Apex Clean Energy Announces Plans for New Charlottesville Headquarters

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Concept art for Apex Clean Energy's new headquarters in Charlottesville Concept art for Apex Clean Energy's new headquarters in Charlottesville
Mark Goodwin Mark Goodwin

One of Charlottesville's fastest growing start-up companies will be settling into a brand new building in downtown Charlottesville.

Apex Clean Energy is wrapping up plans for a new, seven-story office that will be located on Garrett Street.

The 130,000 square-foot headquarters will be on top of the parking lot behind ACAC's downtown gym.

The building will be made with timber and green products to fit the company's philosophy.

"If we're a company that is really determined to accelerate the shift to clean energy then we have to be a leader in sustainability. So as we've been working on this building we've made it a key feature of it," said Mark Goodwin with Apex Clean Energy.

The company president says he hopes for construction to start in 60 days and end in 2019.

03/01/2018 Release from Apex Clean Energy:

Charlottesville, VA – March 1, 2018 – Apex Clean Energy today unveiled plans for a new corporate headquarters in downtown Charlottesville.

As the anchor tenant of a new 130,000-square-foot building, to be located on Garrett Street in the city’s Strategic Investment Area, Apex will occupy 60,000 square feet of office space. This transition will enable the consolidation of more than 170 employees currently spread across multiple office buildings extending from Court Square to the former Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Most notably, the design of the building will achieve significant environmental milestones, from on-site energy generation to leading-edge materials and efficiency measures that will set a new benchmark for sustainable practices in the local built environment.

Apex turned to Charlottesville-based William McDonough + Partners to create the groundbreaking design. The architecture and urban design firm applies a positive, principled design philosophy inspired by Cradle-to-Cradle—an approach that takes its cues from living systems and processes, and seeks to expand on enduring standards of design quality. The firm’s projects can be found in cities across six continents, including several headquarters of major technology companies located in Silicon Valley.

“Beyond our work to accelerate the shift to clean energy through utility-scale wind and solar projects, it is critical for us to act and lead on sustainability,” said Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex Clean Energy. “We look forward to the collaborative opportunities that bringing our team back together under one roof will provide, in addition to a healthier and more constructive work environment that maintains our current walking distance to the Downtown Mall.”

This imperative reflects a core Apex value to lower our individual and collective environmental impacts, while creating a welcoming design that is compatible with the evolving area south of Water Street. The site location reinforces Apex’s commitment to supporting the economic resiliency of downtown and the city of Charlottesville as a whole.

“The building will leverage forward-thinking design and technologies that will also deliver significant economic efficiencies,” continued Goodwin. “From a financial perspective, we expect this move to meet, or even reduce, the costs that are currently spread across our multiple-office footprint.”

In 2015 alone, Apex increased its staff by more than 80 people, gaining honors as the Top Job Creator by the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council. The company has strategically navigated expansion by balancing efficiency with the best available office space along the High Street corridor.

“It is exciting that the preeminent wind energy company in the United States is about to have a new solar-powered workplace in our beautiful city,” said William McDonough, principal of William McDonough + Partners. “We are honored to be a part of this project and look forward to the process of realizing it together.”

In terms of neighborhood impact, the infill development will provide enough parking underneath and within the building to cover 100 percent of the needs of Apex and any additional office tenants, as well as spaces to serve other businesses in the area. Multiple electric vehicle charging stations will be provided, and Apex will retain its program that provides financial incentives to employees who commute via ridesharing, cycling, walking, or other means of transportation not necessitating a parking spot. Currently, more than one in five locally based Apex employees are enrolled in the program.

In addition to office space, Riverbend Development, the developer of the project, plans on offering 10,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor. Groundbreaking is expected to occur in mid-2018 with an anticipated 24-month buildout.

“We are delighted to partner with Apex Clean Energy on their new corporate headquarters at the Garrett Street site and welcome them as the anchor tenant for this landmark building in Charlottesville,” said Alan Taylor, president of Riverbend Development.

John Pritzlaff, senior vice president of Cushman Wakefield | Thalhimer, represented Apex in the identification of the Garrett Street site and ongoing work to ensure it can meet its corporate objectives.