The City of Newport News, its Economic Development Authority, Newport News Shipbuilding, and Southeast Commerce Center Associates, L.L.C. (SECCA) gathered today to announce an agreement on a collaborative partnership to construct a 95,000 square-foot office building in the Brooks Crossing development in the Southeast Community of Newport News.
SECCA is the entity formed between former Southeast Community native Aaron Brooks and Armada Hoffler Properties, the publicly-traded Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that will develop, construct and own the building. Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, plans to occupy the majority of the building, where it plans to locate nearly 600 engineering and design jobs. “Brooks Crossing is a powerful example of community stakeholders coming together to make a meaningful impact on the Southeast Community by creating employment and fostering economic prosperity, which will hopefully produce a ripple effect that will be felt throughout the city and beyond,” said Louis S. Haddad, Chief Executive Office of Armada Hoffler Properties. “We look forward to launching this next phase of development with valued partners Aaron Brooks and the City of Newport News, and we are thrilled that Newport News Shipbuilding will also be playing a key role in the revitalization efforts.”
“Throughout our history, Newport News Shipbuilding has partnered with the City of Newport News to cultivate our business and the surrounding community,” said Bill Bell, Newport News Shipbuilding’s vice president of human resources and administration. “This agreement provides us an opportunity to contribute toward the revitalization of Newport News’ Southeast Community and expand our footprint in a convenient location. The presence of community space will also provide us with creative opportunities to expand our already strong STEM outreach efforts.”
The Newport News Economic Development Authority will lease the remaining 15,000 square feet, and utilize the space for several new ventures, including STEM education and entrepreneurial initiatives. “Newport News Shipbuilding has a long-standing history of partnerships in Newport News and we are pleased that the company has chosen to expand its footprint into the Southeast Community. We are confident that the presence of these high-visibility positions, coupled with educational and developmental activities on-site will surely help to mold and influence the next generation of engineers,” said Mayor McKinley Price. Florence G. Kingston, the City’s director of development, agreed. “Advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurial pursuits continue to grow our local economy, and we are excited about the possibility of creating opportunities which will contribute to the technology ecosystem.”
Plans to break ground on the building are anticipated for summer 2017, with an expected occupancy in late 2018. “As the largest industrial employer in Virginia, it is no surprise that the shipyard is leading the way in innovation and education,” noted City Manager, Jim Bourey. “We are grateful for the firm’s commitment to the City and the scores of citizens who help build the world’s finest ships.”
Located in the 3000 block of Jefferson Avenue, Brooks Crossing is a mixed-use development built in 2015. Anchors include Jim’s Local Market, an independent, full-service grocery store, and the Newport News South Police Precinct, both which opened in 2016. Other tenants include Eagles Nest Learning Center and Virginia ABC. Additional tenants are expected to open in 2017.