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Friday, Dec. 9, 2022

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On Monday, the Town Council in Scottsville will make a big decision. Councilors have before them a proposal to transform a vacant — and largely blighted — factory into an apartment complex with around 200 units. The project has the potential to dramatically change this small, Albemarle County town about 20 miles south of Charlottesville. If those units are filled, the population of Scottsville would nearly double.

Credit: Courtesy of the Town of Scottsville

If a vacant factory is turned into an apartment building, Scottsville’s population could double

Scottsville’s 559 residents have differing views on the proposal. Some welcome the promise of more people — folks who will pay local taxes and shop at local stores. Others are worried that the small town’s infrastructure is not ready for such a big change. But most agree something needs to happen with the old building.

The tire factory closed in 2009, which means it’s been walled off and deteriorating for 14 years. In its prime, that factory was a major economic contributor to Scottsville. It was built in 1944 to supply tire cord to the World War II effort and continued operating for decades. The facility employed some 300 people, and the local taxes it paid funded about 10% of the town’s budget.

The town’s staff and planning commision have greenlit the apartment project, called Scottsville Lofts. Councilors will hold a public hearing Monday (register to attend and see the agenda here). After the public hearing, Council could vote on the project that night, or defer the vote for more discussion or study.

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Locust Grove hasn’t changed much since the 90s — except that its gotten wealthier and more white

Also this week, we published our latest installment of the Changing Charlottesville series: A profile of the Locust Grove neighborhood. Locust Grove is among the wealthiest — and whitest — neighborhoods in Charlottesville. It was designed that way. 

The initial Locust Grove subdivision was the first known neighborhood in present-day Charlottesville to use racial covenants in its property deeds, said Jordy Yager of the Mapping Cville project. Starting in 1893, these rules for sale legally excluded Black people — who were starting to accumulate property and real estate after Reconstruction — from buying property in the neighborhood. More than 140 properties in Locust Grove included rules that Black people could not own that property.

The neighborhood’s population today still shows the impact of those early rules. Over 86% of residents are white according to the 2020 Census, much higher than the city’s 65% white population.

Thanks for reading today!

Jessie Higgins, managing editor

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I'm Charlottesville Tomorrow's managing editor and health and safety reporter. If there’s something you think we should be investigating, please email me at! And you can follow all the work we do by subscribing to our free newsletter! Hablo español, y quiero mantener a la comunidad hispanohablante informada. Si tienes preguntas o información que debo saber, por favor, envíame un correo electrónico a