GATEWAY PLAZA SHOULD BE READY BY SUMMER

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 10:30 pm

By Carol Hazard, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Why you know about it: A $120 million office tower is going up in a prime location in downtown Richmond.

It will be the new home for the McGuireWoods law firm, which is vacating nine floors in One James Center when it moves into Gateway Plaza next door in mid-2015.

Update: “The project is remarkably exactly on budget and on schedule,” said Robert Clark, chairman and chief executive officer of Clayco Inc., the Chicago-based developer.

“We plan on delivering to McGuireWoods at the end of its (present) lease,” he said.

The firm’s lease in the James Center, where it has been since 1985, expires in August. McGuireWoods has more than 600 attorneys, staff members and consultants.

Construction on the building — on the site of a former parking lot fronting Canal Street between Eighth and Ninth streets — started in September 2013. The building’s main entry will be off Ninth Street but will be accessible from Canal Street.

The cost rose $10 million as projected when a 19th floor was added, so CCA Industries, a diversified holding company run by William H. Goodwin Jr., could occupy the top floor.

The diversified holding company, whose businesses include The Jefferson Hotel, also will move from the James Center into its new office space next summer.

“We don’t have much office space left,” Clark said, adding that two floors in the 411,000-square-foot building are available for lease.

Meanwhile, Clayco is close to a couple of deals for 20,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, he said.

“We will probably end up with a bank and two food-related operations.”

The lobby and retail space will be on the ground floor.

A mosaic for the lobby depicting the James River and water crashing over boulders is being made in Germany, Clark said. It will be visible from Ninth Street. The lobby will house a glass sculpture of a ship.

Parking will be on floors two through six, with office space starting on the seventh floor.

chazard@timesdispatch.com

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