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While Virginia ABC breaks ground on new headquarters, excitement grows for future of old site

Posted at 3:00 PM, Feb 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 15:00:09-05

RICHMOND, Va. – A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning for the new headquarters of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority in Hanover County.

The new site, near I-295 and Pole Green Road, doubles the size of the previous headquarters on Hermitage Road behind the Diamond, where the Richmond Flying Squirrels play.

The company first announced they would relocate to the Hanover site in March 2018. Virginia ABC says the change was needed because they had reached full capacity and had no air conditioning.

“It’s outdated and in order to keep up with this business to stay on the cutting edge, we have to use innovation and technology and so, this new building out here in Hanover County will do just that,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.

The 315,000-square-foot warehouse and approximately 95,000-square-foot office building is expected to be finished in 2021.

While excitement is high for the big move, there is also excitement about the location they’re moving from.

The Hermitage Road site will go up for auction once the new site is completed. In 2019, Northam put in a provision the state budget that gives VCU the first right of refusal for purchasing the site.

It is believed that VCU will turn the site into an athletics village, which may include a new ballpark for the Flying Squirrels.

“That process is moving forward, but, you know, the plans are some day to have a world class stadium there that both VCU and the Squirrels can use and, so, they’re working through that now, but I think it would be exciting for downtown Richmond,” Northam added.

CBS 6 reached out to VCU Athletics Director Ed McLaughlin about future plans for the site. He released a statement saying while they remain optimistic, Tuesday’s groundbreaking is just one step in a long process.

"The Governor's budget language from last year provided an important first step on the path toward fulfilling our university master plan goal of constructing suitable Division I athletics facilities,” said McLaughlin. “We will continue to work with the ABC as the landowner throughout the process as we seek to finalize a home for our Athletics Village."