ABC announces plan to relocate headquarters to Hanover, freeing parcel near The Diamond

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority announced Friday the preferred location for its new headquarters and distribution warehouse, several months after the recommendation it be moved from its current home on Hermitage Road near The Diamond baseball stadium.

The Department of General Services submitted a report to Gov. Terry McAuliffe and others in the General Assembly in Nov. 2017, which concluded that new construction would provide the most cost effective and efficient means for growth for the ABC.

The preferred site is located approximately 10 miles from ABC’s existing Richmond administrative offices and warehouse, at the intersection of Pole Green Road and I-295 in Mechanicsville. A separate, 95,000-square-foot office building and an approximately 315,000-square-foot warehouse will be built on the site.

The Mechanicsville site was the most cost-effective and best fit for the ABC’s needs, the agency said. ABC and DGS continue to finalize the development package, pursuant to the process set forward in the 2017 Acts of Assembly.

The agency chose H&M Company, a Jackson, Tennessee, engineering and construction firm, to develop the project from more than a dozen proposals that were submitted. H&M Company specializes in design, construction and financing of distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, industrial buildings and office locations nationwide.

Travis Hill, ABC chief operating officer, said the enhanced facilities will allow Virginia ABC to continue its steady increase in revenue.

“This project will provide Virginia ABC with the platform to continue its growth as a modern retailer, providing excellent service and selection to the consumer while generating revenues that support other programs for the citizens of Virginia,” Hill said in a prepared statement.

The ABC will execute an agreement with the developer in early July 2018, and the developer projects the ABC will move to the new facilities in spring 2021, according to agency representative Valerie Hubbard.

With the state agency vacating its half million square feet of real estate near the Boulevard,  the site could be ideal for a new baseball stadium. The ABC’s Central Office and Warehouse is located at 2901 Hermitage Rd., just a few hundred yards away from the current Diamond baseball stdium.

In fall 2016, The City of Richmond announced a new agreement between the city, the Richmond Flying Squirrels, and Virginia Commonwealth University that committed the minor league team to stay in Richmond for a minimum of 30 years once a new ballpark is constructed.

The cost of the new stadium will range from approximately $50 to $60 million. The design of the venue will also be able to accommodate non-athletic events such as concerts, festivals, or other community event.

That agreement included the term that as primary users of the new ballpark, the Flying Squirrels and VCU will be major contributors. Annual rent paid by the Flying Squirrels will be “approximately $1 million, or roughly four times their current annual rent at the Diamond.

The current stadium was built in 1985.