ompanies that specialize in data analytics have crunched the numbers and found that the math adds up in Greater Richmond, Virginia.
AvePoint, Allianz Partners and CoStar Group are three such firms that made this calculated bet on the capital city of the Old Dominion for their headquarters. When Site Selection asked each company to explain why they chose Greater Richmond, the answers reflected a consensus around three factors: cost savings; quality of life; and talent.
“We looked at a lot of places,” says Brian Brown, COO of AvePoint. “We had small offices around the U.S. Our main office then was in Jersey City. We knew the prices in New York City were getting to be astronomical. We were paying $60 per square foot to house our middle-office operations. We started exploring. We are a data-driven company. We had 30 different localities across the country. We considered many variables — location, livability of city, access to universities. Then we ranked them, shortlisted them, visited them, met with EDOs, etc.”
Greater Richmond won out. Access to universities like Virginia Commonwealth, University of Richmond, The College of William & Mary, University of Virginia and others make talent acquisition much easier, says Brown. “The livability of the city was important to us too,” he notes. “Richmond is easily traversed. You’re always 20 minutes from everywhere.”
Greater Richmond beat out Raleigh, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Nashville, and Somerset, New Jersey, to clinch the deal.
Elena Edwards, chief markets officer and North American CEO at Allianz Partners, says her firm has been based in Richmond for more than two decades. “When the company relocated to Richmond from New York, our leadership team was looking for an area that was affordable, had a highly educated workforce and offered a wide variety of resources and amenities for our associates. After an extensive search, Richmond came out on top, and we continue to be grateful that Richmond is such a wonderful place to live, work and raise our families.”
Edwards adds that “finding a location that offers a high standard of living at an affordable price is not an easy task, but when you add the need for a highly engaged and well-educated workforce, not many places will fit the bill. Fortunately, Richmond offered all this plus great schools, great cultural attractions and a plethora of dining and entertainment options. More than 20 years after relocating to Richmond, we’ve found that it is the perfect place to grow our company and we have thrived here.”
Not to be outdone, real estate analytics experts CoStar Group announced in December that it would invest $460 million to expand its corporate campus in Richmond. According to a report in CoStar News, the company is adding two buildings and 2,000 jobs to Innovation Campus. Upon buildout, the complex will house more than 3,000 employees and have more than 1 million sq. ft. of office.