Places29-Hydraulic group gets updates on area projects

The county’s seven community advisory committees are intended to be monthly forums to help Albemarle staff and elected officials implement the seven areas designated for growth. They’re also places where one can learn information about developments that are underway. County planner Michaela Accardi provided an update on what’s happening at the August 16 meeting of the Places29-Hydraulic Community Advisory Committee. (download the presentation)

“The first project I’ll talk about is the Hydraulic and Georgetown office building,” Accardi said. 

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors granted a rezoning for the project back in 2008 to clear the way for offices. The project was dormant for many years, but a site plan was approved last October and construction on the one-acre site is underway. 

“The applicant is in the process of undergoing utility improvements on the site so you might see some work over there,” Accardi said. 

(This article originally appeared in the August 21 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement)

A new 60,000 square foot Boys and Girls Club on school property at the Lambs Lane campus is in the planning phases and requires a special use permit to allow for a Community Center. Accardi said a vote on that permit is currently in deferral, even though the final site plan is under review. 

“This is a little bit of an untraditional, nontraditional approach where the site plan is under review because this building can exist on this site as a school use,” Accardi said. 

Groundbreaking is slated for August 28, according to Jack Jouett District Supervisor Diantha McKeel. 

One of the updates from the presentation (download the presentation) (Credit: Albemarle County)

Another project that has been deferred is a residential one called Arbor Oaks Townes in which an applicant is seeking a rezoning for one acre of land on Hydraulic Road from R-4 to R-15. A community meeting was held in October, but the 14-unit project is on hold indefinitely. 

One project that is moving forward is the Premier Circle project which will see up to 140 units dedicated to households and individuals with very low and extremely low incomes. Piedmont Housing Alliance, Virginia Supportive Housing, and the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless are the entities behind the project. 

“The rezoning was approved by the Board of Supervisors and we haven’t had any further plans submitted at this time,” Accardi said. 

There was also an update from Samantha Strong, the manager of Stonefield. The former Pier One Space is being subdivided into three spaces, one of which will be the first Virginia location of the Torchy’s Tacos chains. 

“The middle space is under negotiations and I’m actually expecting that before the month is out we’ll have that lease signed,” Strong said. “The third space is also in the early stages of negotiation.”

Elsewhere in Stonefield, there’s a lease signed for another chain eatery called Organic Krush.

“We’re really excited because it’s going to bring cold-pressed juices, whole fruit smoothies, it’s very all-natural, very healthy, bold, different things like that,” Strong said. 

Strong said the pandemic has not affected vacancy rates on the retail side of Stonefield. 

“We are very close to being at 100 percent occupancy which has not happened at Stonefield before,” Strong said. 

Strong said the space formerly occupied by an Italian restaurant may become an event space, citing a need for such places in the community. 

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