In brief: Emmet Street revival, guerrilla knitters and suing reporters

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Emmet Street Station, a one-story, 11,000-square-foot retail center, will house two restaurants and two retail stores, all around 2,500 square feet. Courtesy Neighborhood Development Services Emmet Street Station, a one-story, 11,000-square-foot retail center, will house two restaurants and two retail stores, all around 2,500 square feet. Courtesy Neighborhood Development Services

Emmet Street revival

The vacant lot on the corner of Barracks Road and Emmet Street that once housed an Exxon station is finally seeing signs of life. Coran Capshaw’s Riverbend Development purchased the corner at 1200 Emmet St. for $2.1 million in April, a slightly better price than the $2.25 million Chevy Chase Bank paid for the corner in January 2008, just as the real estate market was beginning to crumble.

The site had a “bunch of challenges,” says Riverbend’s Alan Taylor, including a number of easements and a complicated site plan.

Originally dubbed Barracks Row, a one-story, 11,000-square-foot retail center will go by Emmet Street Station. The owners of Barracks Road Shopping Center, Federal Realty, across the street “were getting all trademarky on me, so we changed the name,” says Taylor.

The under-an-acre lot will house two restaurants and two retail stores, all around 2,500 square feet. One of the restaurants could be announced any day now, says Taylor, but he refuses to give any hints. “Everyone’s really going to like the tenant lineup,” he says.

And with three electric car-charging stations powered by solar panels, the corner could be a magnet for Tesla owners by next summer.

Other drivers should notice better flow through the Barracks-Emmet intersection. The developers gave the city a strip of land that will afford an extra lane, allowing two dedicated left-turn Barracks lanes on each side of intersection, which means left-turners can go at the same time.

Emmet Street Station is part of a redevelopment revival taking place on the entrance corridor. Across the street at the increasingly derelict Meadowbrook Shopping Center, the former Carriage House, Tavern and ALC Copies are slated for demolition to make way for a CVS.

Farther north, at 1248 Emmet St., Zaxby’s restaurant with a drive-through window is going up at the site that was once Lord Hardwicke’s. And a car wash at 1300 Emmet St. on the other side of Cook Out is well underway.

Widow-bilker sentenced

Former Farmington Country Club president Victor Dandridge was sentenced to seven years in prison November 9 for defrauding his best friend’s widow over 10 years—and lying to her about it—as well as his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Blue Ridge Bank. Dandridge’s lawyer asked that he be allowed to self report, but the federal judge said he didn’t trust Dandridge and immediately remanded him to custody, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Knitters with a kudzu attitude

The Kudzu Project. Photo by Tom Cogill

As part of what they call the Kudzu Project, anonymous guerrilla knitters covered the lesser-known Confederate soldier statue in front of Albemarle County general district and circuit courts with a knitted swath of kudzu on the morning of “Crying Nazi” Chris Cantwell’s November 9 appearance, noting in a press release that the plant “grows on things that are abandoned and no longer relevant.”

FOIA suit

C-VILLE Weekly contributors Jackson Landers and Natalie Jacobsen, who made the documentary, Charlottesville: Our Streets, sued Charlottesville Police, Virginia State Police and the state Office of Public Safety after those orgs refused to turn over August 12 safety plans. More than a dozen attorneys representing the government showed up in court November 7, and the judge ruled the reporters must refile and sue the city, not the police department.

Requested rename

The General Robert E. Lee monument in Emancipation Park. Staff photo
The General Robert E. Lee monument in Emancipation Park. Staff photo

Activist group the Unity Coalition is circulating a petition to have Emancipation Park renamed—again. “How can we reunite this community when the name of a park is related to slavery,” says petition author Mary Carey. She calls the former Lee Park’s new name “insulting, disrespectful, hurtful, heartless, thoughtless, inhumane” and “mean-spirited,” adding that it “shows a lack of care for the people of color.”

Big spill

The Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority released an extra 109 million gallons from the South Fork Rivanna in August before issuing a drought watch October 3, followed by mandatory water restrictions about a week later, according to Allison Wrabel in the Daily Progress. The reservoir is full but the restrictions are still in place.

Spike Lee. Image: © Buckner/Rex Shutterstock via ZUMA Press

Quote of the Week: The truth is the United States was built upon the genocide of Native Americans and slavery. This university was built upon slavery. —Director Spike Lee at the Virginia Film Festival on how Americans must accept the country’s ugly history to move forward

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