Developers plan for more office space at Libbie Mill in response to demand

A rendering shows the planned office building, right, beside the existing Libbie Mill Library. (Gumenick Properties)

HENRICO, Va. — Responding to higher-than-expected demand for office space, the developer behind the mixed-use Libbie Mill-Midtown is moving forward with plans for a new office building – and is making room for more.

Gumenick Properties announced last week that leasing has started for a planned six-story, 142,000-square-foot office building beside Libbie Mill Library, in the center of the 80-acre project between Staples Mill Road and Libbie Avenue.

While the development has approval from Henrico County for as many as 994 condos and townhomes, Gumenick vice president Shane Finnegan said fewer for-sale homes will be built to make room for additional office space.

“Our original zoning was contemplating a significant amount of residential for rent and for sale, with a lower amount of retail and office,” Finnegan said. “Coming out of the recession, as we started actively developing Libbie Mill, we began to get a lot of interest and were reached out to by a significant number of office users. Our plans hadn’t contemplated that demand.

“It took us awhile to reorganize our approach, and we are just now at the point where we have the zoning in place and we have the product at a level where we can market it broadly,” he said.

Gumenick is still committed to its approved 1,096 apartments, Finnegan said, the first of which are nearing completion with the Penstock Quarter building. The 327-unit is under construction opposite the library from the announced office building.

Finnegan said changing market conditions prompted the company to revise its master plan for Libbie Mill and secure new approvals from Henrico County.

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