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VCU continues property expansion near planned athletics village site
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VCU continues property expansion near planned athletics village site

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James River Distillery's tasting room at 2700 Hardy St.

Virginia Commonwealth University bought the James River Distillery property near Hermitage Road in Richmond, according to city records, in its latest move toward securing a large swath of land for an athletics village.

VCU purchased the distillery, located at 2700 Hardy St., for $183,000 on March 16. The 6,500-foot plot contains a pair of one-story buildings constructed in 1946, each with a tall brick chimney.

It is the third and smallest purchase made by VCU on the block since last year. The university bought the 6-acre Greyhound Lines property at 2701 Hermitage Road for $11.8 million last March. It also paid $4.5 million for the 4-acre Salvation Army property next door in December.

All three plots are two blocks south of the Virginia ABC headquarters, which VCU is expected to purchase. The General Assembly allocated $14.7 million to the university to buy the property for an athletics village that would include a baseball stadium shared by the Richmond Flying Squirrels and VCU.

Virginia ABC plans to move to Hanover County this summer.

There’s still one more plot on the block VCU hasn’t purchased, the 2-acre Vital Records Control property located at 1600 Rhoadmiller St. Vital Records Control is a document management service with locations throughout the state.

The future of the distillery is unclear. The owner did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Tuesday.

James River Distillery opened a tasting room on Hardy Street in 2015, where visitors could taste a half-ounce pour of gin for no charge.

Building owner Jonathan Staples purchased the structure and its equipment in 2013 at a bankruptcy auction. He bought it and the equipment inside it, which were previously owned by Cirrus Distillery, for $375,000.

ekolenich@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6109

Twitter: @EricKolenich

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Eric Kolenich writes about higher education, sports, coronavirus and protests for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He joined the newspaper in 2009 after graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in English. (804) 649-6109

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