RICHMOND, Va. -- By the end of next yea, a 12-acre wooded site along Williamsburg Road in Richmond's East End will be abuzz with beer transforming into a massive brewery.
Going from grass and trees to hops and barley, CBS 6 News' Greg McQuade found Justin Johnson and his family exploring what will be. The craft beer lover from San Diego who lives in Richmond wants to see where he will soon get a taste of home.
"It is fun to envision the future," says Johnson. "I've talk to people in California who already and said they will come to Richmond to see this new development."
This week the San Diego based Stone Brewing announced it will build a 200,000 square foot distribution center in the city's east end. Which according to VCU economics professor Leslie Stratton could be an economic boon for the area.
"I think it will be positive. They are adding quite a few number of jobs 288 over the course of three years," says Stratton.
Signs of impending construction can be seen at the corner of Nicholson and Williamsburg. Structural engineers are already surveying in Fulton.
Erin Bagnell with the Convention and Visitors Bureau says Richmond's already bubbling beer scene will get a boost from thirsty travelers.
"Everyone should raise a glass of something and say three cheers to stone for coming to Richmond," says Bagnell. "It will help position us as a craft beer destination and folks will come to enjoy stone but then enjoy the other breweries as well."
The city will issue roughly $30 million in bonds to help build the facility. The money will eventually be paid back by Stone.
That's money well spent, according to taxpayer Justin Johnson.
"It is going to be an exciting opportunity for this area. It's going to increase all of the property values. It's going to completely revitalize this part of Richmond," says Johnson.
Three-hundred cities and towns in 20 states were vying for this very Stone Brewery development but Richmond beat them all. Beer lovers in Richmond including Justin Johnson are raising a glass to that.