Construction moves ahead on Woolen Mills

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (CBS19 NEWS) -- Work is moving ahead on the redevelopment of the Woolen Mills site, soon to be home to a brewery, coffee shop, and WillowTree Apps.

Tobias Dengel, CEO of WillowTree, recently spoke about how the project is going, and what it's going to mean when it's done.

"It's been going great, we are on schedule for a Q2 move in, Q2 2020," he said.

Construction crews are hard at work on the new WillowTree site, moving earth on the outside and all kinds of projects to the building itself. They are on schedule for second-quarter move in next year and they can't wait.

"It's going to be amazing. Everyone keeps asking me at work, when is it going to happen, is it really on time," said Dengel. "People get worried when they see the pictures, looks like there is a ton of work to be done, and there is a ton of work to be done, but the teams tell us we are on a good track."

There is definitely plenty to do. For example, the entrance to the new WillowTree location is not yet ready.

"The way this has worked, the core and shell is first, so the first step was to replace all the windows," said Dengel. "Seventeen-thousand windows got replaced, which was a huge job."

He is also excited about the space for hundreds of employees.

"We can get to well over 500 employees at this location, which I think is steady state for a town the size of Charlottesville," said Dengel.

Those 500 or so employees will have a huge impact on the local economy, especially because WillowTree is considered an export business.

"Most of our customers are in places like New York, San Francisco, and Europe, and we are providing services and we get paid here, most of the money we bring in goes to our employees, so it's a way to bring in lots of money from outside the local economy and draw it into the local economy," said Dengel.

As for the neighborhood, he sees big things there too.

"I think it's going to revitalize Woolen Mills in a big way because it's going to be a lot of folks here working in what was an abandoned area, the bridge will allow people to travel all over Cville on the Rivanna trail," he said. "Of course, the brewery and coffee shop are going to be a center point for both our team and the community and hopefully tie WillowTree employees and the community together."

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