December 19, 2017
$7.5-million warehouse proposed in Marshall
The 110,000-square-foot warehouse would stand in the 17/66 Business Park, just north of Interstate 66 and south of the Norfolk Southern rail line in Marshall.
Pruitt has about 3.5 million square feet of warehouse space, including this building on Balls Ford Road near Manassas.
We’re delighted to have them join the business park. We think this is the next hotspot in the county and that it’s prepared to take off.
— County Economic Development Director Miles Friedman
• What: 110,000-square-foot flex-warehouse building
• Where: 17/66 Business Park, Marshall
• Lot size: Approximately 7.8 acres
• Zoning: Industrial
• Applicant: Pruitt Corp., Chantilly
• Landowner: 17/66 LLC
• County administrative approvals: Site plan, any necessary permits
The big Northern Virginia general contractor hopes to apply its “build-it-and-see-who comes” approach of constructing flex-warehouse space in Marshall.
Chantilly-based Pruitt Corp. seeks site plan approval from Fauquier County to construct a 110,000-square-foot warehouse on 7.8 acres along Whiting Road in the 17/66 Business Park.
The property has industrial zoning, which allows warehouses by-right.
Fauquier’s Community Development Department in November accepted the site plan for review.
“Best case scenario,” the site plan process could be completed by May or June, department Senior Planner Amy Rogers said.
The estimated $7.5-million project could take about five months to finish, Pruitt Corp. Asset Management Director Pete McCabe said.
The park’s proximity to Interstate 66 — a short drive from the four-lane, divided highway — makes it attractive to his company, Mr. McCabe said.
“It’s the next closest, available land we found with access to 66” for that kind of use near Manassas, “much of which is built out, largely by data centers,” Mr. McCabe added. “It’s only about 10 minutes away.”
Fauquier’s cheaper land also would allow the company to offer less expensive lease rates compared to similar space in Manassas, he explained.
Manassas flex-warehouse space rents for about $8 per square foot annually, plus tenants’ proportional share of real estate taxes and common area maintenance and insurance costs, Mr. McCabe said. Those costs add $2 to $2.50 per square foot of leased space, he said.
He declined to say how much Pruitt Corp. might charge for the proposed Marshall warehouse.
But, “it has to be materially less” than Manassas rates, “if someone wants to come out there.”
Though Pruitt Corp. remains confident about the market for warehouse space at the 100-acre-plus Marshall business park, Mr. McCabe said it would be difficult to predict the kinds of business that might locate there.
In Virginia, the company has developed and leases about 25 warehouses totaling 3.5 million square feet, he said.
“We subscribe to build it and see who comes,” Mr. McCabe said. “The tenants run the gamut.”
Potential uses at the proposed 30-foot-tall Marshall warehouse, which calls for 147 parking spaces, could include “indoor recreation, warehouse, distribution, office and just about everything else in between.”
While those tenants would be required to rent a minimum 4,400 square feet, the entire building could be available to a single user, Mr. McCabe said.
Giving the project its stamp of approval, Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday waived an estimated $36,340 in site plan and permit fees.
By Fauquier’s estimate, the site and building — without tenants or finished space — “will generate initially . . . about $90,000 (in taxes) in the first year,” County Administrator Paul McCulla told the supervisors.
If the warehouse gets constructed, “we’re essentially waiving about a third of the taxes for the first year on this,” Mr. McCulla said.
Realtor Carter Wiley, who represents 17/66 LLC, believes Pruitt Corp.’s interest in the business park speaks well of the Marshall market.
Mr. Wiley described the company as the best developer of its kind in Northern Virginia that enters emerging markets “before anyone else does.”
“It’s a solid tax base,” he said of flex warehouse development. “It doesn’t fluctuate” in value. “It’s like a bond . . . . This is what we want in Fauquier County. This is what pays the bills. This is great for the county.”
Fauquier Economic Development Department Director Miles Friedman believes Pruitt Corp. will boost the business park’s fortunes.
“We’re delighted to have them join the business park,” Mr. Friedman said. “We think this is the next hotspot in the county and that it’s prepared to take off.”
17/66 LLC wants $3.75 per square foot for the 7.8-acre site, Mr. Wiley said. That equates to about $1.2 million.
He and Mr. McCabe declined to discuss the property’s contract price.
The county has approved two site plans at the 12-lot business park — one for RMC Mulch Yard, the other for Griffin Energy Services Inc., which has nearly finished construction of a storage yard.
Besides warehouses, Pruitt Corp. — founded 45 years ago — owns and leases office buildings to the federal government, corporations and smaller tenants, Mr. McCabe said.
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