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Williamsburg VA 2008 A Year In Review

From an article in the Va Gazette By Cortney Langley  Dec. 2008

The recession slowed the growth of housing and commerce for the first time in 10 years. Still, there was plenty left to propose and oppose.

James City County set out to revise the Comprehensive Plan with various forums and committees taking the public pulse.

A new slow-growth group called J4C produced research papers challenging various assumptions and projects. The outgoing Democratic majority tightened a James City ordinance to expand stream buffers to 300 feet instead of 100. The new Republican majority promptly unwound that and eventually compromised at 225 feet, then defeated the whole measure. The stream buffers were among many disputes in which four of the five members criticized each other as politically partisan. Almost 900 Ford’s Colony residents petitioned to block a big continuing care facility across the road as too big, generating too much traffic and burdening the HOA. They found a zoning loophole to support their case legally.

The HOA agreed not to sue when management backed down on applying full residential rights to those in a proposed senior care facility. Others still opposed the project on grounds of traffic and scale, even after it was scaled back from 944 units to 739. Despite a last-minute gimmick to stop it, the James City supervisors approved, but the financing dried up during the national credit crisis.

Also near Ford’s Colony, a plan for 240 workforce housing units on News Road was pulled back to weave it into the new Comp Plan. It was considered DOA after the continuing care controversy. Ford’s Colony announced Westport as 100 large homesites across Centerville Road but removed from the controversial continuing care facility.

Two-year assessments found York home values up an average of 15%. The Board of Supervisors reduced the real esate tax rate from 69.75 cents per $100 of assessed value to 65.75 cents.

York county administrator James McReynolds said he needed $26 million worth of expansion and new buildings for his various departments.

A new task force promised to have ideas on developing workforce housing by summer. Work languished, but the group plans to take up the mantle in 2009.

High Street scaled back 99 townhouses to 36 in the first phase as real estate sales continued soft. The Movie Tavern theater that was supposed to open by Labor Day was delayed to November, and then to March along with the retail shops. By year-end, two of five apartment buildings at High Street began to be occupied.

Two new sets of stoplights were erected for High Street, bringing the total in greater Williamsburg to 87. Yet very few were synchronized to keep traffic moving.

The Salvation Army set out on a feasibility study for a $6 million complex of teen center, child care, computer lab, food pantry and other services to the community. The site is on Richmond Road near 199.

An extended runway was ruled out at Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, which seemed to scotch any federal subsidy for acquisition. By year-end, it was going to take more than $3 million to buy the airport or $16 million to rebuild elsewhere. Some citizens were adamantly against James City County putting up the money. The death of co-owner Jean Waltrip complicated matters.

Philip Morris completed the expansion and conversion of the Route 143 plant to make spit-free tobacco. 1,200 acres were put on the market by Williamsburg Pottery, though Kim Maloney clarified the business would remain intact. With no buyers at hand, the property was later taken off the market. Longtime farmer Don Hunt closed Hill Pleasant Farm. He had no plans to sell to developers but asked for the land-use designation to change to mixed-use with the Comp Plan update. The York supervisors compromised on requiring Kiln Creek Golf Club & Resort owner Dick Ashe to cut the grass of its abandoned nine-hole course.

Overcrowding worsened at Stonehouse Elementary, but a 9th school was still two years away.

Pockets of retail vacancies were showing up at Patriot Plaza and were persisting at Williamsburg Crossing.

A revised version of controversial condos were approved on South Henry Street despite criticism that they were out of scale.

Williamsburg Community Chapel spent $15 million to expand to 70,000 square feet with an auditorium for 1,500.

York denied its first mixed-use development of apartments and stores, on Route 17 at Battlefield Road. 10 four-story buildings for mixed use at Route 17 and Battle Road worried York residents as too massive.

The York supervisors were lobbied heavily to approve in a 3-2 vote a house on the Chesapeake Bay that was within the 100-foot Chesapeake Bay resource protection area.

The Honda dealership in Norge sought to expand, but neighbors complained of encroachment. Neighbors in Chisel Run protested Prime Outlets expanding across Olde Towne Road after two dozen older trees were cut down. James City had a raft of road projects, but the state budget was cut in half to $3.5 million. Two James City supervisors had second thoughts about approving a $50 million contract with Newport News Waterworks. It’s good for up to 5 million gallons a day. Water rates raised 12%- 15%, with more to come.

VDOT ramped up its traffic studies in ways that would cost developers more time and money, but slow-growth advocates hailed the move for reflecting a more cumulative impact.

J4C came up with six pages of ways to prevent flooding through improved draining. The crux of the problem was assigning responsibility for flooding after a development is built.

Three days of citizen meetings led to a vision of the Eastern State campus for mixed uses and housing around various mental health components. Sites emerged for at least one new school, an office park, apartments, “Geriatric Square” for research, and faculty housing.

Neighbors near Hubbard Lane protested expansion plans for a mini-warehouse behind James-York Plaza. The Planning Commission recommended denial of the proposal and the application has yet to go to the Board of Supervisors.

Seasons Trace sought a second road out of the subdivision in the event of hurricane flooding.

The city budget was ho-hum except for a 15% hike in water rates to pay Newport News Waterworks in times of need. Last year the rates went up 10% and more hikes are coming, in part to cover costs of the new King William Reservoir. Geologist Gerald Johnson lost his fight to save the last patch of 5-million-year-old fossils along the bluffs of the James River. Kingsmill wanted the site for more homes.

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Drugstore plans withdrawn in Norge

 From the Va Gazette 11/1/08 Courtney Langley

Plans for a new Walgreens at the Norge Candle Factory site have been withdrawn, another indicator of the recession arriving. Retailers are especially hard hit as consumer spending, which makes up about 70% of economic activity, dropped below 1980 levels July-September, according to government figures.

Walgreens’ special use permit passed Planning Commission scrutiny last month but was pulled before the supervisors got a look. “I just know that the developer and property owners are two separate entities and they both asked us to pull the application,” said Chris Basic of AES Consulting Engineers, who had filed for the permit. “I wasn’t really given much of an explanation as to why.”

The pullback comes amid speculation that businesses in New Town, including the Wal- Mart’s Neighborhood Market, has been delayed. A company spokesman denied that this week, saying that plans for a new unit at Settler’s Market remain.

Williamsburg Va Real Estate Growth Update

From an article in the Va Gazette

What will the rolling landscape of James City County Virginia’s Stonehouse District look like with three times the number of today’s homes? Hard to imagine.One of the side effects of the new rooftops may also be increased activism. Today most of the slowgrowth lobby is concentrated in Powhatan and Jamestown districts. “Because the growth has been focused in those areas, there have been a lot more issues around which galvanize people,” Krapf said. “As the growth demand turns to the upper county, you’ll probably see a lot more activity on the part of those groups served by public water. Much of the upper county relies on wells for drinking water. “It’s far too early to talk about expanding the [Primary Service Area} at this point,”  Stonehouse supervisor Jim Kennedy said. “We need to be looking at new technologies and water supply, such as reclaimed water systems,” 

Last year the James City County’s Real Estate Assessments Division assessed 4,825 parcels in Stonehouse, the westernmost of five magisterial districts.

More than 5,000 new housing units are approved and under way, according to a James City County Citizens’ report on cumulative growth.

Beyond that, another 5,500 are approved but not yet started. New housing of that magnitude seems far-fetched in the middle of a real estate slump, but Stonehouse remains a hot market for $200,000 homes . The population of the county could drastically shift within 20 years as Villages at White Hall, Jennings Way, Michelle Point, Stonehouse and Colonial Heritage build out. On the commercial side, Stonehouse is expected to add about 3.8 million square feet of shops, stores and restaurants.

The Stonehouse area of the county is definitely going to get the brunt of the growth.Some serious consideration needs to be given to the road structure that supports it, as well as the water situation. 

Plans for the Stonehouse development once included using reclaimed water, but were abandoned because of cost.

Despite efforts to control growth, there is still plenty of room. A good portion of the Williamsburg Pottery tract is in the district, as is the neighboring Hunt farm property. Both would provide large development opportunities. “It’s not just the Hunt property,” Kennedy added. “There’s also Anderson’s corner.” Planning Commission member Rich Krapf lives in the district and cautions not to overreact. “The buildout schedule could take years to achieve,” he said. “So people forget that that’s been approved. Then the new owners come in and people say, ‘That’s new growth and we don’t want new growth.’Yet it’s a 20-yearold project. That’s where so many citizen groups are raising the flag about cumulative impacts.”

The housing market is a wild card, though. Because of the downturn, Colonial Heritage construction has slowed to a trickle and developers throughout the county are not meeting building projections.

Typically, each phase in a development depends on the success of the previous phases. In a flagging market, growth stalls and plans change. “The whole county has time to breathe,” Kennedy said. “Certainly this Comprehensive Plan is critical.” 

Kennedy said that Stonehouse and its development are different from the other districts. “More people in this district are property rights people than in other areas in the county, because they are large property owners.

They don’t want to see the commercialization of the Stonehouse district either, but they certainly want to protect their interests. We’re ‘a little bit country’ out here, and we like it that way, for the most part.” “Even with the growth likely to occur, we’d still like to see the rural character retained out there,” Kadec said of J4C. “It may not be possible, but it sure would be nice.” Kadec believes the county can balance the rooftops by encouraging equine-related businesses, agri-tourism, and other industries that make preservation profitable. The same sentiment was mentioned frequently by residents recently in Comprehensive Plan meetings in the upper county. “

Williamsburg VA Real Estate Update “Village at Quarterpath”

Williamsburg Va real estate search

Williamsburg Va real estate search

Construction crews are busy at both ends of historic Quarterpath Road. The new clearing to begin infrastructure on Riverside’s Quarterpath at Williamsburg community has rekindled anti-growth sentiment.

Three separate projects are going on simultaneously along Quarterpath Road.  They are :

Quarterpath Crossing —A shopping center  being developed on 15 acres bought from Colonial Williamsburg. It will be anchored by a Harris Teeter supermarket. The Crossing will include 85,610 square feet with the grocery accounting for more than half. 21 small stores are available for lease. TowneBank and Wachovia will open branches in two of four outbuildings. It is expected to open by next summer. Quarterpath Crossing’s location is across Route 199 from the main entrance to Kingsmill on the James.

Quarterpath at Williamsburg —Riverside Health System has received state approval to build a 120-bed nursing home at Quarterpath at Williamsburg, a 350-acre mixed-use development at the intersection of state Route 199 and U.S. 60. Plans for the project include 1,374 dwellings (including single-family homes, town houses and condos) 200,000 square feet of medical office space, 202,000 square feet of offices space and 400,000 square of “destination” retail use. Riverside also is seeking state approval for Doctors Hospital of Williamsburg, a 40-bed hospital for the site.  This new street will wind through the woods past a nursing home, assisted living, medical office park and retail and residential areas. The street will connect with Route 60 near the 7-Eleven.  There is  no timetable for construction.

The residential neighborhood will feature a second street running from Battery Boulevard back to Quarterpath Road, intersecting just below the redoubts near Route 60.

Village at Quarterpath —The north end of Quarterpath Road is closed because of construction and road improvements associated with a 77-unit mix of townhouses priced from $280,000 and detached homes from $399,000. The Village at Quarterpath is a mixture of stand-alone houses and townhouses, which will be situated around a central greenspace. A band of trees sitting in the otherwise cleared site, marks where the park will be. Construction began last year. Finished homes are currently available for sale

There will be no direct vehicle access between the Village at Quarterpath and the other two developments. That’s because the city elected to close the road at Tutters Neck Pond and convert it to a walking and biking trail, with access to Redoubt Park commemorating the Civil War.

The Village at Quarterpath features townhome and single family homes with a variety of master down and master up floor plans. Stately and traditional  plans  blend into the celebrated landscape of the surrounding areas. Distinctive design and architectural appointments  highlight each home.
     

 

The current HOA Homeowner Association Fees at The Village at Quarterpath are $ 50.00 monthly for detached homes and $87.50  monthly for town homes. This includes exterior lawn maintenance, common area maintenance and a scheduled roof replacement for the town homes.
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Quarterpath is located within the city limit of Williamsburg and enjoys the lower tax rate of the city as well as other benefits. It is located across the street from the Quarterpath Recreation center which offers the following :

 

 

 

As 23-acre facility that includes three lighted softball fields; a 25-meter, 6- lane, z-shaped outdoor swimming pool; three all-weather tennis courts; playground equipment; and a picnic shelter that will accommodate approximately 75 people.

 

Quarterpath Park is also the site of the Quarterpath Recreation Center, a 35,000 square foot facility that was renovated in 2002. The Recreation Center houses offices for the recreation staff, an 18,000 sq. ft. double gymnasium, a 1,700 sq. ft. dance/aerobics room, two classrooms and a 1,900 sq. ft. multipurpose room. Various instructional classes, athletic programs for youth and adults, sports camps, and special events are held throughout the year at this facility.
A short walk away is  Redoubt Park, located on Quarterpath Road,  dedicated on May 5, 2007 to celebrate the 145th Anniversary of the Battle of Williamsburg. When Virginia left the Union on April 17, 1861, Southern leaders recognized that the Federal army could approach their capital at Richmond by way of Williamsburg. Benjamin Stoddard Ewell, a West Point graduate and president of the College of William & Mary, conceived the construction of the Williamsburg defensive line. During the summer of 1861, Confederate Army of the Peninsula commander General John Bankhead Magruder organized the construction of 14 redoubts between College and Queens creeks. The two redoubts, #1 and #2, preserved in Redoubt Park, were built by soldiers and slaves to guard Quarterpath Road and the right flank of the Williamsburg Line overlooking Tutters’ Mill Pond. On May 5, 1862, the Williamsburg Line was the scene of a terrific battle with over 3800 Union and Confederate casualties. This inconclusive engagement left the Union in control of the Virginia Peninsula. These fortifications remain a stark tribute to those who served, defining America’s future.
Special Pricing Until further notice on existing inventory Townhomes start at $280,000. Single family homes start at $399,000 and include many different options and upgrades.

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

Please let me know if you are planning a trip to the area and would like to explore Quarterpath or any other home/ community in the area. I would be happy to assist in suggesting / reserving lodging for you.

For further information about  real estate , homes, communities or building lots in Williamsburg, James City, New Kent or York County Virginia  contact:

John Womeldorf/ REALTOR

Liz Moore & Associates 757 254 8136

What’s My Home Worth ?  Click here to find out.

..See what clients are saying about Mr Williamsburg  

John@MrWilliamsburg.com  email

www.MrWilliamsburg.com/   website

www.MrBurg.com website

  

www.MrHamptonroads.com/  website

www.MrTidewater.com/   website

www.MrVaBeach.com/  website

  

Williamsburg Real Estate Resource. Search for Homes & Land for sale in Williamsburg Virginia & surrounding areas  click here :CLICK HERE WILLIAMSBURG VA MLS HOME SEARCH

  CLICK HERE FOR Real Estate Home Search  Tidewater Hampton Roads Va 

  

My other area Real Estate and Information Blogs for Hampton Roads/ Tidewater/ Williamsburg Virignia and surrounding areas

Williamsburg Real Estate Blog II

Williamsburg Real Estate Blog

Williamsburg Happenings/ Events Blog

 Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Williamsburg Va real estate search

 

 Riverside Health System has received state approval to build a 120-bed nursing home at Quarterpath at Williamsburg, a 350-acre mixed-use development at the intersection of state Route 199 and U.S. 60. Plans for the project include 1,374 dwellings (including single-family homes, town houses and condos) 200,000 square feet of medical office space, 202,000 square feet of offices space and 400,000 square of “destination” retail use. Riverside also is seeking state approval for Doctors Hospital of Williamsburg, a 40-bed hospital for the site.  

 

 

Williamsburg Va Liberty Ridge New Development Estate Lots

 Liberty Ridge a  new 550-acre community in Williamsburg has now been officially launched. 

Liberty Ridge features an enviable location, just ten minutes from Colonial Williamsburg and Interstate 64. East West is sculpting the beautiful, heavily wooded terrain into 138 large estate sized homesites ranging in size from three to nine acres. The grand main entrance, located on Centerville Road, will reflect the colonial history of surrounding Williamsburg and James City County.

 Liberty Ridge is a beautiful property blessed with rolling terrain and an extensive canopy of mature hardwood trees. With every detail of the land plan we have painstakingly attempted to preserve the trees and the natural environment. Liberty Ridge will truly blend in and complement the rural nature of James City County. 

Residents and visitors to Liberty Ridge will feel as if they are in a countryside setting. The estate-size homesites and meticulous attention to the preservation of the environment will give residents a feeling of being nicely removed from the hustle and bustle, yet conveniently located within the dynamic Williamsburg community. The homesites, which start at $250,000, are now available for purchase.

 

The home designs in Liberty Ridge will pay homage to the past. Featured builders will create distinctive custom homes reminiscent of home styles from the past, such as English Cottage, Craftsman Cottage, timeless Traditionals, Georgians, classic American and European architectural styles. Along with new home designs, we will showcase many Southern classic designs which have become so popular in the southeast. There will be an emphasis on Water Smart landscape planning and exterior architectural details. Stone and hardiplank siding will be featured, as will traditional brick exteriors. The larger homesites will enable homeowners to have quality ‘dream homes’ built with high-end custom features, such as three and four-car garages. It will be the perfect opportunity for people to create their own private retreat within a community.” 

Plans for Liberty Ridge include  a resort-style pool, residents’ clubhouse, playground for the kids and two community parks for social and picnic gatherings. In addition, more than three miles of community walking and biking trail systems will provide opportunities for residents to explore the natural beauty of the land. And with the county’s 689-acre Freedom Park next door, Liberty Ridge homeowners can add mountain biking and hiking to their list of pastimes for enjoying the great outdoors. 

 Liberty Ridge will appeal to a variety of buyers desiring large homesites in a master-planned community. Whether future homeowners are local buyers or new residents to the area, they will enjoy the proximity of Liberty Ridge to Colonial Williamsburg. 

  The developer has successfully developed 35 communities across seven states, including six award-winning Hampton Roads communities: Founders Pointe and Eagle Harbor in Isle of Wight County; The Riverfront in Northern Suffolk; Gatling Pointe and Gatling Pointe South in Smithfield; and Riverwatch in Gloucester. Most recently, The Riverfront was named as the first and sole inductee in the Tidewater Builders Association Community Hall of Fame. Since 1972, East West has been known for innovative land planning, an unwavering commitment to the environment and for building communities offering year-round, resort-style living. 

 

 For further information about Liberty Ridge or real estate , homes, communities, lots in Williamsburg, James City, New Kent or York County Virginia  contact:

John Womeldorf/ REALTOR

Liz Moore & Associates 757 254 8136

John@MrWilliamsburg.com  email

www.MrWilliamsburg.com/   website

www.MrBurg.com website

 

www.MrHamptonroads.com/  website

www.MrTidewater.com/   website

www.MrVaBeach.com/  website

 

Williamsburg Real Estate Resource. Search for Homes & Land for sale in Williamsburg Virginia & surrounding areas  click here :CLICK HERE WILLIAMSBURG VA MLS HOME SEARCH

CLICK HERE FOR Real Estate Home Search  Tidewater Hampton Roads Va 

 

My other area Real Estate and Information Blogs for Hampton Roads/ Tidewater/ Williamsburg Virignia and surrounding areas

Williamsburg Real Estate Blog II

Williamsburg Real Estate Blog

Williamsburg Happenings/ Events Blog

 Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Williamsburg Va real estate search

 

 

Is Williamsburg getting a Costco/ Sams Club ?

Williamsburg York County Virginia Real EstateClick here to find out more!

| The Virginia Gazette   YORK – 29 acres between Williams­burg Ford and Great Wolf Lodge are in play for a 150,000-square-foot retail store.Planning documents indicate a single retail store along Rochambeau Drive and a 4,700-square-foot gas station with six pumps on 23 acres that are already zoned Economic Opportunity.

The documents filed this week indicate the store would be a wholesale retailer such as Sam’s Club, BJs or Costco. The proximity to Wal-Mart suggests Sam’s Club, although the traffic study used Costco as a model.

That would rub salt in the wound for James City County, which has resisted big-box stores but has to suffer their road traffic.

The business is projected to employ 200-300 employees at an average wage of $17 an hour and bring in around $125 million in sales worth millions to York County.

Property owner Alex Perkins said that because of a non-disclosure agreement he cannot reveal the retailer. He would retain ownership of six acres with the intention of selling them as out-parcels.

“We have not officially signed the contract but we have been given a nod by a major retailer,” he said.

The sale of the land is contingent on the approval of the special use permit and whether the site budget shakes out in favor of the retailer.

“The president of the company has given us the nod that they are going to move forward with it as long as all the budget numbers makes sense,” Perkins said.

Earlier this year the York supervisors denied an application to timber the property because no site plans had been filed.

Perkins said the application was not so much about timbering the land for profit as it was about getting the property ready for formal site preparations. With the new special use permit, the plans to timber the site are moot.

The property has a tributary stream along the southeastern property line, which feeds into the Waller Mill Reservoir. The area is within the county’s watershed management and protection area and a 200-foot buffer would be required along the stream.

The City of Williamsburg, which owns the reservoir, has fought any development near the watershed for fear of runoff contamination.

City manager Jack Tuttle said that he is concerned about the possibility of a gas station going in near the watershed.

“We want to watch development in the watershed,” Tuttle said. “We’re certainly concerned about any hazardous materials that could leak into the reservoir.”

The application is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission next month.

New Waterfront home development

Williamsburg York County Virginia Real Estate

 

A Newport News development company plans to build 47 homes in a gated community on 1,000 acres along the Gloucester side of the York River, with home prices averaging around $1 million.

The property juts into the river and is bordered by Timberneck and Cedar Bush creeks. Formerly owned by the Catlett family, it features a two-story farmhouse built in 1805 that the developers intend to renovate and move elsewhere on the property before giving it to the Gloucester County Historical Society.

Timberneck LLC paid $11 million for 1,034 acres last August, Gloucester County property records show. The land and buildings have an assessed value of $4.2 million.

Ben Williams, president of the development firm, told the Gloucester County Planning Commission Thursday night that the project is a “preservation development.” The firm intends to seek a rezoning on 650 acres of the property to allow it to build a planned-unit development.

No formal application has been filed yet. Thursday night’s presentation was a pre-application presentation.

Large swaths of the property’s interior will continue to be farmed in winter wheat, corn and soybeans using a no-till method, Williams said. Homes will encircle the property that will continue to be farmed, with other sections planted in pine forest.

The company plans to give the Catlett Islands, which are the farthest points into the river, to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for preservation and study, and to ensure they won’t be developed, he said.

Preliminary drawings show 47 lots on the property, many of them waterfront. Williams said lots would go from $400,000 to up to $1.5 million for a 14-acre parcel where Timberneck Hall sits near the confluence of Timberneck Creek and the York River.

Home prices would range from $800,000 to $1.2 million, Williams said. Sizes would range up to 5,500 square feet.

Members of the commission questioned Williams extensively about Timberneck Hall, the 19th-century farmhouse that will be moved and renovated. Williams said it will be cheaper to move the home than leave it where it is and remodel it.

Commission member Hal McVey said he is disturbed that developers plan to move the house.

“I don’t see how for the life of me it can be less expensive to move it across the whole piece of property than leave it where it is now,” he said.

Williams said it is a valid concern and something the developers haven’t taken lightly. He said it will cost $500,000 to move the building and restore it to a condition that will preserve it. It’s far cheaper than trying to remodel it to make it inhabitable, he said.

“I’m not sure there’s anybody who’d want to live in it,” Williams said. “It’s not a plantation house. It’s not a Warner Hall.”

Commission member Keith Belvin, who lives across Timberneck Creek from the property, said he is excited about the project “as far as setting a precedent for preservation development.”

The Thursday night meeting was continued to June 28, when members of the commission will meet at the property at 9:30 a.m. for a tour by Williams and other members of the development team. The tour is open to the public because it’s a public meeting.