NORFOLK, VA-Trader Publishing Co. officials and a slew of new employees expected to join the company in the near future are about to get some breathing room. The classified advertising publications and Internet services concern plans to build a new 270,000-sf office building on Granby Street, just a stone’s throw from Trader’s current corporate headquarters Downtown on Plume Street.

The new facility will house the electronic media division, while the existing locale will continue to serve as the company’s corporate headquarters. Trader, which was established in the city in 1991, will spend an estimated $51 million to complete the project.

When all is said and done, Trader’s new approximately 20-story building will replace what is now a city-owned parking lot, and it will not only offer new office space, but will also feature 25,000 sf of street-level retail space, as well as a parking facility to accommodate up to 440 vehicles. As many as 1,300 employees will be able to make their home in the structure.

The local site beat out other potential locations in Washington, Ohio and Texas. “Trader Publishing Co.’s commitment to its employees and residents of the Commonwealth is evident in its decision to keep its expansion efforts at home,” Gov. Mark R. Warner says in a statement on the announcement of the project. “The pro-business leadership of the Hampton Roads area coupled with the region’s well-educated and highly trained workforce made for the perfect match.”

State and local entities joined forces to put together an incentive package that also helped influence Trader’s decision. Construction of the CMSS Architects-designed building is expected to begin in January or February and reach completion sometime in 2006.

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