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Why the James Center is headed to foreclosure

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Posted at 9:57 AM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 09:57:40-05

RICHMOND, Va. — A chunk of downtown office space totaling nearly 1 million square feet has landed on the auction block. The James Center, consisting of three towers at 901, 1021 and 1051 E. Cary St., is scheduled for a March 8 foreclosure auction on the courthouse steps, according to a legal notice, after the buildings’ owner defaulted on two loans totaling $150 million.

The three buildings, known as One, Two and Three James Center, comprise 986,000-square-feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of retail space. About 360,000 square feet – more than a third of the total space – is vacant between the three buildings. That’s according to the website of New York-based JEMB Realty, which has owned James Center since 2005.

Foreclosure has been a looming option for the property since its largest tenant, law firm McGuireWoods, announced it was vacating its 489,000 square feet in One James Center in favor of Gateway Plaza in 2013. A special servicer took over the loans on the property – one at $100 million and the other at $50 million – shortly thereafter.

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