Williamsburg city planners will debate whether to recommend a company develop the Williamsburg Shopping Center with taller buildings, more retail space, housing space, parking, and student housing or not, at a Wednesday meeting.
City planners will look to reconcile the developer’s proposed redevelopment of the Williamsburg Shopping Center with the city’s 2013 comprehensive plan and 2017-2018 Goals, Initiatives, and Outcomes policy document.
The developer, Broad Street Realty, requested the city change zoning ordinances and recommend approval of a special use permit to allow for redevelopment on the property
Broad Street Realty’s preferred plan for the 58-year-old shopping center calls for buildings as tall as 66 feet, an 140-room hotel, 624 beds in 240 residential units, and 380,000 square feet of new residential and retail space, according to city documents.
“We have worked hard with stakeholders in the community and city representatives to come up with a shared vision for what could be accomplished at the premier gateway location in Williamsburg,” Michael Jacoby, CEO of Broad Street said in a press release
The plan Broad Street Realty has presented calls for the redevelopment of the 19.4 acre property with four one-story buildings dedicated to retail space, a 4-5 story hotel on the corner of Richmond Road and Monticello Avenue, and four five-story mixed use buildings, according to plans submitted to the city planners.
Most buildings in Williamsburg aren’t more than four stories tall, but city staff has recommended approval of the project by city planners, city documents state.
The redevelopment also calls for a public plaza, landscaped pedestrian boulevards, wide sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, as well as a two-story parking garage, according to city documents.
“The intention here is to create a walkable destination, to create a place, to create a center,” Robert McClennan, a project manager with Bonstra Haresign Architects, said in a presentation to the city’s Architectural Review Board. “We see this as a place students will be walking to and citizens of Williamsburg will walk to…what we’re trying to do here is create a sense of place.”
The city has paired such mixed-use developments with student housing in the past — at the Prince George Commons and City Lofts. The two housing projects both focused on student housing and retail space.
“The Midtown Planning Area has the potential to redevelop into a mixed use neighborhood with an emphasis on student housing,” city documents state.
Before students would be able to move in, new buildings would need to be constructed. The construction plans call for three current businesses to stay in place during the redevelopment: Sal’s by Victor, Food Lion, and the ABC store, city documents state.
Ace Hardware will no longer remain at its current location once the redevelopment begins, according to city documents.
Broad Street Realty purchased the shopping center for $13.3 million on Jan. 6.
The city’s biannual Goals, Initiatives, and Outcomes for 2017-18 list Midtown as a region ripe for redevelopment. As stated in the policy document, the city hopes to, “Pursue the vision for Midtown as a pedestrian‐friendly shopping and entertainment hub based on vertical mixed‐use.”
The 2013 Comprehensive Plan calls for the preservation of the city’s single-family neighborhoods, the construction of new mixed-use neighborhoods, and the encouragement of affordable housing, according to city documents.
If you want to go…
Williamsburg City Planning Commission
Wednesday, 3:30 p.m in the Stryker Center
Have you got construction advice? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.