Legend Brewing files to rezone its Manchester property, but says a move isn’t imminent

legend brewery Cropped scaled

Legend’s been in the heart of Manchester for nearly 30 years. (Mike Platania photo)

Despite having no plans to leave its Manchester home, the city’s oldest brewery is looking to reclassify its real estate as it keeps an eye to the future. 

Legend Brewing Co. is seeking to rezone its property at 321 W. Seventh St., an effort its VP of operations Dave Gott said is preemptive and does not portend a future sale, move or shuttering of the brewery.

With potential neighborhood-wide rezonings coming to Manchester in the future, Gott said they want to get ahead of that and have some options and control over what could eventually be done on their site.

“We have no intentions of going anywhere. We’re going to stay here as long as we possibly can,” Gott said. “Our idea is to hopefully have a little control over what might be developed on this site, should there be any further development on it.”

Last year the city began advocating for expanding Transit-Oriented Nodal District zoning to the Southside, including on Hull Street and Midlothian Turnpike. TOD zoning was introduced in recent years to encourage higher-density, mixed-use projects near public transit routes.

The push for TOD to head south is happening as GRTC is exploring adding a bus rapid transit line akin to the Pulse to the Southside. Earlier this month, GRTC’s Board of Directors approved the North-South Pulse line and is now moving to further study the project. 

Legend Dave Gott

Dave Gott

At 29, Legend is the city’s oldest brewery. It bought its 1.3-acre site in 2011 for $1.2 million. This year, it was assessed by the city at $3.9 million. 

The brewery is seeking to rezone its property to B-4 Central Business District, which allows for a mix of uses and does not have a height restriction. Legend’s land is currently zoned B-7, which caps building height at five stories. 

New residential and multi-family development has been popping up on nearly all sides of the brewery in recent years. Townhomes are rising to its west, a new mid-rise apartment building, Eddy on the James, was recently completed to the south, and the same developer behind that building is planning another six-story building directly behind Legend.

The most significant nearby project is the pair of 16+ story residential towers that were recently approved to rise in front of Legend along the river. New York-based firm Avery Hall Investments is behind that project, which would add 550 apartments to the neighborhood. 

Gott said while the influx of development has been disruptive, they’ve also been glad to have more people living in the neighborhood. 

“Twenty-eight years ago, you just didn’t see people walking up and down the street,” Gott said. “Now, there’s people all over, with their dogs and everything. It’s nice to see it turn into a neighborhood.”

Legend has enlisted Mark Baker of Baker Development Resources to help with the rezoning request. In Legend’s application, Baker notes that under the city’s master plan, Legend’s property is suggested for “higher-density, transit-oriented development,” and that “future development is urban in form and may be of larger scale than existing context.”

Legend bar 1

Legend’s facility at 321 W. Seventh St. in Manchester. (BizSense file)

Gott said over the years Legend has been approached by folks interested in its property, but he said they never seriously entertained any of the interest. Similarly, he said it’s unlikely Legend would pursue being a tenant in any new mixed-use development in the area. 

“That has been proposed several times, but the truth is, we don’t want to rent from anyone, and we don’t want to be landlords,” he said. “I guess in the long run, that kind of precludes that completely.”

In addition to being the oldest local brewery, Legend also has one of the larger distribution footprints of any of its peers, covering the entire state of Virginia. One of the first beers it made in 1994, Legend Brown Ale, remains one of its flagship brews. 

Gott said they hope for that to continue for years to come. 

“We’re still on the young side of old,” he said, laughing. “We’d like to continue to do what we do, and we enjoy serving the community.”

Meanwhile, Avery Hall’s project is continuing on on schedule, per a company spokesperson, and it’s expecting to break ground next year.

legend brewery Cropped scaled

Legend’s been in the heart of Manchester for nearly 30 years. (Mike Platania photo)

Despite having no plans to leave its Manchester home, the city’s oldest brewery is looking to reclassify its real estate as it keeps an eye to the future. 

Legend Brewing Co. is seeking to rezone its property at 321 W. Seventh St., an effort its VP of operations Dave Gott said is preemptive and does not portend a future sale, move or shuttering of the brewery.

With potential neighborhood-wide rezonings coming to Manchester in the future, Gott said they want to get ahead of that and have some options and control over what could eventually be done on their site.

“We have no intentions of going anywhere. We’re going to stay here as long as we possibly can,” Gott said. “Our idea is to hopefully have a little control over what might be developed on this site, should there be any further development on it.”

Last year the city began advocating for expanding Transit-Oriented Nodal District zoning to the Southside, including on Hull Street and Midlothian Turnpike. TOD zoning was introduced in recent years to encourage higher-density, mixed-use projects near public transit routes.

The push for TOD to head south is happening as GRTC is exploring adding a bus rapid transit line akin to the Pulse to the Southside. Earlier this month, GRTC’s Board of Directors approved the North-South Pulse line and is now moving to further study the project. 

Legend Dave Gott

Dave Gott

At 29, Legend is the city’s oldest brewery. It bought its 1.3-acre site in 2011 for $1.2 million. This year, it was assessed by the city at $3.9 million. 

The brewery is seeking to rezone its property to B-4 Central Business District, which allows for a mix of uses and does not have a height restriction. Legend’s land is currently zoned B-7, which caps building height at five stories. 

New residential and multi-family development has been popping up on nearly all sides of the brewery in recent years. Townhomes are rising to its west, a new mid-rise apartment building, Eddy on the James, was recently completed to the south, and the same developer behind that building is planning another six-story building directly behind Legend.

The most significant nearby project is the pair of 16+ story residential towers that were recently approved to rise in front of Legend along the river. New York-based firm Avery Hall Investments is behind that project, which would add 550 apartments to the neighborhood. 

Gott said while the influx of development has been disruptive, they’ve also been glad to have more people living in the neighborhood. 

“Twenty-eight years ago, you just didn’t see people walking up and down the street,” Gott said. “Now, there’s people all over, with their dogs and everything. It’s nice to see it turn into a neighborhood.”

Legend has enlisted Mark Baker of Baker Development Resources to help with the rezoning request. In Legend’s application, Baker notes that under the city’s master plan, Legend’s property is suggested for “higher-density, transit-oriented development,” and that “future development is urban in form and may be of larger scale than existing context.”

Legend bar 1

Legend’s facility at 321 W. Seventh St. in Manchester. (BizSense file)

Gott said over the years Legend has been approached by folks interested in its property, but he said they never seriously entertained any of the interest. Similarly, he said it’s unlikely Legend would pursue being a tenant in any new mixed-use development in the area. 

“That has been proposed several times, but the truth is, we don’t want to rent from anyone, and we don’t want to be landlords,” he said. “I guess in the long run, that kind of precludes that completely.”

In addition to being the oldest local brewery, Legend also has one of the larger distribution footprints of any of its peers, covering the entire state of Virginia. One of the first beers it made in 1994, Legend Brown Ale, remains one of its flagship brews. 

Gott said they hope for that to continue for years to come. 

“We’re still on the young side of old,” he said, laughing. “We’d like to continue to do what we do, and we enjoy serving the community.”

Meanwhile, Avery Hall’s project is continuing on on schedule, per a company spokesperson, and it’s expecting to break ground next year.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
5 months ago

Good for them! I’m glad to see them embrace the change that’s come their way and be part of it. I recently visited the new Thurston Springs Service on Willis Road and they’ve certainly embraced it. What a facility! They take on business now that was impossible before. Legends is likely to be servicing Manchester for another ten years as it is now buts ready when the market is.

SA Chaplin
SA Chaplin
5 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

“Servicing” is something you perform, regularly, on a vehicle. “Servicing” is also the process of impregnating cows. I suspect, you meant “serving,” Bruce, but perhaps we should be on the lookout for bulls there at Legends.

Chris Crews
Chris Crews
5 months ago
Reply to  SA Chaplin

As a brewery/bar/restaurant, Legend is a service establishment. They provide a service to their patrons. They are servicing.

David Adler
David Adler
5 months ago
Reply to  SA Chaplin
Ramone Antonio
Ramone Antonio
5 months ago

Legends is overrated. But I’m glad they understand the chane that’s going on around them.