L-R, Bruce Prichard, HBA Architecture Interior Design; Bjoern Fischer, president of Stihl, Inc.; Will Sessoms, Mayor of Virginia Beach; and Nathan Leonard, Hourigan Construction.

Stihl Inc., headquarters for U.S. operations of the worldwide Stihl Group, celebrated the beginning of a new administration building and other campus improvements with a groundbreaking ceremony on March 29. The $25 million administration building project is part of the company’s continual investment in infrastructure in support of growing U.S. operations. In addition, there will be significant improvements to an outdoor demonstration area for hands-on training, enhancements to the entry guard house and updates to traffic flow and security at the main entrance gate.

“Stihl Inc. has enjoyed more than 40 years of growth and expansion in Virginia Beach,” said Bjoern Fischer, president of Stihl Inc. “This groundbreaking is a sign of our confidence in a continued positive economic environment for modern manufacturing in the City of Virginia Beach and signals our ongoing investment not only to the region but our network of more than 9,000 servicing dealers and their customers.”

During the celebration, local dignitaries including the mayor of Virginia Beach, members of City Council and representatives from Virginia Beach Economic Development participated in a symbolic groundbreaking and learned more about the project.

“There is a long-standing partnership between Stihl Inc. and the City of Virginia Beach. Stihl Inc. has stellar record as a corporate citizen, and I’m so very proud that the North American headquarters of this innovative company is based right here in Virginia Beach. Our city deeply appreciates the Stihl Inc. vote of confidence and the vitality it brings to our community,” said Will Sessoms, mayor of Virginia Beach.

Since its inception in 1974, the campus has grown from a single 20,000 square-foot rented warehouse to well over one million square feet of manufacturing and administrative space on more than 150 acres. With the construction of the new state-of-the-art, 80,000-square-foot administration building comes a Stihl museum and customer welcome center and other campus upgrades.

Virginia Beach-based Hourigan Construction, a firm with extensive experience in construction management, and specifically, corporate headquarters facilities, is the general contractor for the project. Another Hampton Roads company, HBA Architecture Interior Design, is the lead architect and Virginia Beach-based Creative Development Partners will serve as the owner’s representative.

The expansion will replace the former 21,000-square-foot administration building, which was razed to make way for the new building. The anticipated completion date of the new building and other campus improvements is mid-2019.