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A building boom in North Stafford

November 18, 2010 12:35 am

bz1118patricio1.jpg

Above is the proposed design of the headquarters building for Patricio Enterprises, a defense contractor in Stafford.

Project Architect: Steve Medeiros, SPM Design, Rhode Island
Project Designer: Rui Duarte, Rhode Island

BY BILL FREEHLING

North Stafford is on the verge of a commercial real estate building boom, much of which is focused on government contracting.

Numerous projects along U.S. 1 and Garrisonville Road are in the works, and many have already started. Much of the momentum appears due to growth at the Quantico Marine Corps Base and the 3,000 new BRAC jobs coming next year to a 719,000-square-foot facility going up on Telegraph Road.

"We're starting to fire on all cylinders," said Tim Baroody, Stafford county's director of economic development. He attributed some of it to pro-business moves by the county's Board of Supervisors and said the projects will create hundreds of jobs.

Here are some projects that are in the works:

Patricio Enterprises, a defense contractor now in leased office space in Stafford, late last month bought two acres from the Silver Cos. at the Quantico Corporate Center for $1.75 million. Patricio plans to build its corporate headquarters there and hopes to be in the three-floor, 30,000-square-foot building by December 2011. Patricio plans to occupy about half of the building with about 60 employees and lease the rest.

The Silver Cos., which is developing the QCC off U.S. 1, is reportedly close to finalizing a lease that would allow the company to obtain financing for a third 140,000-square-foot office building at the center. This summer, Silver sold the first two 140,000-square-foot buildings at QCC to Washington Real Estate Investment Trust for $68 million.

Wack General Contractor is working on plans to construct a 104,000-square-foot office building at the North Stafford Center for Business and Technology, which is off Garrisonville Road. It will be built to Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection standards, a first for Stafford. The Navy will probably lease more than half of the space.

Wack is also the general contractor on the renovation of Liberty Lanes on Greenspring Drive off Garrisonville. The building is being transformed from a bowling alley to commercial space that will be used by the Drug Enforcement Administration and perhaps others.

The Garrett Cos. recently received an occupancy permit for its 82,000-square-foot office building at the Stafford Commerce Park on Barrett Heights Road off Garrisonville Road. The Navy signed a lease for 20,000 square feet there, and additional leases are in the works. This summer, Garrett sold two 60,000-square-foot buildings at Stafford Commerce Park to Massachusetts-based CommonWealth REIT for $18.8 million. Garrett is planning another office development on nearby Onville Road.

Several development projects are expected to kick off soon at Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust's Town Center at Aquia. Construction on apartments, a new Regal movie theater, a Gold's Gym, a Bungalow Ale House and a Learning Center daycare facility will likely start within a few months. Additional office buildings are planned at the Aquia center.

Fairfield Inn and Suites is seeking a conditional use permit that would allow construction of a four-story hotel with 95 rooms and about 49,000 square feet between U.S. 1 and Derrick Lane next to the existing TownePlace Suites. Nearby residents have opposed the new hotel.

Walmart plans a 33,000-square-foot addition to its store on Garrisonville. Hilldrup Moving & Storage plans a 20,000-square-foot expansion to its facility near the QCC. A 6,000-square-foot restaurant is being built for Buffalo Wild Wings at the Stafford Marketplace. Rosner Auto Group is building a Nissan dealership near the intersection of U.S. 1 and Garrisonville that is expected to open this coming spring.

Mary Washington Healthcare is preparing to sell $30 million worth of bonds that would be used in part for a cancer center at the Stafford Hospital and potentially a land acquisition near the facility. Silver is also making plans for a medical office building across U.S. 1 from the hospital.

Tridex Associates Inc., a defense contractor, is preparing to move its headquarters from Woodbridge to a new corporate campus off Eskimo Hill Road. Construction has begun on the site.

There's also been recent activity along U.S. 17 in Stafford, including a new 7-Eleven store and Union First Market Bank branch, and the expansion of a Jiffy Lube.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com





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