Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. started on a $25 million, Phase II, expansion of its 283,000-square-foot complex that will house 400 additional employees.
Phase I of HDL, Inc.'s expansion was announced in November 2011. Construction required demolition of the former BioTech Three building at the corner of East Jackson and North Fifth streets. Phase I's 112,000-square-foot, six-story complex added to HDL, Inc.'s existing 76,000-square-foot, three-story building, known as BioTech Eight. About 650 employees moved into the first phase expansion this week.
"Our ability to expand so quickly and immensely, from both a real estate and employment perspective, is due to the demand for HDL's advanced testing and health consulting and our ability to deliver high-value services at a low cost to millions of Americans," said Tonya Mallory, HDL, Inc.'s CEO, President and Co-Founder. "It is our mission to prevent and reverse heart disease and related diseases, and this real estate expansion is allowing us to do so as a team in a values-based, innovative environment in downtown Richmond."
Located at the corner of East Jackson and North Fifth streets and bordered to the southeast by Navy Hill Drive, Phase II will be a mirror image of Phase I and connect to it. When completed in April 2014, it will contain 95,000 additional square feet of office and wet laboratory space. One of the nation's fastest-growing companies, HDL, Inc. is a prominent anchor tenant of the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park.
At a cost of $25 million, Phase II requires tearing down the small, two-story BioTech Five on Navy Hill Drive, a process that started this week. The building was used by HDL, Inc.'s sales support, client services, and technology teams, and demolition will make way for the remainder of the headquarters. When complete, HDL, Inc.'s offices and laboratories will encompass 283,000 square feet and hold an additional 400 employees. Features of the headquarters include a rooftop park and green space, a 24/7 gym for employees, and the building's atrium will eventually contain spiral slides connecting the sixth, fifth, and fourth floors. The real estate is valued at roughly $80 million, and with equipment costs HDL, Inc.'s total investment in the biotech park will reach more than $100 million.
Robert T. Skunda, President and CEO of the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, said Phase II of the Biotech Eight expansion will increase total development at the park to more than 1.25 million square feet of space, representing a capital investment exceeding $560 million. "Few believed that the research park could grow to become such an economic powerhouse when it was first launched 20 years ago. It has put Virginia on the map in biotechnology and the life sciences, and is helping us to compete globally to attract and grow this important sector of our region's economy," he said.
Phase II's financing is provided by Fulton Bank, based in Pennsylvania with a major Virginia presence, as well as Virginia-based banks StellarOne and Xenith Bank. The Lingerfelt Companies, a Richmond-based developer, has been involved with the project since its inception.