Saturday, August 13, 2022

Here is the latest on the Governor’s Inn project

A conceptual drawing of a proposed living development located at the Governor's Inn property. (WYDaily/Courtesy Thomas Niles)
A conceptual drawing of a proposed living development located at the Governor’s Inn property. (WYDaily/Courtesy Thomas Niles)

The old Governor’s Inn off North Henry Street is one step closer to becoming a new apartment complex.

Williamsburg City Council recently approved five public hearing agenda item requests from Castle Development Partners LLC, a Charlottesville-based real estate investment company on behalf of the property owner, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, from rezoning several parcel of property to getting a special use permit to build on slopes.

Castle Development Partners wants to “demolish” Governor’s Inn, currently owned by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and build up to 162 apartments.

“Castle has contracted to purchase the property contingent on receiving all required City approvals,” according to a slideshow shown during the developer’s presentation.

The property is approximately 11.33 acres near the CSX rail line and adjacent to Highland Park neighborhood near the York County line.

Three people spoke during the public comment section.

One man, an architect, said he felt the proposed development was flawed and wanted the vote to be delayed until the developer could address the following issues: why demolishing the inn was necessary, to discuss the impact of more traffic in the are, allowing development on land near a ravine and the potential for flooding. He added the main issue was the “lack of necessary public concerns/comment.”

Another person, a resident of Highland Park, said she could see the top of the Governor’s Inn from her backyard, adding she felt the developer was not working with the space.

The third person, also a resident of Highland Park, was concerned about drainage and wondered if the bus stop would now service the Highland Park elderly.

Here are the five agenda items which were unanimously approved by City Council:

  1. Changing four parcels 504, 506, 510, 520 and 580 North Henry Street on the city’s Comprehensive Plan designation to mixed use development.
  2. Rezoning 504, 506, 510, 520, and 580 North Henry Street from Museum Support MS to Limited Business Downtown District LB-1 with proffers.
  3. Special use permit to increase the density in the Limited Business Downtown District LB-1 with proffers, which would add another 42 apartment units.
  4. Add Section 21-626 and to amend Section 21-782(e) of the Zoning Ordinance to allow slope waivers with a special use permit that cannot be approved by the Zoning Administrator under Section 21-782 of the Zoning Ordinance.
  5. Special use permit to “encroach” into 30% slopes for development.
The proposed apartment complex at the former Governor's Inn site in Williamsburg. (WYDaily Courtesy of Castle Development Partners LLC)
The proposed apartment complex at the former Governor’s Inn site in Williamsburg. (WYDaily Courtesy of Castle Development Partners LLC)

More about the project

  • Have up to 162 apartments (one and two bedroom units);
  • 13 percent of the total number of units are price/income restricted;
  • be two to three stories in height;
  • have a salt water swimming pool;
  • have a central clubhouse;
  • cafe;
  • conference room;
  • party room;
  • workout building,
  • 24 hour emergency staff.

The developer plans to move the WATA bus stop with a shelter to accommodate the community residents and have a 300-foot buffer between Highland Park neighborhood and apartment complex.

Several City Council members addressed the residents’ concerns before unanimously approving the developer’s request.

Williamsburg Mayor Doug Pons called the inn “beyond salvageable,” adding “it really needs to come down.”

Councilman Caleb Rogers said he believed the project is “a good one for the city” despite feeling “disappointed” the rent would be difficult for people to afford.

The entire presentations from Carolyn Murphy, planning and codes compliance director for the city, Castle Development Partners and the public hearing section lasted roughly two hours.

Thomas R Niles III, a local resident and a partner of Caste Development Partners, is in charge of the project. He was present at the Sept. 10 meeting.

If approved, the project is expected to be completed in 2022.

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Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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