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Demolition begins at Dominion project that will become 20-story tower

Posted at 1:56 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 17:26:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Several downtown streets will be closed for the weekend as construction crews start demolishing Dominion Resource's Richmond Plaza for a new 20-story tower.

The high-rise, at 413-feet, will replace the existing six-story, 269,000-square-foot building, which sits across the street from Dominion’s One James Center Plaza headquarters and has been largely unused since the company bought it from Washington, D.C.-based real estate firm Douglas Development in 2011.

A rendering of the new Dominion Resource's tower.

A rendering of the new Dominion Resource's tower.

Demolition is expected to take about four months, according to spokesman Ryan Frazier.

Each lane of 7th Street, as well as one lane of E. Cary Street will be closed around the building beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The streets won't reopen until Sunday evening.

Frazier said 1,300 employees from the One James Center Plaza property will transfer to the unnamed project when it's completed in 2019.

Richmond Plaza

Richmond Plaza

"Coming from New York City I like tall skyscrapers and modern buildings," said Greg Mathe, who works for Dominion communication. "I think it's going to be a great thing."

But, some Richmonders told CBS 6 they are turned off by the tower's modern style.

"It just doesn't look like Richmond to me," Ana Snatus said. "I don't see a lot of things that are like this in Richmond."

The company said it is also considering building a separate, neighboring tower on the site of its current headquarters, which sits at 701 E. Cary St.

It released a rendering showing the dual towers that would be 850,000 square feet on 16 floors, though company spokesman Ryan Frazier said it is still considering its plans for the One James Center Plaza property.

Its options include either gutting the existing 21-story, 667,000-square-foot building for a full renovation or demolishing it in favor of a new tower.

For the Richmond Plaza site, Dominion’s 20-story building will include 17 floors of office space, two floors of above-ground parking and four floors of underground parking. Ground floor retail space is also planned for the building’s northeast side on Seventh Street and Cary.