Local investors acquire City Center for $64 million
Point Hope LLC, a local group of investors from Newport News, has acquired City Center at Oyster Point for $64 million. The nine building, 574,466-square-foot, mixed-use center is Newport News’ version of a downtown, serving as a location for leaders in accounting, banking, finance, law, architecture, technology, defense government and healthcare.
In an announcement, Pointe Hope LLC said its purchase brings ownership into the hands of local leaders “who are committed to sustaining City Center as a Class A business and residential community. “
The center broke ground in 2000 as a public/private partnership, master planned development among nine founding partners with Northwestern Mutual as the group's joint venture equity partner along with the city of Newport News, which remains active in the project.
Leading Pointe Hope LLC is Joseph C. Ritchie, a former mayor of Newport News and one of the center’s original founding partners, and Robert E. Long, a Hampton attorney. They have assembled an ownership group that includes many of the center’s original partners as well as several local entrepreneurs who are new investors.
The Peninsula Division of TowneBank and Union Bank & Trust financed the acquisition.
Newport News through its Economic Development Authority, is an active participant in the center, providing business development support and over 2,700 parking spaces in three publicly owned garages as well as a 50,000-square-foot conference center, managed by Marriott. The project incudes restaurants, retail, entertainment and hospitality amenities.
Known for its five-acre fountain, City Center is home to many tenants. Among the roster are PNC Bank, Riverside Health System, Morgan Stanley, the Boeing Co., Siemens and Progressive Casualty.
Point Hope said in a press release that the fountain would remain a gathering place for community events, with the group hoping to sponsor new events that expand the center’s draw across Hampton Roads.
Savills Studley represented the seller, the joint venture ownership of Northwestern Mutual Real Estate and nine founding local partners in the sale.
Patricia Earnest, who led the Savills Studley team in the sale, said in a statement, “Although there were several competitive national and regional investors bidding for this exceptional portfolio, this local investor group, Pointe Hope LLC, brings the vision, the breath of fresh air and staying power to elevate City Center to the next level of success and to continue building its vibrancy for the future.”