Local construction firm follows workload to Innsbrook with HQ move
NOVEMBER 2, 2022
Carried into Innsbrook by a steady pipeline of projects for corporate tenants, a local general contracting firm has relocated from its Southside digs to the Henrico business park.
Riverstone is fully settled into its new headquarters at 4480 Cox Road, where it fills a 3,000-square-foot, ground-level space overlooking Waterfront Lake in the center of the park.
The 21-year-old firm, led by Amanda Wheeler, had previously been based in a smaller space on Moorefield Park Drive in northeastern Chesterfield County. Wheeler said the move doubles the company’s space and gives its eight-person local staff room to grow.
Wheeler said the company sought to relocate due to its activity in Innsbrook, where it’s done work for such clients as Highwoods Properties, Lingerfelt CommonWealth and Commonwealth Commercial Partners.
“The bulk of our clientele have offices in Innsbrook, and/or they own or manage buildings in Innsbrook or Henrico County as a whole,” said Wheeler, who has worked at Riverstone since its inception and assumed its leadership as owner and CEO five years ago.
She added that the move also gets the company closer to its second office in Charlottesville, where its workload has included about a dozen office upfits in the recently opened CODE building on the Downtown Mall.
“Because of the proximity to Charlottesville, we could be in Charlottesville in 55 minutes,” Wheeler said. “Between the growth of Innsbrook and the portfolio growing in Charlottesville, it just made sense for us to make a move.”
Wheeler signed a seven-year lease with Highwoods for the space, which is in a building that has produced more work for the company.
Since signing its lease, in addition to its own space, Riverstone has completed a 20,000-square-foot upfit of the building’s top floor for engineering consulting firm Burns & McDonnell’s first office in the Richmond market. Highwoods also hired Riverstone to renovate the building’s lobby and restrooms, said Wheeler, who noted that the work required bids from the firm.
“It wasn’t negotiated as part of the deal; it kind of just happened that way. But it was certainly icing on the cake,” Wheeler said. “Through the grace of the pandemic and some negotiating, we were able to get in with a great lease rate, we doubled our square footage, we got a beautiful waterfront view and we picked up all of the work in the building through landing the lease deal with Highwoods.”
Not to be confused with Riverstone Group, the local real estate firm owned by Bill Goodwin, Riverstone is a Class A general contracting and construction management firm that focuses on corporate office work as well as mixed-use, retail and light industrial.
The company was formed in 2001 as the Richmond division of Spacemakers, a GC firm out of Norfolk. Wheeler, who had worked for the company as an estimator and project manager, said the division was rebranded as Riverstone with her brother David leading the company before he handed over the reins five years ago.
David now serves as operations director and manages Riverstone’s Charlottesville portfolio.
“Long story short, my brother didn’t want to wear the ownership hat anymore,” Wheeler said. “I said, ‘I’m going to start a business of my own,’ and he said, ‘Why don’t you take over the business that you helped build.’”
Wheeler, 46, said the company’s “sweet spot” are projects in the range of 10,000 to 100,000 square feet. The company’s local work includes Lighting Environments’ under-construction Richmond showroom and offices for Edelman Financial Engines and Virginia Asset Management. Local clients have included Stony Point Development Group, Dominion Energy and Allen & Allen.
Wheeler declined to share the company’s annual revenue or project volume. The firm totals 10 employees companywide, with two staffers at its Charlottesville office.
Wheeler said Riverstone’s Innsbrook portfolio has yielded over 150,000 square feet worth of work in just under the past year.
And with the business park’s transition to a mixed-use community, with multiple residential infill projects currently under construction and Highwoods’ own North End development plan, Wheeler said the hope is for Riverstone to benefit from the activity within its new surroundings.
“We’re just hoping to tap into some of that growth here,” said the Clover Hill High School and VCU alum. “There’s a lot of growth potential here, for them obviously but also for us.”
Original article by Jonathan Spiers on Richmond BizSense.
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