Richmond neighbors speak out on possible mega brewery - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Richmond neighbors speak out on possible mega brewery

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

People in Richmond's Fulton neighborhood are buzzing with questions after California-based Stone Brewery is considering RVA as a top spot for building a new, elaborate commercial brewery. That could mean revitalization and new jobs for the area.        

Residents seem cautiously optimistic over mega brewery, which would have a restaurant and stores.
Transforming the abandoned piece of land by Williamsburg Avenue and Nicholson Street. into a state-of-the-art brewery... might be something many would raise a glass to.

"This could literally be the key that unlocks bringing this area into the proper focus that it's deserved for many, many years," said Dru Gillie, who owns a store in the area.
 
Stone Brewery is deciding between Richmond and two other locations for an East Coast operation.

"Generally people are hopeful," said Cheryl Groce-Wright, executive director of the Neighborhood Resource Center.

Community advocates say much of Fulton's industry was leveled in the 1970s. A brewery could attract people back into the neighborhood.

"People don't have a reason to stop, so they come through and go out," continued Groce-Wright.

However, neighbors are already raising questions about roads, traffic, possible smells from the brewery, and making sure people in the community actually benefit.

"Do our neighbors have access to these potential jobs, not only to build this brewery, but once it's up?" questioned Skip Long, who wants to ensure that residents have equal access to the economic benefits a development like this one could bring.

Another concern is ensuring that the land is environmentally safe and clean before it's built on.

"We certainly want to know about the environmental impact... what's going to happen to waste… cleaning up the brownfield…where it's likely to go," added Groce-Wright.

A representative from Stone Brewery says the project would create hundreds of jobs and, so far, Richmond city officials have been very welcoming. The Richmond City Council has already held a special meeting to forward legislation that would pave the way for the brewery.

Stone Brewery plans to make its decision on whether to build in Richmond in the next few weeks.

Get the latest from NBC12's Kelly Avellino on Facebook and Twitter.

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