Rezoning sought for new ABC HQ

A map showing the areas planned for commercial and industrial use at the site. (Courtesy Hanover Planning Commission)

Plans to relocate a state agency’s headquarters from the city to the suburbs appear to be moving forward, which could free up real estate eyed for a new baseball stadium.

Bill Goodwin’s Riverstone Properties is looking to rezone 113 acres it owns near the Interstate 295 and Pole Green Road interchange in Hanover County to accommodate a mix of commercial and light industrial uses, including the planned relocation of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s HQ and distribution center from their current location on Hermitage Road.

The Hanover County Planning Commission is slated to take up the rezoning request at its meeting today (Thursday), though planning staff is requesting a deferral to allow Riverstone to address traffic concerns.

Riverstone owns nearly a dozen properties totaling 113 acres in the vicinity, according to county property records. Many of those properties are zoned for agricultural and light manufacturing uses.

Some of the largest parcels are located along a service road next to AMF Bowling Co.’s headquarters at 8100 AMF Drive. AMF Bowling was one of Goodwin’s earliest purchases; his company sold it in 1996.

Plans call for the construction of four warehouse buildings totaling nearly 778,000 square feet on about 104 acres, along with a three-story, 102,000-square-foot office building, according to plans submitted to the county’s planning department.

abc headquarters

ABC’s existing nerve center encompasses 292,000 square feet at 2901 Hermitage Road. (BizSense file photo courtesy Google Maps)

Anchoring the development would be the ABC HQ and distribution center, which would be the primary tenant of the office building and a 315,000-square-foot building that would be expandable by 84,000 square feet, according to the plans.

An L-shaped roadway connecting the development to AMF Drive and Pole Green Road would run through the property, with a traffic signal planned at an entrance off Pole Green Road.

Room for a retail center

An 8.6-acre piece of a parcel fronting Pole Green Road would be rezoned commercial to accommodate a 25,000-square-foot retail center and two pad sites for a restaurant and gas station.

Riverstone has been working with Tennessee-based developer H&M Co. to develop the site since it was identified last summer as the preferred location to relocate ABC’s existing complex at 2901 Hermitage Road in Richmond.

ABC spokeswoman Dawn Eischen said in an email that Riverstone has an agreement with H&M to develop the land and that the state remains in negotiations with H&M to construct a new ABC complex on the site.

A cost estimate and timeline for construction was not included in documents submitted to the county. Eischen said ABC aims to move in during spring 2021.

A call and emails to Riverstone were not returned Wednesday afternoon. H&M could not be reached for comment.

ABC and the state’s Department of General Services have been working on the relocation for more than two years.

The Virginia General Assembly last year authorized both agencies to pursue a deal to relocate the ABC’s headquarters and distribution complex, listed among several capital improvement projects to be funded with proceeds from the sale of nearly $217 million in bonds.

Once operational in Hanover, 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 Richmond Flying Squirrels and VCU.

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