• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Williamsburg VA Development Plans ” Eastern State”

Vacant land at the Eastern State Hospital site in James City County, long lusted after for its development potential, now has a development plan for 322 acres of unused land.

A group of local leaders called the Crossroads Project Steering Committee, which was formed about a decade ago and was instrumental in the process that led to the New Town development in conjunction with Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates has developed  a master plan as a model for what can be done with the unused land at the state of Virginia run Eastern State, the first public psychiatric hospital in North America. Officials are consolidating much of the hospital to the eastern side of the property creating a  large, underused campus.

in 2006 , city and county officials contacted the state department that oversees mental health services about the possibility of excess land there being used for a school site. During those talks, they learned the state was about to kick off a master-plan process for the property and asked if it could coincide with the county’s update of its Comprehensive Plan this year.

State officials agreed and asked the Crossroads group to host a community forum to generate ideas should portions of the land become available for new development. But the state’s lengthy process for planning the land’s future puts any new use years away, leaders say.

Crossroads includes representatives of the area’s three localities — Williamsburg, James City and York County — as well as the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the College of William and Mary and the Williamsburg Area Chamber and Tourism Alliance.

Eastern State has just completed work on its new geriatric center, which will house about 150 mentally ill patients aged 65 and older. The move is the first of what will place much of the hospital’s operations closer to Ironbound Road, freeing up much of the middle of the property for other uses, said Jim Golden, associate vice president for economic development at William and Mary and a member of Crossroads’ steering committee.

Workers have already finished razing most of buildings to construct a facility for younger mentally ill patients and a new administrative building.

The effort to shrink the space used by Eastern State, which had about 400 patients as of 2006, will leave about 460 acres of the hospital’s 540 acres as open space and forest, Eastern State officials have said.

A conceptual plan for property at Eastern State Hospital was introduced. It blends  the existing campus and mental health sites with a town center. The plan calls for sustainable neighborhoods, businesses, and open-space and conservation areas.

It is only a the theoretical blueprint. Since State of Virginia has to decide what to do with unused land at the state-run psychiatric hospital.

The company, which also helped produce Hampton’s neighborhood master plans as well as helping  plan the revitalization of downtown Norfolk  completed its report last month. After review by the Crossroads Group, the plan was forwarded to James S. Reinhard, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. The report was also sent to the James City County Board of Supervisors for use in its update of the county’s comprehensive plan.

The Crossroads Group hopes that the report will provide a “strong starting point” in deciding the potential use of the land. The plan is organized around the natural features of the site, preserving stream beds and ravines while creating neighborhood parks and a pathway network.

The feasibility study provides a well-defined campus for residential sites at Eastern State, along with opportunities for various health care services, educational uses and a new mixed-income neighborhood with a small town center. The mixture would allow for a full range of mental health needs that would support patient reintegration, the report says.

A town center would act as a link and common space for the community and the hospital. The plan also envisions an elementary school, a geriatric site and senior housing.

Ultimately,  “a new center for Williamsburg could be created that could attract and house a population of all ages, provide a range of employment options, and weave together the combined communities of residents, Colonial Williamsburg, the College of William & Mary, and Eastern State Hospital.”

The Crossroads Group hopes that the ideas in the conceptual plan will help accelerate the land-use planning..

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