Friday, December 1, 2023

A new set of retail shops might be coming to Monticello Avenue

A sign posted on Monticello Avenue states retail shops will soon be coming to the area. (WYDaily/Alexa Doiron)
A sign posted on Monticello Avenue states retail shops will soon be coming to the area. (WYDaily/Alexa Doiron)

Even more shopping opportunities could be coming to Monticello Avenue in the near future.

Tricor International, a residential and commercial developer, recently submitted a special use permit and rezoning application to James City County to erect “Monticello Avenue Shops,” according to county documents.

The shops would be a retail location on 2.75 acres on the south side of the Monticello Avenue corridor.

The project is still under review, said Ellen Cook, the county’s principal planner, while the county’s planning department considers various aspects such as transportation, landscaping, buffering and design guidelines.

Design guidelines serve to direct the developer or subsequent owner of the property in the project’s architectural design. 

According to the draft submitted to the county on Oct. 25, the design guidelines will fall under those similar to New Town and other surrounding properties. 

While the project is not part of the New Town property, its guidelines will still reference New Town as an urban setting to fit with the “character, rhythm and quality,” of the well-established area.

The land parcel being considered for the project is described as “long but narrow” and the shallowness in depth would be a challenge for building a typical retail building shell that would provide enough space for showroom depth and service access.

Should the project be built, it would be accessed by drivers in a number of ways. First, there is already an existing intersection and the location of the property intersects with Windsor Meade Way to provide an end point to the street. It would also be viewed as an extension of retail sites in the area and would provide vehicle and pedestrian access to and from those sites.

The building’s architecture would match those of the surrounding retail spaces, with smaller buildings to create a “village-scape” in the area, according to the filed documents.

The applicant also submitted a traffic study that showed existing and no-build conditions would create between a 13-13.5-second overall delay, or a B level service. Build conditions in 2020 showed a 22.6 second delay, or a C level service. Cook said B and C level services are typically viewed as an acceptable level by James City county.

Currently, the site is zoned rural residential (R8) but the applicant is looking to rezone the area as General Business (B1). 

In addition, the site falls within the county’s Primary Service Area, meaning it was a location the county previously planned to grow with new services, according to documents. 

County staff will continue to review the project with the intention that it will be brought forward during the Dec. 4 Planning Commission meeting, said Thomas Leininger, planner with James City County. Following the Planning Commission’s recommendation, Leininger said the goal most likely is to present the project to the Board of Supervisors at its Jan. 14 meeting. 

Cook said since the project is still in the early stages, there is no estimate on when locals can start to see work in the area.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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