Trapezium Brewing scraps plans for Church Hill taproom

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The former Masonic Lodge building had been planned to become a brewery. (Mike Platania photos)

A Petersburg-based brewery’s plan for a Church Hill offshoot is officially off the table.

Trapezium Brewing Co. has scrapped its efforts to open a satellite taproom at 520 N. 25th St. 

Dave McCormack, who owns Trapezium and real estate firm Waukeshaw Development, said the decision against the Church Hill spot was made in part due to an overall slowdown in the craft beer industry. McCormack had also been planning to bring a taproom for Beale’s Beer, a brewery he owns in Bedford, to Yorktown, but those plans have similarly been scrapped. 

The Church Hill location was to have been known as “93 by Trapezium,” and would have been housed in the 9,000-square-foot former Richmond Association of Masonic Lodges building at the corner of North 25th and East Leigh streets. McCormack bought the property in October 2020 for just under $1 million and received city approval for the concept in spring 2021.

However, McCormack doesn’t intend to let the old Masonic lodge sit idle for long. He said work is underway to convert the building into office space, a type of redevelopment he and Waukeshaw have done in the past. A few years ago McCormack bought the former Boy Scouts of America building on West Broad Street, renovated it into modern office space and rented it to architecture firm 3North

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McCormack recently acquired 4901 Fitzhugh Ave.

Meanwhile, over in the West End, Waukeshaw has another office project on deck.

Last week McCormack paid $2 million for the three-story office building at 4901 Fitzhugh Ave. near Willow Lawn. 

McCormack said he bought the 27,000-square-foot building, once a Symbol Mattress office, through a 1031 exchange after he sold some acreage in the Southside to The Lawson Cos. in April. 

The Fitzhugh building is due for a modernization, McCormack said, and he’s enlisted Cornerstone Architects to handle the design work.  

“It’s a building from 1973 that feels like not a whole lot has changed, and that’s not in a good way,” he said. 

He said the company is planning to renovate the structure in hopes of increasing its occupancy from its current rate of about 30 percent. 

Despite a general downturn in the office market, McCormack said he thinks there’s still demand for smaller spaces in good locations like Willow Lawn. 

“It’s a poorly thought-of asset class, but we’re excited about it and hopefully getting good deals,” McCormack said. “There’s a lot of people still needing (office space), and people are getting priced out of places like Scott’s Addition.”


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Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
1 day ago

Small spaces in Scott’s addition are still quite cheap, I’m a bit surprised at the idea of people getting priced out.

In fact I know offhand of someone who just moved an office space to there because it was cheaper than the near west end.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 day ago

The Willow Lawn area is set to explode into new apartments and luxury townhouses as soon as rates drop. The location is tremendous for growth potential. As the old office buildings are replaced with residential space, there’ll be great demand for small office space in renovated buildings that more efficiently designed. Dave is doing a great job renovating 600 West Wythe Street in Petersburg, from an under-utilized warehouse into 300 luxury loft apartments. He’s got the sense to stay just ahead of the market.

George MacGuffin
George MacGuffin
1 day ago

Beer-boom is dead and long overdue.

Henry Fordsom
Henry Fordsom
2 minutes ago

Bad beer is the culprit.

Barry Greene Jr.
Barry Greene Jr.
11 hours ago

Office space? Not a jazz club, not an artsy gallery house featuring mini workshops/galleries for open gallery nights on Friday evenings. Not a high end Japanese inspired karaoke bar with private rooms. Hell split it into mini retail shops with food stalls and host indoor markets.

Money can’t buy creativity I guess.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
8 hours ago

Galleries and workshops maybe but high end bars or food stalls. We are not NYC or DC. You do realize all RVA food halls are now closed or canceled. Jazz clubs in Fan do not survive. I due think is looking at his market. 2500 E Leigh is old historic corner retail space with 2 bedroom apt over it and owner has had hard time so retail 1st floor is a studio apartment.