Six months after making an offer on the property and going public with their plans, the new owners and operators of a Goochland County mansion that’s soon to become the region’s newest event venue have a clear path forward.
Couples Doug and Tamra Adams, and Andrew and Kim Moody, have finalized their purchase of River Run Manor, the 16,000-square-foot former Massey family mansion at 2421 River Road West in Maidens.
The group’s River Run Manor LLC closed on the property Oct. 1, paying $3.1 million, according to county property records.
The closing of the sale comes after resolving with neighboring property owners a recently discovered covenant on the deed that restricted a home-based business from operating there.
The agreement was the last remaining hurdle for the group after securing county approval of its plan in September. Now, the group can move forward with prepping the 60-acre riverside estate to be able to start hosting events under its new name, The Estate at River Run, as early as January or February.
“We’ve booked events already for 2021. We just had our first inquiry for 2022,” said Kim Moody, who with Andrew owns wedding-planning company Kim Moody Design.
“It’s extremely surreal. For the past year specifically, we’ve been so honed in on working on this project. It’s been quite a journey.”
The former residence – for years the highest-priced residential real estate listing in the region – had been listed at $3 million when the group put it under contract in June. The latest county assessment put the property’s value at $5.28 million.
The Steele Group’s Debbie Gibbs and Bo Steele had the listing, which they took over in early 2018. Darrell Bowman with Coldwell Banker Vaughan & Co. represented the Adamses in the deal, while Susan Morris with Keller Williams Midlothian represented the Moodys.
The group worked with closing attorney Tom Ebel of Sands Anderson and with Blackstone attorney Ken Walden on its internal LLC agreements.
Moody, whose family moved into the house the day it closed and will reside there while managing the venue, said work is underway to prepare the property to host weddings, corporate functions and other events.
She said big-ticket items include the addition of 75 parking spaces to the site, along with fire egress and other safety requirements. Beyond a few decorative touches, she said the house itself would remain unaltered. She said a budget for the work is being determined.
The group is working with Richmond-based Watershed Consulting on engineering for the parking areas, and with Old Dominion Engineering out of Waynesboro on septic and wastewater plans. Circle Design Studio is drawing up plans, and Red Orange Studio designed a logo for the venue.
Moody said Fauquier County-based Philip Carter Winery, which was lined up to open a tasting room and vineyard on the property, has dropped out of the project. She said the group has been contacted and is in talks with other wineries, but she doesn’t expect an agreement to be reached before next year.
“Part of me keeps wondering if we can just do it on our own, like, can I book enough weddings that I don’t need the rent” from a winery, she said.
The group is getting a feel for the property, recently hosting a birthday party that included a pop-up escape room by Richmond’s Ravenchase Adventures.
“We hope to host many executive dinners, Thanksgiving meals and Christmas around the hearths, in addition to all of the weddings, receptions and bridal showers,” she said.
The county’s permit limits the number of events that can be held at the venue to 40 per year, falling in line with the roughly three dozen wedding events that the group has said it expects to book. Charity events and corporate functions are planned in the off-season, and short-term rentals separate from events also are planned.
‘We can’t afford to fail’
Once open for business, The Estate at River Run will compete with other venues, including the nearby Dover Hall, which is another mansion that likewise has been adapted for other uses. The 33,000-square-foot former residence, also in Goochland, has hosted events since it was sold for $5 million in 2013, and added a bed-and-breakfast concept to its offerings last year.
The Georgian Revival-style River Run Manor was built in the 1980s by the late William B. Massey, a longtime coal executive whose grandfather founded A.T. Massey Coal Co., more recently known as Massey Energy. William B. Massey died in 2014, and his four children inherited the property.
After five years on the market, the property finally secured a buyer in the Moodys and Adamses. Goochland residents themselves, the Adamses also host weddings and other events at their Montessori-style Adams International School.
With their game plan now in motion, Moody said they are all determined to make The Estate at River Run a success.
“Every day when I wake up, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re here! We’re finally here,’” Moody said. “It’s such a huge undertaking. It’s very daunting and overwhelming to think about it.
“We’ve accomplished so much, and we’re working around the clock trying to accomplish everything we need to do to make it successful,” she said. “We can’t afford to fail.”