How Will 7,000 – 9,000 New Employees Impact Charlottesville’s Economy, Workforce & Neighborhoods?

Jerry Miller, CEO

Photo courtesy of Dairy Central Charlottesville

With the January 14 announcement of two publicly traded technology companies committed to leasing office space in Dairy Central on Preston Avenue, I again found myself thinking about how the influx of new employees would impact Charlottesville, Virginia’s economy, workforce and its various neighborhoods.

Here are some of thoughts, which I always originate on my twitter account first: twitter.com/JerryMillerNow.

CoStar Group and Dexcom, Inc have agreed to lease 17,580 square feet, which represents 35% of Dairy Central’s office tower.

CoStar Group, Inc. is the largest digital real estate company in the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CoStar Group operates over 20 brands in 17 countries, including Apartments.com, which helped 14 million people find a home last year.

Dexcom, Inc. is a world-leading provider of continuous glucose monitoring systems for use by people with diabetes. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Dexcom acquired Charlottesville-based digital health company TypeZero Technologies in 2018.

After learning a bit about these two deep-pocketed companies, I then started extrapolating the number of new employees that would assimilate into Charlottesville’s workforce from Dairy Central and Dairy Market.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: 5-7 employees per 1,000 square feet.

With the new open office space layouts (i.e. “benching layouts”), you can easily get seven employees per 1,000 square feet of office space. That means the recently leased 17,580 square feet should yield 100 – 125 employees.

Dairy Central in totality has 50,000 square feet of new Class A office space. That translates to 250 – 350 new employees in the office tower alone.

When you consider the food hall (Dairy Market), you are looking at an additional 50 employees or so. That’s a grand total of 300 – 400 additional employees on the corner of 10th Street & Preston Avenue.

Photo courtesy of Dairy Central Charlottesville
So, here’s what we should consider:

How will Dairy Market and Dairy Central impact Charlottesville, Virginia?

Dairy Market and Dairy Central will help drive the Charlottesville economy to new heights. This is 110% safe to say. These brands are innovative commercial and residential communities designed and developed by a talented visionary in Chris Henry of Stony Point Design/Build.

The roughly 250 – 350 employees who work in the office space will command wages higher than area median income, especially the team members who work for the technology companies that are being targeted by Dairy Central’s leasing team.

Remember, when one employee earns more than AMI just by himself/herself, this may not include a spouse or significant other’s income. Now, not all of the employees will have a significant other in the workforce, but some of them most certainly will.

Let’s extrapolate the future of Charlottesville’s workforce even further by factoring other new sources of employment emerging in and around Charlottesville.

Please keep in mind the following:

1. The University of Virginia is considering adding 6,000 new employees in the near future.

2. Hedge fund titan Jaffray Woodriff is adding new employees at The Center Of Developing Entrepreneurs (CODE), the state-of-the-art epicenter now being developed in the former ice park location on The Mall.

3. CoConstruct is moving its headquarters downtown to a 40,000-square-foot office space within the 3TWENTY3 building located at 323 2nd Street SE. CoConstruct is set to consolidate their two current locations into a single new headquarters at 3TWENTY3.

Totaling 120,000 square feet, 3TWENTY3 is a state-of-the-art, five-floor office building to be built on top of a four-story, 200 space, parking structure. Additional building amenities include a pedestrian plaza/walkway, common lobby gathering space, rooftop appurtenance with event and conference space, a catering kitchen, a patio, electric car charging stations and added bike racks.

4. Willowtree is expanding its workforce and moving its headquarters to Woolen Mills (Albemarle County/Charlottesville line) to an 85,000 square foot office space inside the now-being-developed Wool Factory.

5. Dairy Central is adding 250-350 new employees as I’ve outlined above.

To recap, that’s easily 7,000 – 9,000 new highly-paid employees that will bombard Charlottesville and Central Virginia in the nearish future.

Knowing this information, here are some predictions:

Prediction One: The Charlottesville economy is going to continue to boom. Our community is already insulated from national trends because of the protection offered by the University of Virginia. You can expect even more economic growth CVille.

Prediction Two: The 10th & Page Neighborhood will be decimated by restrictive zoning & the influx of new high-dollar home seekers. Entrepreneurs who are flipping homes, deep-pocketed investors who can “land bank” for a few years and home buyers ready to spend money are beelining for 10th & Page for short- and long-term return on investment. These efforts will forever change one of Charlottesville’s historically African American neighborhoods.

Prediction Three: The Fifeville Neighborhood will also be targeted by these new high-dollar home seekers. Fifeville is one of the last “affordable” neighborhoods in Charlottesville. Its proximity to the UVa Hospital, the Downtown Mall, UVa Grounds and West Main Street make it appealing and vulnerable for development, house flippers and home seekers with disposable income. Fifeville is also a historically African American neighborhood.

While Charlottesville City Council is focused on solving our community’s affordable housing crisis, it is almost impossible to slow a capitalistic market backed by high-dollar momentum and entrepreneurial spirit. Please watch these predictions closely. If they come to fruition, you will see Charlottesville, Virginia transform into San Francisco, California on the East Coast.

Do you want more real estate and development knowledge? Well, checkout The I Love CVille Development Updates From Jerry Miller: Two Options With Potential For Development On The Southside Of Charlottesville, Va! and Can Allan Cadgene’s West Main Street Parking Lot Help Solve Charlottesville’s Affordable Housing Crisis?? and Matt Darring, Decision Support Analyst For University Of Virginia, Joined Jerry Miller On The I Love CVille Show!

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Jerry Miller, CEO & Publisher

Jerry Miller is the founder & CEO of I Love CVille, VMV Brands and I Love CVille Real Estate, which are all head-quartered on The Historic Charlottesville Downtown Mall. Jerry is passionate about the #ShopLocal movement and supporting local merchants, restaurants, breweries and wineries. Get to know Jerry at JerryMillerNow.com.