West Main Street has been through many changes throughout Charlottesville‘s history. In 2003, City Council selected the street for intense development in order to shore up the city’s tax base. Recent years have seen the construction of many large buildings as a result.
In the past few years, two construction strategies have been employed. In one, existing buildings were adapted for the present day. In the other, buildings have been removed to make way for bigger structures.
By 2016, the latter approach seems to have become more common. Over the course of the past twelve months, city officials have approved an apartment complex behind the Blue Moon Diner, heard details about another hotel across the street and have seen the opening of a Marriott Residence Inn at the corner of West Main. Another large building, the L-shaped Uncommon, now stretches around the historic Patton Mansion.
In March, the Charlottesville City Council chose a path forward for a multimillion streetscape. The firm Rhodeside & Harwell has been hired by the city to craft construction documents for new sidewalks, street trees, bike lanes and other amenities intended to make West Main Street a destination as well as a corridor. Those documents are expected to be complete by the spring of 2016.
In the meantime, the street is experiencing a temporary streetscape as construction of two new buildings has affected traffic patterns. A Marriott Autograph hotel is being built at 1106 West Main Street at the site of the former Studio Arts building. The Republic Plaza, built in 1989, is being demolished to make room for the six-story Standard building. A one-story building that formerly housed a Safeway is also being removed.