocks from the Dominion project.
Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., one of the largest employers here, will become the anchor tenant in the building — The Locks at 3Twenty-One — at South 10th and East Byrd streets.
This project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. Dominion Realty Partners, the developer, has done other major projects in Richmond, including Riverside on the James, Vistas on the James, and The Residences at the John Marshall. Dominion Realty is not part of Dominion Resources.
Richmond-based Hourigan Construction, the construction manager on the Dominion Resources project, is teaming with Chicago-based Clayco Inc., which built Gateway Plaza. Kendall/Heaton Associates of Houston is the architect of record. Timmons Group of Chesterfield County is the civil engineer.
Pickard Chilton of New Haven, Conn., will be the architectural design firm, and PDR Corp., of Houston, is the interior designer.