The owners of a historic flour mill site in Hanover County are testing the market.
The 5-acre Ashland Mill property at 14471 Washington Highway was listed for sale this month, with an eye on finding a buyer to rehab and reuse the property.
Known to locals as the Byrd Mill, the site is listed for $1.25 million. It was most recently assessed for $674,000, according to county records.
The site includes up to 26 silos that can hold 120,000 bushels of grain, and a four-story, 12,000-square-foot mill along the banks of the South Anna River.
Brokers Stuart Cary and Ken Barnhill of Colliers International have the listing.
Historical records trace a mill on the site back to the late 1700s, where a young Patrick Henry often visited to bring back milled corn, wheat and buckwheat to his family’s nearby plantation.
Owned by Ashland Milling Co. since the 1960s, the site produces baking mixes and products under the Byrd Mill label, a brand the company bought about 20 years ago. Its products are sold to area restaurants, schools and grocery chains.
The company is owned by Todd Attkisson, who took it over from his father, former Ashland mayor Linwood Attkisson, and is looking to relocate to a more modern facility in the county. Much of the milling operation has ceased, but the company’s offices are headquartered there.
Company vice president Zach Attkisson said the original mill burned down in April 1980 and was rebuilt in 1982. The remains of the original mill’s foundation and dam remain in the river.
“We feel that the best use for the property moving forward is some kind of adaptive reuse,” Barnhill said. “A restaurant or a brewery, or both, could be a good use for the space.”
Since securing the listing, Cary said the site has received interest from restaurant groups and breweries, but could not comment on specifics.
The site is zoned M-2 industrial, but can be rezoned to accommodate the type of mixed-use or commercial uses desired for the facility’s rebirth, he said.
He added there are several mechanic buildings on the property, and the original wheel used to generate electricity for the mill remains in the river, but is not operational.
The site is also eligible for state and federal historic tax credits.
“It’s going to take someone with some creativity to really rehab this space,” Cary said. “It’s a very unique site.”
Note: This story has been updated to correct information about a fire that burned the mill in 1980.