Firing range triggers new construction at Winding Brook

A group of developers is planning a new commercial building at Winding Brook that will house a shooting range. Images courtesy of

A group of developers is planning a new commercial building at Winding Brook that will house a shooting range. Images courtesy of

A group of Northern Virginia developers is reloading for another project in Ashland.

Robert Alvarez, Sharad Gupta and Sarathi Vajja are building a 23,800-square-foot, 24-lane shooting range on Lakeridge Parkway across from Bass Pro Shops, Alvarez said.

Once it’s built, the property will be occupied and operated by Blue Ridge Arsenal, a shooting range business with another location in Chantilly.

“I presented the idea to (Blue Ridge Arsenal) because I knew them as a profitable organization in Northern Virginia,” Alvarez said. “They were thinking about expanding, and I walked in the door and it worked out.”

The project is expected to cost $5.3 million, Alvarez said. That includes the $900,000 the group spent in December to purchase the range’s 3 acres through Winding Brook Range LLC.

Blue Ridge Arsenal owner Earl Curtis said he was sold on the location.

“This was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” Curtis said. “Being across from Bass Pro and I-95, it’s a pretty good location there.”

Curtis has owned Chantilly-based Blue Ridge Arsenal since 2002. The Ashland location will be its second range.

Alvarez said the prospects for growth at the Winding Brook development gave the trio confidence to make the leap and put the land under contract before it had lined up the deal with Blue Ridge Arsenal.

A new retailer will open in the Winding Brook shopping center this spring, and a massive outlet mall is also in the works in the nearby Northlake development.

Alvarez and his partners in the venture know the area well. Alvarez said he, Gupta and two other partners also control the entity that built and owns Winding Brook Shoppes II, a 12,000-square-foot retail strip nearby.

Alvarez owns Northern Virginia-based KMS Contracting, which will build the gun range. Perretz & Young Architects designed the space. Alvarez, Gupta and Vajja are financing the project themselves, along with a loan from Access National Bank in Reston.

Alvarez said construction should begin in May and be completed in December. The space will also have a section for retail.

Blue Ridge won’t be the only gun range in Richmond when it opens. Colonial Shooting Academy has been in business since 2012 in the West End. And it will have some competition on the retail side from Green Top, which has a large store just north on Interstate 95.

Alvarez said he and Gupta are eyeing another 1.6-acre property next to the Blue Ridge Arsenal site.

“Sharad and I are thinking of developing it, but I’m not sure to what just yet,” he said.

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