WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL
JANUARY 19, 2021
Gear up for Gas Haus, a proposed $22M Loudoun venue for the classic car, food and music enthusiast
Gas Haus will include a restaurant, high-end auto storage and display, social club amenities and possibly a music venue.
BY MICHAEL NEIBAUER
Managing Editor, Washington Business Journal
Rick Urban and his buddies love cars, beer, food and music. That, in and of itself, is not news.
But here’s what is: They’re funneling their passions into a $22 million Loudoun County venue comprising a social club, high-end car and motorcycle displays and storage, a large restaurant, beer garden, event space and perhaps a music venue.
“It brings something completely different to this area,” said Urban, founder of Gas Haus Holdings.
And this is just the start for Gas Haus, he said, as the plan is to eventually expand across the country. Urban, whose background is in startups in the physical security space, just left his job with a Loudoun IT security company to focus on Gas Haus full-time.
The Gas Haus concept formed a couple of years ago between a bunch of guys with a love for hockey, beer and cars — Urban is a Porsche guy; one of his silent partners is into Corvettes and American muscle cars. The group has spent significant time looking for the right location, one with high visibility and ease of access, but not one where they’d have to go head-to-head with data center developers who are willing to pay $2 million-plus per acre.
They have identified a location in Ashburn, likely in the general vicinity of One Loudoun and Commonwealth Center, but Urban wasn’t ready to disclose the exact site as they’re in contract negotiations to acquire multiple parcels from multiple owners. Still, once they close, the project should move fairly quickly.
“Once we acquire the real estate, then it’s out the gate,” Urban said.
Gas Haus will be huge, according to a zoning determination request recently submitted to Loudoun County by Sashenka Brauer of Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh PC, the business’ land-use attorney. Designed by Reston’s Architecture Inc., it would include:
10,000-square-foot restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining and a taproom
52,000-square-foot, climate-controlled storage facility for 300 cars and 100 motorcycles, visible from the restaurant seating area. Scheduled tours will be available to the public.
11,500-square-foot private exhibition space
5,000-square-foot music venue that Urban described as a “smaller Birchmere,” with shows 15-20 nights a month
3,255-square-foot outdoor patio
According to the letter, the facility would be open to the general public but also offer “three tiers of membership with varying amenities and services included for each membership tier.” The Gas Haus ownership group also expects to host several events throughout the year in partnership with local car dealerships and vehicle manufacturers.
The initial Gas Haus will be funded through a complex capital stack, combining fundraising from high-net worth individuals, bank debt and 40 founding partners who will have access to their own private social space and amenities in the social club. Urban said the search is on to identify those partners.
The goal is to open the first phases of the venue — the social club, car storage and restaurant — by spring 2022. That would be post-pandemic in theory, though Urban said he is working with consultants to create a flexible space, one where its patrons can spend significant time outdoors three seasons out of the year.
“We’re looking at new ways to design the interior so you can move around as you need in case something like this pops up again,” he said.
This article appeared in the Washington Business Journal on January 19, 2021. It has been reprinted by the Washington Business Journal and further reproduction by any other party is strictly prohibited. Copyright ©2021 Washington Business Journal, 1100 Wilson Blvd, Suite 800, Arlington, VA 22209