Category Archives: Economic Development

Supervisors support Stonefield as a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area

A live music program at one of Albemarle County’s mixed-use communities got a boost earlier this month when the Albemarle Board of Supervisors agreed to a letter of support for an Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority license known as a DORA. 

“A DORA is a designated geographic area licensed by the ABC annually that allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages, (wine, beer, mixed beverages) in a public space and a private space which include things like streets and lawns, and within any business without an ABC license as long as the business agrees,” said Roger Johnson, Albemarle’s economic development director. 

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Area tourism efforts receive funding from the Virginia Tourism Corporation

Governor Glenn Youngkin has announced the award of 259 grants to entities across the Commonwealth to mark National Travel and Tourism Week. The funding comes from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Marketing Leverage Program & Regional Marketing Program Grants

“This funding cycle, local partners will commit more than $12.4 million to match the VTC funding, providing more than $15 million in new marketing activity,” reads a press release sent out on Monday.  

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Rent continues to increase for office and retail space in Charlottesville area

A major Virginia real estate company that specializes in commercial space has published its latest report on the Charlottesville market. Cushman Wakefield | Thalhimer begins with an overall assessment of the economy. 

“After experiencing its highest unemployment rate on record of 10.2 percent in April 2020, Charlottesville employment has rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels of more than 116,000,” reads the top of the retail report.

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Albemarle Supervisors approve $2.5 million in infrastructure funding for Barnes Lumber project

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has agreed to spend an additional $2.5 million in public money on a public-private partnership to redevelop the Barnes Lumber yard in Crozet to provide the infrastructure for a more urban character. 

Supervisors had previously agreed to the partnership in 2019. The original agreement required the county to pay $1.6 million toward the plaza and to provide the equivalement amount in tax rebates through a synthetic tax increment financing scheme. 

Doug Bates is on the board of the Downtown Crozet Initiative, a nonprofit group also working toward the effort. 

“For the last five years, we have engaged in an aspirational dream out in Crozet, hoping for a plaza,” Bates said. “A couple years back that dream began to get some real teeth to it when you as a Board acted to develop an agreement between New Town Associates, DCI, and yourself, the county itself.”

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Green County BOS to take up glamping proposal

The five-member Greene County Board of Supervisors have a change of venue for their first meeting of April. They’ll meet at William Monroe High School in the Performing Arts Center with a hybrid option for anyone who wants to participate remotely. The closed session begins at 5:30 p.m. before opening up at 6:30 p.m. (meeting info)

On the agenda are two public hearings. In one of them, a developer is seeking a special use permit to allow for a major tourism destination on nearly 100 acres of agricultural land on Mutton Hollow Road. Specifically they want the Sojourner Glamping site have 144 units, a restaurant, a pool, a spa, and a meeting facility, according to the staff report

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Chamber of Commerce profiles Fashion Square Mall

Every now and then, the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce writes up a profile of a business in the area. This time around their staff asked the leasing and marketing manager of Fashion Square Mall a series of questions, including to mention recent success stories. 

“We have recently opened up three new stores and will be opening up many more in upcoming months,” said Athena Emmans in response. 

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EDA briefed on Broadway Blueprint study

The Albemarle Economic Development Office has officially completed a planning study for a portion of the county around the Woolen Mills Factory on the western banks of the Rivanna River. (read the report)

“The general idea was to take the 46 and a half acres on the Broadway Corridor and turn that into a place that people, businesses, and activities all occur at the same time and everyone would like to be there,” said Roger Johnson, the county’s economic development director.  

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Albemarle County seeking to explore DORA 

Albemarle County is considering taking advantage of new state laws that allow the use of Designated Outdoor Refreshment Areas to help boost tourism and economic development. 

“It’s a geographic area licensed by the ABC annually that allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages—wine, beer, mixed beverages—within public spaces or inside a business without an ABC license as long as the business owner agrees,” said Roger Johnson, the county’s Economic Development Director.

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Albemarle making major investment in economic development funding with surplus

The proposed budget for Albemarle County for fiscal year 2023 contains a recommendation from County Executive Jeffrey Richardson that will give the Albemarle Economic Development Authority a large pot of money to use to help close deals. 

“Our Board has heard the recommendation from Mr. Richardson to put $5 million back into the economic development investment pool,” said Roger Johnson, the county’s economic development director. “That would sort of reestablish our investment pool that we have spending over the last four years or so. It is getting lowered as every project comes along.” 

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Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center officials met in closed session with EDA to talk loan forgiveness

The Albemarle Economic Development Authority met with leaders of the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center in closed session last week to share information about the nonprofit’s ability to pay back a loan that dates back to 2013. 

“The pandemic of course dealt us a hefty blow as I think it did most nonprofits,” said Malou Stark, the president of the center’s Board of Directors. “We were not able to open during most of the pandemic. We began very small last fall with very private small group tours of two or three people at a time.”

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