Key parcel on Cherry Avenue sells for $3.5 million

There’s a new owner for a property in Fifeville that contains a former grocery store. Woodard Properties has paid $3.5 million for five properties including 501 Cherry Avenue across from Tonsler Park. 

The combined properties total 1.361 acres and have a combined 2022 assessment of $1.568 million. They are within the jurisdiction of the city’s Cherry Avenue Small Area Plan, which notes the lack of a grocery store where residents can buy fresh produce. For many years, the Estes IGA store was an anchor for the community.

Developer Anthony Woodard said the company is in the early stages of planning a mixed-use development. 

“It may take until 2025 or later with the current approval and construction timelines, but this property will eventually feature a mix of retail, non-profit use, and residential housing,” Woodard said in an email to Charlottesville Community Engagement. “We would love to bring a grocery market to the site if we can find such a proprietor, as we have heard loud-and-clear that the neighborhood wants and needs a walkable grocery destination with healthy fresh foods. 

The Woodard company has purchased several sites on Cherry Avenue in the past two years, including the Cherry Avenue Shopping Center and undeveloped land behind it. Woodard said they have no specific plans for those properties, but will put their focus on redeveloping the former grocery store. 

“We see Cherry Ave as such an important corridor for Charlottesville’s future, and these properties are an exciting opportunity to bring what the neighborhood and City need,” Woodard said. 

Woodard said the company will also await the outcome of the zoning ordinance rewrite before proceeding. The company also owns several acres of land on the western side of Fifth Street Extended just south of Tonsler Park. 

The image of 501 Cherry Avenue on the city’s GIS depicts an earlier time when the market was an actual store (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the August 29, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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