Summer of our discontent: What to expect when the dust settles

Bulldozers continue to change the Charlottesville landscape. Photo by Skyclad Aerial Bulldozers continue to change the Charlottesville landscape. Photo by Skyclad Aerial

By: Lisa Provence and Samantha Baars

It’s the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, and while we’re celebrating that, C-VILLE decided to take a look at construction projects underway that will change the way the city looks—and in some cases, inconvenience us mightily during the coming months.

These are projects visibly in the works. And they won’t come cheap. Among the upcoming residential efforts, “affordable housing” will not be a phrase used to describe them.

Other projects are lining up for the future, including the demolition of the Main Street Arena next summer to construct tech hub Taliaferro Junction. And you can say you learned it here first: It’s pronounced “tolliver.”

Get your hard hats and earplugs ready for the summer of mud. And snap those “before” pictures now, because by 2067, you won’t see the landscape we currently inhabit.


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William Taylor Plaza

Fairfield Inn and Suites

Ridge Street and Cherry Avenue

Owner: Virginia Hotel Properties LP

Number of rooms: 119

Development status: Completed by second quarter of 2018.

William Taylor Plaza
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When the 2.9-acre parcel on the corner of Ridge Street and Cherry Avenue was rezoned for mixed use in 2009, neighbors didn’t necessarily foresee a hotel as the commercial component of the project. And when developer Charlie Armstrong pitched a Fairfield Inn and Suites sans residential portion in 2015, the project temporarily ground to a halt until Southern Development came back with a residential component.

Southern Development sold part of the property to Keystone Hotel Management, which is developing the hotel and will manage the property for Marriott. The construction of the 100-plus-room hotel, with underground parking, is well underway. Marriott VP Dave Medis says to look for its opening in the second quarter of 2018.

And there’s still a residential portion to come. Management Services Corporation has BAR approval for a 27-unit upscale apartment project.

Home2 Suites

201 Monticello Ave.

Developer: Baywood Hotels, Greenbelt, Maryland

Number of rooms: 113; four stories

Development status: Under construction.

Home2 Suites
Click to enlarge.

Baywood is a development company that does only hotels, senior VP Vik Patel told C-VILLE last year, and the Coran Capshaw-owned former Portico Church location’s “proximity to the Downtown Mall attracted us to this site,” Patel said. Home2 Suites by Hilton are extended-stay hotels with a “boutique-y feel,” according to Patel. Although the hotel will have a fitness center and indoor pool, it won’t have a restaurant or a bar.


200 Second St. SW

Developer: Keith Woodard

Number of condos: 65; 10 stories

Development status: Ground-breaking scheduled for this summer.

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Formerly called Market Plaza, this $50 million project will be built on the metered parking lot that used to house City Market, and the space will still serve as the permanent home of the uber popular Saturday shopping destination. When the market is not in session, the half-acre lot will be used for other events.

Developer Keith Woodard calls West2nd’s 65 condos, which will range from $400,000 to more than $1 million, “very deluxe” and says every room will have a spectacular view of the city.

The complex is scheduled to open by summer 2019. It will also include retail and office spaces, a restaurant and a bakery/café.

Landmark Hotel/The Dewberry

201 E. Water St.

Developer: John Dewberry

Number of rooms: 112

Development status: Board of Architectural Review meeting June 20; structural integrity report due July 1.

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Charlottesville’s most prominent eyesore is on the Downtown Mall, where it has been in skeletal disarray since construction ceased in 2009. But it has seen signs of life this year.

When developer John Dewberry purchased the Landmark Hotel for $6.25 million in 2012, his conversion of a Charleston, South Carolina, federal building into a five-star hotel was ahead of Charlottesville on his construction to-do list. The Dewberry Charleston opened last summer, he scored incentives from the city earlier this year, and the next hurdle is the Board of Architectural Review June 20. 

Oh wait, there’s yet another hurdle—and we’re not talking about the 75 spaces the city promised Dewberry in the litigation-prone Water Street Parking Garage. A structural integrity report is due July 1 to determine whether the framework is still sound after years of being exposed to the elements.

Dewberry’s deluxe vision includes a spa, a rooftop bar on the 11th level with terraces on the north and south ends of the building, along with the 1,800-square-foot Founder’s Room.

Former Bank of America building

300 E. Main St.

Owner: Hunter Craig

Development status: Underway.

When Bank of America announced it was closing shop in its vintage 1916 building on the Downtown Mall last year, it left a banking void—for about five minutes. Another financial institute, Citizen & Farmers Bank, will occupy an 850-square-foot suite in the structure and is expected to open in July, but banking will be a minority activity in the historic
building. The 60,000-square-foot property spreads a couple of
doors down, and includes C-VILLE Weekly’s home.

The soaring bank lobby is slated to become a steakhouse. Pantheon Restaurants LLC, the people behind Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria, has leased 9,000 square feet for a restaurant, according to Loren Mendosa. Construction has not begun there, although Mendosa notes that Lampo was nominated for best steakhouse in Best of C-VILLE 2017.

Another 25,000 square feet have been leased by CVL Society. Partners in the development haven’t announced details publicly, but the project will include executive offices and other areas designed to support downtown Charlottesville’s start-up scene with co-working, business incubation and accelerator space.

550 Water Street

550 E. Water St.

Developer: Andrew Baldwin with Core Real Estate and Development

Number of units: Five residential, three commercial

Development status: Under construction; scheduled to open next spring.

550 Water Street. Staff photo
Click to enlarge. Staff photo

In this six-story building, the first two floors feature commercial office space while the top four are full-floor condos, and a low-rise wing structure offers a fifth residence and another commercial office suite. Condos are priced “north of $2 million,” according to developer Andrew Baldwin, who says only two residential units are still available.

At approximately 3,500 square feet each, the condos also offer 500-square-foot outdoor terraces, large windows with sliding glass exterior doors, private parking and high-end security systems.

C&O Row

1065 E. Water St.

Developer: Riverbend Development

Number of homes: 23

Development status: The first phase is under construction, the second should begin next spring or early summer, and the third phase is to be determined.

C&O Row. Staff photo
Click to enlarge. Staff photo

Local builders Martin Horn Inc. and Evergreen Home Builders offer different floor plans and customized home interiors, including options for all-brick interiors, dramatic open stair systems from the first to third floors and steel bathtubs. Ten of 12 lots in the first phase have already sold, with six of the homes in phase two hitting the market in late summer or early fall. The three-plus-bedroom homes with two-car garages range from 3,200 square feet to more than 3,700 square feet depending on finished space and rooftop access. Phase one prices range from $899,000 to $1.1 million.

“There is no one buyer profile,” says Lindsay Milby, an associate broker with Loring Woodriff Real Estate Associates. “Young families, single professionals and empty nesters are attracted to the concept. They like the idea of a brand new, easy-to-maintain custom home walkable to downtown.”

West Main

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The Autograph Hotel

1106 W. Main St.

Developer: Carr City Centers

Number of rooms: 150

Development status: Completed in fourth quarter of 2017.

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We feel like we’re getting into that pattern of “remember where Studio Arts used to be?” That’s where the latest luxury boutique hotel is going, another Marriott venture—the hotel chain’s third on West Main. The 10-story Autograph got underway after SunTrust Bank signed off on a $25.8 million loan to Carr City Centers last summer, according to Virginia Business. Whether it will be finished by the end of the year, well, we’re still waiting to hear from Carr City Centers.

The Standard

853 W. Main St.

Developer: Landmark Properties

Number of units: 189 apartments; 499-space parking garage

Development status: Targeted completion before school starts in 2018.

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The site of the former Republic Plaza, which was demolished over the winter, is mostly red dirt now, but when it’s complete, it will rise 70′ with six stories. The high-end student apartments—the third such project on West Main—has some calling the street West Grounds. Athens, Georgia-based Landmark Properties specializes in deluxe student housing, and it suffered a delay in completing a complex at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville last fall, leaving about 600 students homeless at the beginning of the semester, according to the UT Daily Beacon.

Six Hundred West Main

600 W. Main St.

Developer: Jeff Levien

Number of units: 53 apartments; six stories

Development status: Set for construction this summer.

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This 65,000-square-foot apartment complex will house a mix of studio and one- and two-bedroom units with parking underneath the building.

Design-wise, developer Jeff Levien looks to Oakhart Social, a restaurant across the street from his site, which used the building’s historic character in its design aesthetic by featuring the space’s original exposed brick walls and showcasing both “old and new,” he says. Architect Jeff Dreyfus is also on the job.

The building will incorporate two historic structures: the Hartnagle-Witt House and the Hawkins-Perry House, which are more easily recognizable as Blue Moon Diner and a small convenience store.

Quirk Hotel

501 W. Main St.

Developer: Bank Street Advisors

Number of rooms: 78-80; four floors off West Main Street and five off Commerce Street

Development status: Groundbreaking in early 2018; opening in mid-2019.

Click to enlarge.

This new hotel will be modeled after the original 75-room, four-floor Quirk Hotel and art gallery in Richmond. It will incorporate two historic structures, including Paxton Place, a home built in 1824, on a site where architect Bill Atwood was unable to get his six-story office building off the ground.

Owners Katie and Ted Ukrop—members of the family that operated the Ukrop’s Food Group and upscale grocery chain in Richmond—“will combine inspiration and passion from the Richmond location with the culture and creativity of the new Charlottesville home for a unique and welcoming concept,” according to a press release.

Urban ring


Sunset Overlook

Corner of Sunset Avenue Extended and Old Lynchburg Road

Developer: Andrew Baldwin

Number of homes: 27 townhomes, 14 detached homes

Development status: Construction completed within the next two months.

Developer Andrew Baldwin says these homes will be available within the next 30 to 45 days, with prices ranging in the $200,000s for townhomes and mid-$300,000s and up for single family houses.

The development is one mile away from Interstate 64, two miles away from 5th Street Station and 3.5 miles from the Downtown Mall.

Oak Hill

1132 Sunset Ave. Extended

Developer: Stanley Martin

Number of homes: 49 single family homes approved (83 proposed)

Development status: Under construction.

Sunset Overlook’s neighbor is Oak Hill, another subdivision in the works on the sleepier side of town. Developer Stanley Martin did not respond to requests for more information.

Beacon on 5th

100 Dalton Ln.

Developer: Castle Development Partners

Number of homes: 207 apartments, two carriage-style apartments and 32 townhouses

Development status: Completed by September.


More than 100 dwellings are already leased at this complex, which has a deluxe gym and pool, a cyber café, and is situated close to 5th Street Station, UVA and downtown.

“The views are outstanding,” says representative Debbie Joiner. “Some are almost like tree house homes.”

Homes in the pet-friendly community range from $1,200 to $2,129 per month.

Hillsdale Drive Extended

Click to enlarge.

Like most public road projects around here, the Hillsdale Connector has been talked about for decades—since the late 1980s, as far as we can tell. That’s why it’s somewhat shocking to learn that a completion date—October 30—is in sight.

The finished Hillsdale Drive will join East Rio Road with Hydraulic Road at Whole Foods, and provide a parallel way to head north without having to venture onto Route 29.

The last, southern section of Hillsdale already wends behind Homewood Suites, circles a roundabout at Zan Road and has torn through the north wing of Seminole Square Shopping Center, where it took out 6,700 square feet of commercial real estate and about 60 parking spaces, according to Great Eastern Management’s David Mitchell.

Great Eastern, which owns the shopping center, is trying to get permission to build retaining walls behind the north wing to add employee parking and delivery access, as well as reorient “the look of the building and the flow,” says Mitchell.

“We’re going to build walkways and bike paths behind and around the shopping center,” he says. “We’re not just sitting there looking at our building cut in half.”

Besides the construction that’s hit Seminole Square since late last year, the center does have another gaping hole, figuratively speaking: the vacant store that once housed Giant and has been leased by Kroger, which heralded a 100,000-square-foot, $28 million store, its “largest west of Richmond,” in an August 2016 press release.

“The project is on hold,” says Kroger real estate manager Fenton Childers. “Kroger is re-evaluating multiple projects across Virginia.” He declined to elaborate on the reason for putting on the brakes.

With Kmart closing in July, another empty big box looms. That site has been leased by Coran Capshaw and Hunter Craig and is looking for high-end tenants.

“We are actively negotiating with multiple great tenants that could be part of the future of the property,” writes John Pritzlaff, vice president of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, in an email. “Plans have not been finalized as of yet, so we do not have any defined commencement date for construction.”

Seminole Square still has Marshalls, and Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery will be opening in the former Office Depot space.

“It’s a great location,” says Mitchell. And once Hillsdale is complete, he predicts more people will turn north at Whole Foods, opening new opportunities for commercial real estate.

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