After purchasing the property in late 2017, developer Brian Roy, WM Development began a historic redevelopment to revive the 100 year old buildings. To initially pursue the redevelopment, Roy worked through FEMA to get the 100 year floodplain lowered and with Albemarle County on a rezoning from industrial to commercial zoning to allow for a mixed use site with office and a restaurant/brewery.
The construction started in early 2019 with Branch Builds as the general contractor. Initial work included removing all 15,000 window panes, demo of an existing concrete floor and addressing all environmental concerns in the building. A brand new roof, plumbing, and mechanical systems were needed. The windows and floors were preserved to their original beauty with storm windows added on the interior to allow for temperature control and comfort.
Working with the tenant's contractors, HITT and Element, on the finishes, the project took 14 months to complete. A 180 foot pedestrian bridge over Moores Creek ties the property to the Rivanna Trail, connecting an area that never existed to the south. A new main entrance on Broadway, along with 350 parking spaces allows for better traffic flow and community participation. WillowTree occupies 85% of the 100,000 sq. ft. building with The Wool Factory, a brewery, restaurant, coffee/wine shop, and event space occupying the remainder. Total cost for the project was $32,000,000.
Architect - 3North
Civil Engineer - Timmons Group
General Contractor - Branch Builds
MEP - Inversity
Structural Engineer - Springpoint
Landscape Architect - Water Street Studios
Legal - Royer, Caramanis
Photography - Jen Fariello