Success Story

Helping CoStar Group Grow in Richmond and Beyond

May 25, 2022

CoStar Group, Inc., has already transformed the $17 trillion commercial real estate industry. Its groundbreaking model leverages cutting-edge research and technology to provide data, intelligence, and insights that help real estate professionals achieve business goals more efficiently and effectively.

Now the visionary company is transforming Virginia’s capital city, as well: CoStar Group (NASDAQ: CSGP) is building a $460 million expansion of its existing research, sales, and technology center in Richmond.

The expansion will create a state-of-the-art corporate campus—including more than 2.5 acres of outdoor green space and other community amenities—along the James River in the heart of the city.

To help create this landmark development, CoStar Group turned to its longtime real estate counsel, Ballard Spahr.

In fact, Ballard Spahr real estate attorneys had already been working with CoStar Group for years when the company decided in 2016 to establish its first major presence in Richmond. That’s when CoStar Group selected the city as the site of a new research and operations headquarters, following a national search. Ballard Spahr, led by Desmond D. Connall, Jr., leader of the firm’s Leasing Team, and Katherine M. Noonan, a partner who focuses on property development transactions, worked with CoStar Group to secure space for CoStar’s Richmond Research Headquarters.

Since then, as CoStar Group has continued to grow nationally, Ballard Spahr attorneys have represented the company in securing operations space in dozens of locations across the country. CoStar Group has grown to take a place on the Forbes’ Global 2000 list of the world’s largest companies, with nearly $2 billion in 2021 revenue and 4,800 employees worldwide—including 1,200 in Richmond.

Most recently, Ballard Spahr attorneys served as counsel for CoStar Group’s $20 million purchase of a five-story office building across the James River from the existing research center and the planned 750,000-square-foot corporate campus. It was the latest in a series of Richmond acquisitions on which Ballard Spahr has advised the company.

As lead real estate counsel for the corporate campus project, Ballard Spahr, led by Real Estate Department Partner Alan S. Ritterband, is representing CoStar Group on numerous development- and construction-related matters, including development, management, and professional contracts and agreements, insurance issues, and regulatory compliance. The new facility will create and consolidate capacity for more than 3,000 employees focused on next generation technology, research and development, marketing, sales, and operations. Over the next five to 10 years, the planned growth would make CoStar Group the largest technology company in Richmond and one of the city’s largest private employers.

The campus “will itself reflect the spirit of innovation and collaboration that are central elements of CoStar Group’s culture and success,” the company stated. It is slated to include a new, 26-story LEED Platinum targeted office tower and a six-story multipurpose building to be used as a campus hub for employee and community amenities. Plans for the hub include conference space, fitness and wellness amenities, an auditorium, 50,000 square feet of green roof terraces, retail stores, and a variety of restaurants.

“It’s exciting to be involved with the growth of CoStar Group and development of its amazing new facility,” said Mr. Connall, whose relationship with the company spans more than two decades. “To be able to contribute to our client’s success is what we’re all about.”

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