Sunday, September 25, 2022

Planning Commission to review updated plans for Midtown Row

Artist's rendition of Midtown Row. (Courtesy Broad Street Realty)
Artist’s rendition of Midtown Row.
(Courtesy Broad Street Realty)

The owner and developer of Midtown Row has requested the city’s permission to update their plans.

Williamsburg’s Planning Commission will review a request from Broad Street Realty for changes to its proposal for the development of Midtown Row. The Planning Commission will review the proposal at their 3:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday.

Broad Street, based in Bethesda, Md., owns both the Williamsburg and Monticello Shopping Centers.

CEO Michael Jacoby said in an email the changes were not big, but were rather “progress in design,” with the inclusion of more specific details.

“The benefit is more green space and a little better vehicular exit and entry,” Jacoby said in an interview, adding the plan will have a more pleasant plaza and more public space as well.

The changes, Jacoby said, were mostly made to satisfy requests by the Department of Transportation and the Architectural Review Board. The amount of retail and residential space will remain mostly unchanged, and will fit with what council has already approved.

In October, City Council voted unanimously to allow Broad Street to redevelop the two centers in Midtown Row.

At the time, Broad Street submitted two options for council review. The preferred plan for the 58-year-old shopping center on the corner of Richmond Road and Monticello Avenue called for a 140-room hotel, five buildings as tall as 66 feet, with 624 beds in 240 residential units. It also called for 380,000 square feet of space for residential and first-floor retail.

The second plan also contained four new five-story mixed-use buildings, although the fourth building is smaller than in option one. There is also no hotel and a larger portion of existing buildings will remain. Both proposals included the parking garage, although option two will contain nearly 100 fewer residential beds overall.

Both plans were approved.

Broad Street now proposes modifying certain elements of its design for Midtown Row.

The second option will be pursued as ‘phase one’ of the development, and will be completed first. The first option council approved will now be the project’s second phase, according to Planning Commission documents.

A 140-room hotel on the premises will not be constructed until phase two, according to the city’s Director of Planning Carolyn Murphy.

The new plan calls for building a 246-space parking terrace in the first phase, with an internal ramp rather than the previously-proposed external entrance.

By the completion of phase two, there will be roughly 100 fewer parking spaces, although still more than are required by the city. A loading zone has been added under one of the residential buildings.

Entrances to Midtown Row along Monticello Avenue to both the Williamsburg and Monticello Shopping Centers will now align with one another. They’ll also be wide enough to allow fire trucks to turn around.

Entrances along Richmond Road have also been revised to provide better traffic flow in the shopping center.

Planning documents also indicate the new design will be more pedestrian friendly.

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