Hardywood to revamp Ownby Lane HQ after sale of original brewery

Hardywood to revamp Ownby Lane HQ after sale of original brewery

Richmond-based brewery Hardywood is preparing to consolidate and renovate its home base in the city to make way for a potential new development.

The brewery’s building at 2408 Ownby Lane – its original home from its founding in 2011 – sold last week for $1.35 million. The building and its roughly 1-acre parcel were most recently assessed by the city at $1.1 million.

The buyer was SRC Overbrook LLC, an entity whose principal address is shared with local developer Spy Rock Real Estate Group.

Hardywood’s 12,000-square-foot building, which it leased, is one of four properties being eyed by Spy Rock and others for a proposed mixed-use project near the intersection of Ownby Lane and Overbrook Road. The other sites in play are Boxwood Partners’ building at 2413 Ownby Lane, and a pair of industrial properties at 1601 and 1611 Overbrook Road.

Hardywood co-founder and President Eric McKay said the brewery is not a partner or involved in the proposed development in any way.

“But we are excited about the revitalization that seems to be happening all around us,” he said.

SRC Overbrook’s registered agent is Spotts Fain attorney Brian Chase, who declined to comment. Spy Rock could not be reached for comment by press time.

Spy Rock and Crescent Preservation & Development Co. are seeking to rezone the properties to allow for mixed use. The city’s Planning Commission is set to hear the request at its Feb. 18 meeting.

Hardywood is preparing to move out of 2408 Ownby and bring all of its Richmond operations into 2410 Ownby, a building it bought in 2012.

Renovation is planned

To facilitate the move, Hardywood will renovate the 2410 building’s production and public-facing areas. McKay said the company has been considering consolidating in Richmond ever since opening its West Creek production facility.

“We were at a point where we didn’t need as much space in our downtown location, and due to brewing around the clock for several years during our growth years and operating more or less at capacity at that facility, we have put some wear and tear on our original (2408 Ownby Lane) location,” McKay said.

“We’ve been wanting to build out a proper brewing space in the second (2410 Ownby Lane) building in a way we couldn’t really afford to, with sloped floors and stainless floor drains and things that were luxuries at the time, when we didn’t really have a budget for building things the way we like to now.”

The brewery had been leasing the 2408 Ownby building from an LLC tied to Darren J. Nolt and Sheryl Robins, per city property records.

Hardywood’s renovation at 2410 Ownby will include both the building’s interior space and outdoor patio. McKay said that although they’ll have less room for them, food trucks still will be a part of Hardywood’s downtown operations.

“We’ll continue hosting food truck courts on Thursdays, we’ll just have to get creative in where we put them,” he said.

Hardywood co-founder and brewmaster Patrick Murtaugh said most of the brewing equipment at 2408 will continue to be used in 2410, but they do have some grain silos they don’t need and likely will sell.

Hardywood plans to stay open for business through the renovation, and aims to have work begin this spring. SMBW is the architect. It hasn’t selected a general contractor.

Meanwhile at its West Creek location, Hardywood is working on an in-house restaurant with local chef Joe Sparatta of Heritage and Southbound. The brewery recently raised $766,000 from investors to help fund that, and McKay said they hope to break ground on the project in about a month ahead of a third quarter 2020 opening.

Full Article from Mike Platania with Richmond BizSense