Blog | 4 min read
Greater Richmond is the optimal hub or spoke in your new business model
June 30, 2022
Blog | 4 min read
June 30, 2022
The pandemic has forever changed how businesses make decisions about real estate and the operational makeup of their organizations, but no matter how hybrid a workforce may be – a home base is still necessary.
According to a 2021 PWC survey on remote work, 87 percent of business executives anticipate changes to their locations, including moving to premier office spaces or opening additional satellite, or spoke, locations. Speaking of the auxiliary office model, also known as hub and spoke, Greater Richmond is already home to businesses who have located an HQ2 or satellite office in the region while operating hubs and spokes in other parts of the country.
Already a major employer in Richmond’s downtown, CoStar operates more than 75 offices across 13 countries, making it an international hub and spoke model. The leading provider of real estate information and analytics announced plans for an expanded corporate campus, featuring a 26-story office tower and a second multi-purpose building totaling around 750,000 square feet of commercial space along the James River.
The CoStar HQ expansion is a major move for office dwellers, especially as so many companies are reassessing their office space needs and exploring creative options to best keep employees engaged and to recruit new talent. CoStar appears to be on the right track. In the same PWC remote survey, 87 percent of employees indicated a physical office as being important for collaborating with team members and building relationships – with one-third of younger, entry-level workers preferring to work in-person in an office four days a week.
Like CoStar, more companies are choosing to double down on office space to provide their employees with a central location to collaborate. EAB, an education research, technology and marketing and enrollment solutions firm, announced plans to invest at least $6 million to combine two local offices into one 70,000-square-foot space in Henrico County’s Innsbrook technology zone. According to EAB President, Marketing and Enrollment Solutions, Chris Marett, “…providing a more flexible, hybrid workspace will strengthen our ability to attract and retain the local talent we need to continue helping our partner institutions meet the complex challenges facing the education sector.”
Headquartered in Menlo, Calif., Meta operates one of its 96 spokes here in Greater Richmond. Meta has offices all around the world thanks to its numerous spokes, each with its own focus and purpose. Meta’s spokes help the tech giant capitalize on regional workforce niches and physical location advantages.
Here in Greater Richmond, Meta chose Henrico County as a stable area to build a 970,000-square-foot data center. Additionally, Meta worked with one of the Richmond Region’s largest employers, Dominion Energy, to ensure the project aligned with the region’s ESG commitments.
“We’ve worked closely with Dominion Energy and other partners to bring over 500 megawatts of new renewable energy to the Virginia grid,” said Rachel Peterson, Facebook’s vice president of data center strategy. “The Henrico (County) data center is supported by 100 percent new solar energy sourced from Virginia.”
With a workforce of 13,000, Capital One is the largest private employer in the region that utilizes the Hub and Spoke model, operating its corporate campus in Greater Richmond with even more employees than its HQ in Northern Virginia. Within Greater Richmond, Capital One has offices in the City of Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico counties, in addition to operations spread across the U.S. in most major markets.
Thanks to Virginia’s pro-business climate, world class workforce as well as an affordable cost of living and doing business, Greater Richmond is gaining attention as people (and businesses) are flocking to the area in higher-than-average rates according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Understandably so, when the cost of living in the Richmond MSA is nearly four percent below the national average (and almost half of what it is in New York). And in May, U.S. News dubbed Richmond a “Best Place to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023,” a ranking based on an area’s value, desirability, job market and quality of life.
Hub & Spoke office models are becoming more and more prevalent as businesses reevaluate their space and workforce needs, and as seen by several major employers, Greater Richmond is uniquely positioned to serve as both hub and spoke.