Blue Bee Cider
1320 Summit Avenue, previously a City of Richmond Department of Parks and Recreation facility, was originally built as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression. It was constructed mostly of granite paving stones commonly used throughout the City's alleys and old streets such as Shockoe Slip. Sought for many years by countless developers and visionaries for it's unique old world charm, it is a contributing structure to the Scott's Addition Historic District.
The unique aesthetic, the central location in burgeoning Scott's Addition and the availability of historic rehabilitation tax credits enticed several offers when the property was officially made available. Through a Request for Proposals and interview process, that took place not once but twice, Blue Bee Cider emerged as the clear winner both times. Their vision, their growth history within the City, the scale of their venture, "By Right" zoning and the hand in glove manner in which their business fit within the existing buildings.
The team that Blue Bee Cider assembled worked to maintain the old world aesthetics and to make modern insertions where necessary that respected those qualities. This was done not only to secure rehab tax credits but also to achieve the clients vision for their new home and give them a place to grow. The cidery at this location diversifies a craft beverage community that has made Scott's Addition a destination. This project fully modernized the infrastructure and utilities and put back on the tax rolls a property that had been used to store park equipment and costumes for plays at Dogwood Dell.
Blue Bee's manufacturing side not only worked in the linear form ofthe existing garage bays but also along side the other "makers" that Scott's Addition is known for. The tasting room and merchandise sales fit comfortably within the original "office" cottage and works hand in hand with a salon space for overflow seating and group events. The compound surrounds and envelopes the outdoor patio creating an environment that transports you from everyday Richmond and into the culture of a craft cider where the process is transparent from the Virginia apples delivered in crates to the quenching beverage in your hand.