A state agency with some of the most sought-after property in the city has received permission for a deal with an out-of-state developer to move its headquarters to the suburbs, potentially freeing up land for a new baseball stadium.
The Virginia General Assembly has given the departments of Alcoholic Beverage Control and General Services the green light to negotiate a deal with Tennessee-based H&M Co. to construct a new ABC headquarters on property owned by Bill Goodwin’s Riverstone Properties near the intersection of Pole Green Road and Interstate 295 in Hanover County.
Authorization to pursue the deal was included in the state’s $115 billion budget approved last week, listed among several capital improvement projects to be funded with proceeds from the sale of nearly $217 million in bonds.
The budget does not specify a funding amount for the future ABC complex, and no contract has been signed between H&M Co. and the state, said ABC spokeswoman Taylor Thornberg.
H&M Co. could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon. The firm focuses on design, construction and financing of distribution and manufacturing facilities nationwide.
ABC and General Services, which have been working together on the relocation, would not provide a cost estimate for the project. Representatives stated that doing so would undermine the agencies’ negotiating position.
General Services spokeswoman Dena Potter said in an email that the agencies expect H&M Co. to close on the property this summer. It’s unclear whether the property is under contract to the developer.
After issuing a request for proposals last year, the agencies announced in March they had selected H&M Co.’s proposal to construct a 315,000-square-foot warehouse and 95,000-square-foot office building to replace the existing ABC complex at 2901 Hermitage Road. The departments began talks with H&M Co. in December.
As part of the discussion, the agencies announced their preferred site for the facility is the Riverstone Properties land in Mechanicsville.
Some of the largest pieces of the 50-acre site are along a service road next to AMF Bowling Co.’s headquarters at 8100 AMF Drive.
ABC is targeting a move-in date for spring or summer 2021.
Once operational in Hanover County, the facility could allow ABC to eventually free up the Hermitage Road site, which has been discussed as a potential spot for a replacement of The Diamond that could be shared by the Flying Squirrels and VCU.
Gov. Ralph Northam’s office received the final budget May 30. He has through June 8 to sign it into law. The budget would take effect July 1.