Wine distributor uncorks expansion plan

Republic National Distributing is planning to build an expanded distribution facility in Hanover County. (Via Google Earth)

Republic National Distributing is planning to build an expanded distribution facility in Hanover County.

Hanover County is about to catch a wine buzz.

Wine distributor Republic National Distributing Company will build a 200,000-plus-square-foot facility in Ashland off Elletts Crossing Road, near the new Vitamin Shoppe warehouse center.

Republic National President Tom Cole confirmed the move Thursday.

The site off Elletts Crossing Road. (Photo by David Larter)

The site of Republic National Distributing’s planned facility. (Photo by David Larter)

“We’re very happy to be expanding our presence in Virginia,” Cole said.

Gary Archuleta, executive vice president with Republic National, said that the distribution center is in the design phase but that it will be more than 200,000 square feet with room for expansion.

“We are acquiring the land, and right now we are in the due diligence process,” he said.

The center is being developed by an internal group at the company, Archuleta said.

He said he could not give an accurate cost of development because the project has yet to be bid out.

Republic National currently occupies a 160,000-square-foot space in Sandston at 5401 Eubank Road. The company has about 300 employees in the area. It does not plan to immediately add jobs related to the move but will as needed over time, Archuleta said.

The company primarily distributes wine and sells about 3 million cases per year, Archuleta said. (That’s 36 million bottles of wine)

Republic National distributes dozens of brands, including such household names as Sutter Home, Woodbridge, Black Box, Little Penguin and Franzia.

“We’ve had several successful years back to back,” Archuleta said. “We’re in a position now where we have to expand in order to maintain the current volume we have.”

The 22-acre parcel of land is directly south of the Vitamin Shoppe parcel and is currently owned by Virginia Truck Center of Richmond, according to Hanover County records. BizSense was unable to reach anyone at Virginia Truck Center for comment.

The site is near the split of Washington Highway and Elletts Crossing Road and is visible from Interstate 95. It was most recently assessed at about $960,000, according to county records.

Hanover County Economic Development Director Edwin Gaskin said via email that he could not comment, citing a confidentiality agreement.

According to Archuleta, the company has been in Virginia since March 1997.

Its neighbor Vitamin Shoppe’s 300,000-square-foot distribution center, which is under construction and will add 170 jobs to the county.

The Republic National news is the latest in a string of big announcements for Hanover County.

The state’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is building its new headquarters there. And plans are in place for a 392,000-square-foot outlet mall developed by California-based Craig Realty Group.

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