CoStar moves research and IT division to Richmond

25 Oct 2016

CoStar Group moved the HQ of its real estate research and software development division to Richmond, Virginia, where it leased an office covering 125,000 square foot – the largest in Richmond to date.

CoStar Group said it expected to create about 730 jobs in Richmond, and to invest roughly $8.2 million U.S.. The Group’s headquarters is in Washington, D.C..

The company’s sites focused on the U.S., include CoStar, LoopNet, Apartments.com, Lands of America, and BizBuySell. The foreign operations include CoStar U.K. (with 1,200 firms and 13,000 users of its CRE information database), Belbex in Spain (acquired in 2014), and CoStar Canada (introduced in 2014).

“Both Apartments.com and the original CoStar product line are doing well, and managing the content is an ever-growing effort,” Andrew Florance, founder and CEO of the company, told the Washington Post. “We have absolutely overrun the Washington headquarters, and had to make a decision on a major, new research center,” he said of the move to Richmond. 

The city provided $4 million in incentives, and the local economy expects a (big) injection. According to Suzanne West Clark, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, CoStar will receive the full incentive, if it hires 732 people and invest $8.2 million in its new office in the next 36 months.

The company plans to move between 200 and 300 people into the new office. Not all will be new jobs. Some people will be transferred from various locations, including the Philippines.

In January this year, CoStar Group cut about a quarter of the staff (about 40 jobs) in its online apartment-rental division, citing consolidation of duplicate back-office functions and some operational functions in Apartments.com (bought in 2014) and ApartmentFinder (bought in 2015) as reasons for the retrenchments.

In FY2015, CoStar Group (NASDAQ:CSGP) generated revenue of $712 million U.S., which was 24 percent more than in FY2014.

In Q1 of FY2016 more than 24 million people visited the Group’s websites for information on office, residential, retail and farm properties, the company said. 

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Ffion Llwyd-Jones