The Virginia Press Association’s building on Nuckols Road in Glen Allen, Va. is for sale following a unanimous decision by the VPA Board of Directors on April 30.
In 2002, the VPA moved from space it had outgrown in Hanover County into the custom-built 12,780-square-foot headquarters on three acres.
VPA has less staff than 18 years ago and fewer in-house training events as the trend has moved to online meetings and training workshops.
“I believe the decision by the board is reflective of the times we operate in,” VPA Board President Steve Stewart said. “It has served our association very well.”
Matt Paxton, a past president of VPA and current board member, served on the building committee responsible for planning and designing the building.
Paxton said that VPA’s meeting and conference spaces were used extensively in the first eight or 10 years and the offices accommodated more personnel in the sales, classifieds and professional development areas.
“Everything changed so much over the [nearly] 20 years. It’s amazing, but those are all the things that were bringing a lot of folks to headquarters,” Paxton said.
In recent years, the VPA had leased a portion of the building to an e-training company, but the tenant decided last fall to end its lease and transition staff to a work-from-home model.
The board has known for some time that selling the building would one day be necessary, but while there was an anchor tenant, it wasn’t urgent, Stewart said.
“I think, combined with what we all know will be a challenging fiscal climate as we roll forward, this is the absolute right decision,” Stewart said.
Funds the association nets from the sale of the building will be invested in the long-term health of the VPA and Virginia Press Services, he said.
“The board invested wisely,” Stewart said. “Our association will be in great shape regardless of what the economy brings.”
The real estate market is strong for commercial office space, according to Jamie Galanti, senior vice president and partner at Commonwealth Commercial, who is handling the sale.
The building’s visibility on Nuckols Road, property size and ample parking spaces lend itself to be a highly desirable building, Galanti noted.
Visibility offers prospective buyers more branding opportunity, the acreage allows for expansion, and lower interest rates create an attractive package to buyers, he explained.
VPA’s headquarters is near Innsbrook Office Park, which contains approximately 25 tenant occupied office buildings. Galanti said that with current lower interest rates, it’s a good time for businesses who want to owner-occupy.
“VPA staff will relocate to a space somewhere nearby in Wyndham or Innsbrook,” said Betsy Edwards, VPA executive editor. “We want a much smaller, more flexible space that will allow us to work on new member initiatives and has adequate space for member and board meetings.”
The board is exploring options to preserve the brick walkway that serves as tribute to those who were instrumental in the association’s progress over the years. The bricks were purchased by members to recognize newspapers and memorialize past presidents and others.
“This is a building that’s meant for a different time, and we roll forward with a little bit of sadness, but also a lot of optimism and excitement about the future of our association,” Stewart said.