Home News Swath of Manchester up for grabs as former UPS office building set to hit the market

Swath of Manchester up for grabs as former UPS office building set to hit the market

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TForce Freight is putting its Richmond headquarters for sale at 1000 Semmes Avenue. (Photo of Mike Platania)

The work-from-home trend could soon lead to the release of large chunks of Manchester properties.

TForce Freight is preparing to put its Richmond headquarters at 1000 Sems Avenue up for sale, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

A nine-storey office tower and accompanying parking decks occupy the entire city block near the entrance to Manchester Bridge.

TForce, which is owned by Canadian-based trucking giant TFI International, recently told employees it no longer needed the 226,000-square-foot building because many of them are working remotely. This is due to messages sent to employees and viewed by BizSense. The company calls his Semmes building the Richmond General Office.

“After extensive analysis, we have determined that it is in our best interests to relocate our Richmond headquarters within the next few years,” the message said, adding that the exact date of the move has yet to be determined.

About 600 employees worked in the Semmes building before the pandemic, according to sources, but while most of TForce’s staff are working from home, the building has seen dozens of employees recently. only.

The memo suggests that TFI is considering maintaining operations for the building in the Richmond area.

“We are currently reviewing new home office locations. Additionally, we are actively investigating new locations in the region to meet the needs that the GO support team will provide to our business,” the memo said. says.

The company’s pending move could mean changes to more than just office building properties.

TFI also owns three blocks adjacent to the office tower that are currently being used as above-ground parking or green space. These lots are located at 1100 McDonough St., 1100 Semmes Ave., and 1001 Perry St. You have one connected sliver that you do not own. It’s a 0.1 acre home at 1006 McDonough St.

In total, the company manages eight acres of land in Manchester valued by the city at $23.8 million. It is unknown whether the accompanying three blocks are included in the list.

A spokeswoman for TFI International said the company does not comment on the matter.

It is also unclear if the Semmes building will be subject to redevelopment or will be demolished. Long used as office space for logistics and transportation companies, the building’s name has changed several times over the last 20 years.

A local company, Overnite Transportation, operated there until it was sold to UPS in 2005. After this transaction, Overnite became his UPS Freight and operated from the building for the better part of the next 15 years.

In early 2021, TFI International, a publicly traded trucking company based in Montreal, announced it would acquire UPS Freight for $800 million. Since then, TFI’s TForce Freight brand operates out of an office building in Manchester.

TForce Freight manages three blocks surrounding a building totaling six acres.

The campus is one of dozens of acres of Manchester land once owned by the late Harwood Cochrane of Overnight Transportation. In the early 1990s, Cochrane donated about 30 acres in the neighborhood to the Virginia Museum Foundation, then sold much of the land to local developers in the mid-2000s.

Robin Miller and Dan Gecker’s Urban Development Associates purchased most of the land from VMFA and developed by myself or sold it Other companies that have done the same.

Charles Macfarlane’s Macfarlane Partners was another local developer that purchased and built on land that was converted from Overnite to VMFA. Mixed-use apartment complex When Duplex Townhomes.

Macfarlane said he is particularly interested in what will happen to TForce’s office building.

“If (TFI) thinks an office building is of great value, they’ll want to market it first and find a need for it,” Macfarlane said. “The question is, are there any companies in the market that need that much office space in that location?”

As for the other three blocks, McFarlane said having so much land in use could be important to the neighborhood.

“It’s in the heart of Manchester and certainly the full blocks are efficient subdivisions and they have the infrastructure. It’s not like there’s a lot of hair on them,” McFarlane said.

“If you’re looking at a denser development in the Manchester and Scott Additions, they’re doing 200, 250 units per acre. So this could potentially be as high as 2,000 units. Probably. , 15, 16 floors, it could be more, but it certainly takes a lot of capital and a long-term vision to develop it.”

McFarlane believes the listing is likely to attract a lot of interest and would be interested to see if a large buyer moves in, or if the land is sold piecemeal. he said he has

“We are not in a position to take everything,” McFarlane said. “But certainly some of it is of interest.”

Bruce Milam of Bruce Commercial Realty has been brokering deals in the city for decades. Record sale of River’s Edge II site To Avery Hall Investments. Milam said he doubts a request for proposal will be sent if the entire TFI land is put on the market.

Milam said a large institutional investor could come in and plan a mixed-use use of the Semmes Avenue frontage.

He also said the lot size was sufficient for what was long sought after in Manchester.

“It’s a pretty good square footage for a grocery store with an apartment above it, because the parking lot is right there,” says Milam. “I could see someone wanting to do that instead of building 800 or 900 apartments there. It’s wonderful.”

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