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Redevelopment of former City Market lot nearing key approval
Rendering of City Market at West2nd, June 12, 2017
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Credit: West2nd
The City Market is expected to operate in the northeast corner of the West2nd property
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Sean Tubbs | Monday, June 12, 2017 at 8:53 p.m.

The building boom on Water Street in downtown Charlottesville is about to soar to new heights.

The long-awaited redevelopment of the City Market lot as a nine-story building known as West2nd is expected to get underway this summer. That will be followed by the redevelopment of the Main Street Arena and recently unveiled plans for an eight-story building at the site of a former clock shop.

Officials in the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services are close to approving a site plan for West2nd, a project being developed by Keith Woodard. The L-shaped building will consist of luxury condominiums, office space, retail space and a permanent home for the City Market.

“Our excitement is growing as we prepare to break ground later this summer,” Woodard said. “The indoor pavilion, which will also be used by the City Market, will add new opportunities for events downtown.”

West2nd has booked reservations to sell almost two-thirds of its 68 condominiums, according to a news release issued for the project on Monday. The units range in price from $400,000 to more than $1 million.

“Interest in the over 72,000 square feet of Class A office space and premier retail space remain strong and West2nd is currently negotiating management of their 23,000-square-foot event space,” the release said.

The city was close to approving a site plan for the project on Monday but found one minor issue to resolve, according to city planner Brian Haluska. No date has been scheduled for groundbreaking.

Woodard also has to show that any congestion caused by the construction work can be mitigated.

“Before they start construction, they have to submit a maintenance of traffic plan and that will spell out the plan on how to move traffic,” said Alexander Ikefuna, director of Neighborhood Development Services.

The origins of West2nd date back to the fall of 2013 when the City Council decided to put out a request for proposals to develop the lot in such a way that would allow the market to exist on a redeveloped site. The council later selected Woodard’s proposal from the four entries submitted.

As part of the project, Woodard and the city’s economic development authority collaborated on an effort to place utility lines underground. That work has now been completed.

Under the terms of the request for proposals issued by the city in 2014, the project must have 102 public parking spaces to replace the ones that will be removed. West2nd also will have another 160 spaces for use by tenants.

Meanwhile city officials say plans have been submitted for a new eight-story residential tower that would be built across the road from the Mono Loco restaurant at 201 Water St.

In May, the Board of Architectural Review approved demolition of the existing structure there that housed a clock shop.

“The proposed development is consistent in use and in scale with recent developments along Water Street including West2nd, 218 West Water Street, 550 Water Street and Lewis and Clark Square,” reads plans for the eight-story building drawn up by engineer Clark Gathright with the firm Dagget + Grigg Architects.

The preliminary site plan for 201 Water St. depicts a single residential unit on all floors except the ground floor. There would be no commercial space in the project. The City Council would need to grant a special-use permit to exceed the 70-foot height limit allowed by-right in the downtown zoning district.

The project is slated to be 93 feet tall. Each floor would be 11 feet, 8 inches tall. Each unit would consist of three bedrooms and a “great room.”

Construction is underway at two other projects on Water Street. A smaller mixed-use complex, being built by developer Andrew Baldwin at 550 E. Water St., will house luxury condominiums and two floors office space in a six-story tower.

Riverbend Development is building luxury houses on the recently opened stretch of East Water between 10th Street Northeast and Meade Avenue.

“I think [the activity] is indicative of the fact that Charlottesville is becoming a city that is desirable to folks who are seeking a city lifestyle, a city location and amenities,” said Jim Duncan of Nest Realty. “A lot of people want the convenience of living downtown but don’t necessarily want to have the responsibilities of dealing with an [older] house that needs to be painted.”

Other construction activities are also in the works for Water Street.

The Board of Architectural Review will hold a preliminary discussion on June 20 for the new plans for the Landmark Hotel.

Jaffray Woodriff is planning to develop a 140,000-square-foot Charlottesville Technology Center on the site of the Main Street Arena, which Taliaferro Junction LLC purchased in March for $5.7 million. Those plans are expected to be submitted this summer.

 

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