Provided by MKD Strategic
Later this summer, a long-empty building in Vint Hill will spring to life with a variety of businesses brought together by a shared vision of preservation and opportunity.
The 68,000-square-foot building, a windowless, warehouse-like structure that once served as a repair shop for the electronics used by soldiers when Vint Hill Farms Station was a top-secret U.S. Army surveillance outpost, is one of several purchased by Ike and Julie Broaddus in the last several years. If all goes as planned, it will end up being a microcosm of the emerging Vint Hill community itself: a diverse, community-friendly collection of local businesses that will bring positive change to the region.
Tenants with deals to occupy the space include Hope Christian Fellowship Church, Covenant Christian Academy, A La Carte Catering, CrossFit Vint Hill, and the Cold War Museum, which will store artifacts in the space. Each should be up and running by September 1—and that’s just the beginning.
The building has vacancies for at least two office tenants and two retail tenants, and the future additions could make the already diverse area even more eclectic.
“I’ve had discussions with a handful of people with cool ideas,” said Ike Broaddus. “Everything from donuts to yoga.”
Even without any new tenants, the transformed “Building 2400,” as it was dubbed by the Army, which faces the new Vint Hill Parkway to its north, Bludau Drive to the west, Lineweaver Road to the southwest, Farm Station Road to the southeast, and the Old Bust Head Brewing Company taproom to the northeast, promises to have wide appeal.
A La Carte’s plans include a retail cafe, which is expected to open this fall. CrossFit Vint Hill, which started out of the Warrenton home of owners Rob and Alana Jenkins, will become the community’s first dedicated fitness center. Covenant Christian Academy will use its larger space to meet rising demand for enrollment, while Hope Christian Fellowship’s expanded space will feature an auditorium with seating for over 350.
The building’s owners are investing about $10 million to prepare the space for the new businesses. In addition to some custom, tenant-specific work, the building will have several advanced features designed to make it both efficient and eco-friendly. The lighting will be LED. The HVAC system will use variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology, which delivers conditioned refrigerant from a single outdoor compressor to multiple indoor units, enabling personalized heating or cooling in specific spaces efficiencies on par with geothermal units.
Despite the significant changes internally, the renovated building will keep many of the external characteristics that made it a focal point in Vint Hill during the U.S. Army days. The brick exterior will be accented in places by windows, patios, and canopies, but its look and dimensions will remain. This was important to both Ike and Julie, who own the Old Bust Head Brewing Co. building and several other Vint Hill properties, including the barns that house Vint Hill Craft Winery and the Cold War Museum, that share the parking lot with the new building.
“As Vint Hill evolves into a small commercial and retail hub, we think it’s important to retain some key elements of its character,” Ike Broaddus said. “While many of the improvements, like the new roads and water and sewer improvements, are both welcomed and much-needed, we believe Vint Hill’s charm and history, as embodied in these iconic buildings, are an incredibly important part of our visitor’s experience. Plus, re-using existing building is the epitome of sustainable development.”
The addition of several businesses in this area represents further evolution of the community’s village center area, which stretches along Aiken Drive from Kennedy to down to Farm Station Road, and up along Bludau. More than a dozen business call the area home, from a coffee shop and cafe to a salon and general store and, of course, Old Bust Head.
“The growing business community is a testament to what we’re creating at Vint Hill,” said Ed Moore, Vint Hill Village, LLC president. “A vibrant mix of retail shops, services, and office tenants has always been an integral part of the vision for Vint Hill’s revitalization.”
Efforts by Vint Hill Village, LLC and the Fauquier County Department of Economic Development have helped land several other major tenants, including cloud-computing giant OVH, which selected Vint Hill as its North American headquarters, and the Puller Veteran’s Care Center, which is being built by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Soon, the new tenants will join the blossoming community.
“From the beginning, we’ve had a mix of businesses interested in putting down roots in the building,” Ike Broaddus said. “In a way, it carries on the tradition of the former army base, which was in many ways its own small town.”