By Lydia Wheeler
Jones Lang LaSalle is the Class A key master downtown now.
The Virginia Beach office of the global real estate services firm announced Tuesday afternoon that it has been hired by Harbor Group International to be that company’s exclusive leasing agent for an office portfolio totaling more than 1 million square feet of space in Norfolk.
The portfolio includes four properties – Dominion Tower, World Trade Center, Town Point Center and 555 East Main St.
Deborah Stearns and Maureen Rooks will be the JLL team’s lead agents, marketing about152,000 square feet of vacant space throughout the four properties.
In Dominion Tower, a Class A, 26-story tower totaling 403,276 square feet, approximately 75,000 square feet is vacant. The World Trade Center, which is a nine-story, Class A building totaling 366,106 square feet, has 40,000 square feet available. Town Point Center, 12 stories of Class A space, has 25,000 of its 131,259 square feet available. And 555 East Main St., a Class B property, has about 12,000 of its 112,531 square feet free.
“Rental rates will range from $18 to $27 a square foot,” Stearns said, “with 555 East Main St. being the most value-oriented and Dominion Tower being the premium rental property in the portfolio.”
JLL hopes to bring occupancy rates up to 95 percent. Though the company has set a steadfast deadline, it may have a leg-up. Stearns has worked on three of the four properties. When the World Trade Center opened in 1983, she was the original leasing agents, she leased 555 East Main St. in her early brokerage years with Goodman Segar Hogan Inc. and she just listed Town Point Center for Harbor Group.
JLL also announced it will be moving its offices from Southport Circle in Virginia Beach to the seventh floor of the World Trade Center, Suite 7770. At 3,500 square feet, Stearns said the space is double the size of JLL’s office near Mount Trashmore. The added space, she said, is needed to accommodate an increased staff.
The firm has hired two new agents since March: Erin Corrie, the former marketing manager of the Virginia Port Authority, and Landon Hinton, a Chesapeake native and recent graduate of Radford University, who will start when the firm moves in late August. Corrie and Hinton bring the JLL staff count up to eight employees.
“And we are in conversations with another agent that has not made a final decision,” Stearns said. “We are growing the office, growing the staff, moving to the region’s central business district and taking on a very exciting assignment.”
While Harbor Group’s portfolio covers a large section of Norfolk’s premier property downtown, it doesn’t represent all the high-quality office buildings in the area. Wells Fargo Center, 150 West Main St., Norfolk Southern Tower, Dominion Enterprises and Crown Center are also included in the competitive Class A space.
Stearns said JLL competed with one other firm to list Harbor Group’s downtown office portfolio.
“JLL has had a relationship with Harbor Group International in other markets from the time they opened an office in Hampton Roads,” she said. “I think it’s a great acknowledgement of what JLL offers the client in terms of brokerage capabilities, research, marketing expertise and board representation with clients across the country."