Winemaking company transforms Waynesboro’s Metalcrafters building
RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) - State and local officials gathered in Waynesboro’s Virginia Metalcrafters building on Wednesday to honor innovation of the past and present.
The building was once a hub of innovation, but more recently, it’s been empty. Now, Common Wealth Crush Co. will occupy the space.
Wednesday’s announcement brought Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr to the city, and he awarded Waynesboro with an AFID (Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development) grant of $25,000. In a press release, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said Common Wealth Crush will create six new jobs and invest $1.5 million to renovate the space.
“I love projects like this where you can take an old building like this that has a lot of history but has been sitting empty for a long time to come in and renovate and give it new life and be able to combine it all with a new vision and be able to really... this whole area of Waynesboro, to revitalize it and bring people in,” said Lohr.
In Youngkin’s release, he highlighted the impacts winemaking has on the Valley and the commonwealth.
“During October, we celebrate Virginia Wine Month and the many positive impacts that our world-class vineyards and wineries bring to the Commonwealth. From the more than 10,000 jobs the industry has created to the more than 2.64 million tourists visiting our wineries each year, Virginia’s wine industry contributes so much to our economy and quality of life,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “I am delighted to see continued investment in the industry and congratulate the owners of Common Wealth Crush for their commitment to bring even more great wines and wineries to the state.”
Mayor Bobby Henderson spoke, growing emotional as he thanked city stakeholders.
“These folks have invested in this side of town, and we really appreciate that because their investment in this side of town is doing something that this side of town really needed, and that’s the growth,” Henderson said.
Other Waynesboro leaders also spoke during the press conference, highlighting the importance of development on that side of the city.
“As a city renaissance evolves, this new commerce and reuse of a historic building is an important block in a new quilt that will make up the fabric of this city for decades ahead,” said Director of Economic Development and Tourism for the City of Waynesboro, Greg Hitchin.
The Common Wealth Crush was founded in response to growing demand from both new and experienced winemakers for a cooperative style facility offering a broad range of expert winemaking and consultative services.
“We’ve worked collectively in Virginia wine for now over 30 years. In many ways, this project is the culmination of that experience and starting a new chapter,” said Common Wealth Crush co-owner, Pat Eagan. “Tim, Ben and I have felt like we’ve only scratched the surface of the winegrowing potential in our experiences in this region, and particularly here in the Shenandoah Valley.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with the city of Waynesboro and the Waynesboro Economic Development Authority to secure the project for the Commonwealth.
This is the city of Waynesboro’s first AFID award.
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