Last year, a national hardware chain purchased a large portion of Fashion Square Mall in Albemarle County. Less than a year later, plans to redevelop a long-closed anchor store with a new Home Depot location are working their way through the process.
On Monday, the Architectural Review Board took a look at the site plan.
“The new structure would replace the Sears building that currently stands at the north end of the mall,” said Margaret Maliszewski, a planning manager for the county.
Earlier in the meeting during a discussion of Albemarle’s Secondary Six Year Plan, Supervisors also learned about another project that will be paid for in part by TeleFee Funds, which are paid by utility companies to the Virginia Department of Transportation for placement of infrastructure in the right of way.
There’s a plan to connect Berkmar Drive to airport road north of Hollymead Town Center.
“Currently the road goes through at a roundabout at Timberwood Boulevard and stubs out shortly afterward but will connect to Airport Road and Lewis and Clark Drive at another roundabout,” said Alberic Karina-Plun, a planner with Albemarle County.
Albemarle County’s economic development office is waiting on the results of a grant application to help prepare a location to reach a new level of certification from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
“This is a process we’ve been in since September where we are working with the University of Virginia Foundation to ready 31 and a half acres within North Fork,” said J.T. Newberry, Principal Business Development Manager for the office.
Albemarle County acted unconstitutionally when it demanded the developer of the Hollymead Town Center begin making $50,000 annual payments for a transit route operated by Jaunt. That’s according to a Virginia Supreme Court opinion issued this morning by Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn. (read the opinion)
“While a state, under its police power, may regulate land use to further legitimate state interests, it may not use this power as a cudgel to coerce concessions from a land-use applicant who seeks to repurpose her property,” reads the opinion.
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.
On Monday, the Albemarle County Architectural Review Board took a look at the initial site for Premier Circle which involves construction of a four story building as part of a three building campus.. The property is within the county’s Entrance Corridor Review guidelines.
“The focus is largely on the site landscaping and the building design in the Entrance Corridor facing elevation of the first phase one building,” said Khris Taggart, a planner with Albemarle County.
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.
An official group of planning officials from around the Charlottesville area got a preview last month on a major rezoning on land at the University of Virginia Foundation’s North Fork research park. The Land Use Environmental and Planning Committee was created in 2019 when elected officials agreed to cease meeting in public as a body known as the Planning and Coordination Council. One of its members is Hosea Mitchell of the Charlottesville Planning Commission.
“They are actually asking for a rezoning and the rezoning is to allow for residential to be included in the industrial developments that they’re doing there,” Mitchell said.
In one of their last actions of 2021, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors voted to approve a rezoning in the Rio District that will bring over 300 rental units to the county’s urban ring. The project had originally been developed by a Virginia Beach firm who opted to not continue with the review process after Supervisors appeared ready to deny the project on a tie-vote on June 3, 2020.
Local company Stony Point Design Build took over and have since purchased the 27-acre property. The company also built Dairy Central in Charlottesville. Stony Point Design Build renamed the project Rio Point but more or less kept the development, though they made a few changes. Cameron Langille is a planner with Albemarle County.
“To the northeast is the Dunlora subdivision, to the southeast is the Dunlora Forest neighborhood,” Langille said. “The property is bounded by the north by the John Warner Parkway and across John Warner Parkway is the CATEC site and to the east is actually land that’s within the city of Charlottesville’s municipal boundaries.”
The Albemarle Planning Commission has recommended approval of a rezoning to allow for up to 140 units and commercial space to be built on U.S. 29 adjacent to the Red Carpet Inn. The proposal is from three housing nonprofits.
“The project proponents are Virginia Supportive Housing, Piedmont Housing Alliance, and the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless,” said Lori Schweller, an attorney with Williams Mullen. “VSH intends to develop 80 units of permanent supportive housing for 50 percent or lower [area median income] and PHA intends to develop 60 primarily one and two bedroom units at between 30 percent and 80 percent [area median income].”