The housing and economic boom has been good for Henrico County-based equipment rental firm Rental Works, which is expanding to accommodate contractor demand for equipment.
The company, owned by Raymond Parker and Billy Hidell, has purchased the 184,270-square-foot building and 9.43 acres of land at 1500 Commerce Road in Richmond for $2.1 million.
The company plans to occupy approximately 38,000 square feet in the building and rent out the rest. Two other Rental Works locations at 6520 W. Broad St. in Henrico and 11811 Hull Street Road in Chesterfield County will remain open.
“We got an opportunity to expand, and we really wanted to find a home in the city,” Hidell said. “Our business is growing. It’s been around for 30-plus years. Now we are in a position to be able to offer a lot more services and equipment to our clients. We are also growing our team members in the company, and we just need more space.”
Rental Works rents equipment and tools — from earth excavation equipment to riding lawn mowers to aerial boom lifts — to homeowners and contractors. The company also sells heavy equipment, and the additional space on Commerce Road will allow it to offer larger equipment. The proximity to Interstate 95 is also a plus, the owners said. The Commerce Road location will focus on contractor and business clients.
Rental Works has 25 employees at both its current locations, and with the additional location expects to hire more staff. The headquarters will move to the Commerce Road location after renovations are complete on the building, which has been vacant for five to six years. Hawkeye Manufacturing Inc. was the last tenant.
Parker and a business partner founded Rental Works in 1986 when they bought Nash Rental & Sales. The other partner has since departed. Hidell bought into the business six years ago after a career in financial services.
The Commerce Road location is in a city enterprise zone that offers incentives such as real estate tax benefits, relocation assistance and rebates for money spent for renovations or construction.
“One of the key benefits in the city of Richmond is locking in the tax rate before improvements. That’s a very attractive benefit for us,” Parker said.
The owners would not say how much it will cost to renovate the building.
Colliers International agents David Williams and Eric Williford represented Rental Works in the purchase of the property and will handle leases for the remaining 146,000 square feet in the building.
The property is zoned M-2 or heavy industrial and can accommodate office, flex, manufacturing, warehousing and other uses, Williford said.
“Right now it’s completely wide open so there will be a lot of work inside to upfit the building,” Hidell said. “It’s a blank pallet.”
Evans Construction Inc. is contractor for the renovations. Debra Nemeth of Baskervill is architect on the project. Village Bank is financial partner.
The renovations are expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019.