The Richmond market is in the running to land a massive new facility in the works by a big-name West Coast brewery.
California-based Stone Brewing Company is looking to build a multi-million dollar brewery, restaurant and retail operation that will serve as its East Coast hub.
The company confirmed last week that Richmond is among the markets it is visiting as a potential home for the project.
“We’re looking at a variety of cities,” said Sabrina LoPiccolo, a spokesperson for Stone Brewing. “Richmond is on the list, but there is a variety of other locations.”
Launched in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, Stone is the country’s 10th largest craft brewery, according to its website.
The company is looking to spend more than $20 million dollars to outfit its planned East Coast site, according to project specifications and a request for proposals on its website.
Stone is looking for a building of about 130,000 square feet that can be expanded to 220,000 square feet, or for land that could hold a structure of that size. The site would be home to Stone’s brewery operations, a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, a bar and retail areas. The ideal property would have on-site parking.
Stone projects revenue at its East Coast site to exceed $100 million in its fourth year and eventually reach hundreds of millions annually. The company currently employs more than 875 people.
Stone’s interest in Richmond was first reported by NorfolkMetro.com. The site reported that 10 cities are under consideration as potential sites for the facility including Norfolk, Roanoke, Philadelphia and Charlotte.
It’s unclear where in the Richmond region the company might have an interest. Stone did not comment on specific sites.
Matthew Braun, an industrial real estate broker with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, said Stone’s heavy infrastructure requirements limit potential new building sites to some of the region’s larger industrial parks. He mentioned White Oak Technology Park in Henrico County and Meadowville Technology Park in Chesterfield as sites that could potentially fit the bill.
If Stone wanted to repurpose an existing building, Braun said he might point them towards the Philip Morris Operations Center near Interstate 95. That property has more than 570,000 square feet of space and was listed for sale last year.
Rumblings of Stone’s interest have been going around area economic development circles.
“We know they’re looking and it’d be great to have them here,” said Will Davis, director of Chesterfield County economic development.
Davis wouldn’t say whether the county had spoke with anyone from Stone Brewing.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the state-wide organization that works to lure businesses to the commonwealth, didn’t comment specifically about Stone’s interest in Richmond either.
“We can’t comment on any active projects,” said Tim Danielson, a manager for business attraction at VEDP. “There’s certainly craft brewery activity on the East Coast.”