The Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review has granted a certificate of appropriateness for the first phase of a project to redevelop the former Monticello Dairy as a mixed-use building.
“I think the design is well thought out,” board member Stephen Balut said. “I think there has been great sensitivity to the pedestrian.”
Stony Point Design Build is pursuing an adaptive reuse of a structure that is designated as one of the city’s individually protected properties. The initial construction of the building dates to 1937.
“A major concept for this site is to retain the historically recognized portion of the Monticello Dairy,” reads an application submitted for the BAR’s review.
The BAR last saw the project in November for a preliminary discussion. Since then, the application has had refinements such as more specific information about the kind of materials and lights that will be used.
Under the plans for the first phase, the ground floor retail level would be converted into a food hall that will be known as the Dairy Market. This hall would be in the center of the structure and would have several stalls for food vendors. Space for two restaurants would be included on either end of the building. Two new retail spaces would front Grady Avenue.
“The existing second-floor office space will be restored and expanded with new contemporary steel and glass additions to the east, west and south,” the application continues.
One addition would be a one-story office building that would encroach on the protected part of the building. A three-story office building would be built to the rear of the structure and would include limited parking in a basement level. This basement level would also include community space as well as two places for nonprofits to rent.
“I think it’s nice the way that the addition is differentiated from the original fabric,” said landscape architect and BAR member Breck Gastinger. “I’ve appreciated the approach and the restraint in which you are approaching the existing building.”
The applicant also obtained permission to demolish parts of the structure to the rear that are not deemed as historic. This request included additions from 1959, 1960 and two other areas that do not have known dates.
The project also includes several other structures that eventually will be demolished, including a building on West Street that currently houses a large vehicle repair shop. Three other phases of development are planned, said Chris Henry, president of Stony Point Design Build.
One issue for the BAR was that some of the windows were proposed to have glass that is more opaque than what the city guidelines allow. The owners of the Violet Crown had to replace their windows in early 2016 when they installed the incorrect glass.
“Let’s go with what is in the guidelines,” said project architect Lee Quill. “If that’s the only thing we need for approval, let’s go with it.”
Another issue was whether a proposed mural that harks back to the dairy’s past would be considered a sign under the city’s zoning ordinance. Quill agreed to drop the proposed lettering if that was necessary.
“What we’d like to do is just get our cow on the wall,” Quill said.
Stony Point Design Build plans to hold another community meeting for the second phase of the project from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 29 in the space in the building that Harvest Moon Catering formerly occupied.