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A nine-story building may join the Omni Charlottesville Hotel at the western end of the Charlottesville Downtown Mall.  Heirloom Development has submitted an application with Milestone Partners to build up to 134 apartments or condominiums at the site of the Artful Lodger furniture store on West Market Street.  The application argues that the building would increase Charlottesville’s housing supply and would be within walking distance of new office spaces like the Center of Developing Entrepreneurs, which is under construction at the former Charlottesville Ice Park site. “This will continue to enhance the vibrancy of the downtown mall and balance the residential, retail, restaurant, entertainment, office, and hospitality that exists today,” the application reads. The team has already partnered to build the upscale apartment complex Six Hundred West Main, which is projected to open in mid-September, and has applied to start a second phase of that complex. The team already has a permit to demolish the Artful Lodger building, contingent on the Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review’s approval of its replacement. 
  • address: 218 W. Market St.
  • scale: 134 studio to two-bedroom apartments or condominiums, with ground-floor commercial space, 101 feet tall
  • amenities: green roof, shared parking
  • next steps: Charlottesville Planning Commission work session on Sept. 24 
The plan for the new Southwood neighborhood scales down from a four-story mixed-use entrance on Hickory Street to primarily residential neighborhoods near Biscuit Run Park. Credit: Credit: Submitted rendering

Albemarle votes unanimously for Southwood rezoning

More than 12 years after purchasing Southwood, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville has the right to begin redevelopment of the mobile home park.  The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Wednesday evening to rezone vacant land between Old Lynchburg Road and the existing mobile homes.  A dozen Southwood residents spoke during the four-hour public hearing, some speaking Spanish with English translations or through letters read by University of Virginia students.  Several residents referred to a memo by the Albemarle Planning Commission that requested more information from Habitat and expressed concerns about potential segregation, displacement of low-income residents and other potential failings of the project. Maria Jimenez told the supervisors in English that she had been meeting about the plan every Thursday for over two years. She then introduced a UVa student to read a letter on her behalf.  “Keep in mind that we have ideas too, and we have the capacity to think and to have opinions and to develop many things for the future, for our own children as well as other children, and for the whole country too,” the letter read. Supervisor Rick Randolph asked detailed questions of Habitat, many related to the commission’s memo. Ultimately, through facilitation by Supervisor Ann Mallek, the board decided that any remaining concerns were either already covered the county’s performance agreement with Habitat or would be handled by county staff during the site plan review process. 
  • address: 699 Old Lynchburg Road
  • scale: maximum of 450 units on 34 acres
  • price points: minimal income-based rent to $400,000 houses
  • next steps: county staff review of site plans for “villages” designed by residents of roughly 50 homes 
Bird’s eye view of the first phase of the Barnes Lumber redevelopment and the proposed public plaza. Credit: Credit: Milestone Partners and Mahan Rykiel Associates

County clears way for new Crozet downtown

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the rezoning of the first phase of Milestone Partners’ Barnes Lumber redevelopment project. The hearing was much shorter than the Southwood hearing at approximately half an hour, but the project has also had a long trajectory. Milestone Partners has been meeting  with Crozet residents about what they want in their downtown since roughly 2015.  Mallek said that the Crozet community is looking forward to the “Main Street” and public plaza associated with the project. Like Habitat, Milestone Partners has a performance agreement with the county that incentivizes these components of the project.
  • address: 5755 The Square, Crozet
  • scale: 52 units, 58,000 square feet of retail space and hotel and office space, on 6 acres
Greenscape Development Partners is proposing to build a four-story apartment building on Rio Road West across from The Daily Progress. Credit: Credit: Greenscape Development Partners

Rio West apartment and storage complex approved

Utah-based Greenscape Development Partners has won approval to build a four-story apartment and storage complex on Rio Road near the Northside Library. Originally proposed as just a storage facility, the project became mixed-use to meet the vision of the Rio29 Small Area Plan.  GDP plans to build the storage facility first, but the Board of Supervisors has been concerned that the developer could walk away without building the apartment complex, which flanks Rio Road and is key to the Rio29 vision.  On Wednesday, the supervisors voted in favor of a compromise. If GDP does not start construction of the apartment complex within two years after the storage facility’s completion, the developer will pay the county $10,000 every year until the apartment building is done. 
  • address: 664 W. Rio Road
  • scale: up to 112 apartments, 3.3 acres
The Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review approved final details on the Belmont Bridge replacement design. Credit: Credit: Kimley-Horn

Belmont Bridge design finalized

Construction of the long-delayed replacement of Charlottesville’s Belmont Bridge could start as soon as next year. The Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review approved the final design and Certificate of Appropriateness for the bridge on Tuesday, including several details that had been concerns for the board previously and a few additions.  The project began in 2003 with concerns about the deterioration of the bridge, but the folding of the first business in charge of the project, along with public opposition to initial designs, has delayed the process. Funding for the project is secure.
  • location: Avon Street over Water Street and the Buckingham Branch Railroad
  • cost: $24.7 million with almost $6 million in local funding 
  • next steps: purchase of right of way and construction 

Emily Hays grew up in Charlottesville and graduated from Yale in 2016. She covered growth, development, and affordable living. Before writing for Charlottesville Tomorrow, she produced a podcast on education and caste in Maharashtra, India.