December 12, 2023

CRE is booming in Richmond. Here’s why you need an owner’s rep.

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The Richmond real estate market is thriving.

From 2020 to 2022, the metro area saw the highest population growth in the state and the 15th highest population growth nationwide. The region attracted over 22,000 new people over the two-year period — an increase over three times higher than those seen by any other metro area in Virginia — largely thanks to affordable housing costs and quality of life.

As Richmond quickly becomes one of the state's (and country’s) fastest-growing cities, it’s also attracting more developers and investors seeking to build new facilities. From multifamily and retail to life sciences and industrial, the Greater Richmond area is ranked among the top metros for economic development projects per capita for 2022, and was named one of the “Top 10 Locations for Corporate Headquarters” in Business Facilities Magazine’s 2023 Metro Rankings Report (its third consecutive year on the list).

It is a prime time to tap into the market to meet this growing population’s needs, but construction projects are complex, and require close coordination to stay on budget and schedule. (This 2021 survey of over 500 owners indicated most construction projects are over budget and delivered late — by an average of 70 days.)

This is why owner’s representatives (like us) exist.

What is an owner’s rep?

An owner’s representative, or owner’s rep, is the person responsible for ensuring your expectations on program design, budget, and schedule are executed through construction. A great owner’s rep will help lead your project in a way that’s aligned with your mission, vision, and values. 

The owner’s rep fills two major roles over the course of a project: they’re your advisor and your number-one advocate, making sure that everyone works together to deliver a facility that exceeds expectations — whether it’s a daycare center or a data center. In short, it’s the job of the owner’s rep to manage all the moving parts, so you (the owner) don’t have to.

Do you need an owner’s rep?

The time it takes to complete a commercial construction project depends almost entirely on the size, scope, budget, and management of the project at hand. 

There’s program development, bidding, permitting, material sourcing and long lead items. Not to forget, design, schedule and cost management considerations. Unforeseen conditions and circumstances. Change orders. Insurance. Subcontractor availability. And so many other factors and decisions. 

A large construction project is a big undertaking. Everyone has experience in some level of construction, from simple things like replacing a door knob to redoing a bathroom and more.  Larger, commercial construction projects entail that and many more complicated decisions. All of the decisions that need to be made along the way can be time consuming and stressful. Making the wrong choices can have serious consequences. 

An owner’s rep can help you manage the inherent risks to avoid cost overruns and delays. They have experience with everything you’ll need to get from planning and design to construction and closeout. They’re on hand each step of the way to provide guidance on a wide range of issues, such as budgeting, scheduling, design, and construction methods. They coordinate with architects, subcontractors, inspectors, government agencies, and suppliers, connecting the dots, clarifying incomplete information, and catching any little omissions or oversights. They’re in charge of managing all aspects of design and construction, so you can focus on your business, not your build. The result is less stress (for you) and more successful projects.

Why J2H?

We’ve seen the significant, sustained growth in the Richmond market — and we see the potential yet to be tapped. That’s why, in January, we opened our Richmond office. The new office is led by Managing Director, Jessica Buchta, who has over 20 years of experience in real estate planning, design, and project management. 

"Our strategic expansion into Richmond is a landmark moment for the firm, one which reflects the realities of the regional real estate market, including our firm’s own increase of projects in recent years. The official addition of our Richmond office will increase our visibility within the area, allowing us to better serve our customers and their unique, market-specific needs. The demand is there, and we know this is the best way to serve our clients on the level they’ve come to expect from J2H.” - John Sadlik, partner and co-founder of J2H Partners

Serving as an owner’s representative is our specialty at J2H Partners. We’ve spent decades providing hands-on assistance to help our clients with a diverse range of construction projects — from hospitality, industrial, and manufacturing projects to retail, commercial, and mission critical facilities. We probably haven’t seen it all, but we have seen a lot, and we know how to handle it because we’ve spent years involved in every angle of projects just like these — as owners, tenants, landlords, and developers. 

In Richmond, we’re bringing this background and expertise to meet the demand and ensure our clients receive the best possible guidance and support in launching — and completing — their builds. We’re proud of our track record, and nothing matters more to us than serving our clients, saving them time and money, and setting the highest possible bar for expectations. 

"J2H Partners was an important part of our team on the Deepwater Industrial Park project in Richmond, VA. With their guidance, we were able to achieve a successful project despite several challenges along the way." - Jennifer Norton, Vice President, DSC Partners

Seeking to grow your portfolio in Richmond, VA? For more information on our Richmond office, our prior work, or how we can help you launch successful projects in the region, please contact Jessica at

The RMR Group
Deepwater Industrial Park