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  • 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
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    • Haunting on DoG Street Returns!
      Join us as we celebrate the Halloween season with new evening programs, ghost tours, spooky carriage rides, museum talks, and trick-or-treating on DoG Street. Special Events Trick-or-Treating on DoG Street Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29 | 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. This Halloween season, Colonial Williamsburg depicts a world turned upside down. The British hav […]
    • John Ross Hamant, 1949 – 2017: An Appreciation
      It is with heavy hearts that we note the passing of longtime Colonial Williamsburg Foundation employee and veteran character interpreter, John Hamant.  Mr. Hamant, a Baltimore native, earned a bachelor’s degree in theater production and a master’s degree in acting and directing from the University of Arizona, but it was his love of archaeology that first...R […]
    • Handling the Heat: Animal Safety & High Temperatures
      The heat index soared this weekend, and that naturally raises questions about safety—for both our costumed interpreters and animals. Besides plenty of water, breaks, and shade, Coach & Livestock utilizes a heat index policy for working animals.  Cattle—like dogs—cannot sweat, so they are removed from work when the heat index reaches 95°.  Horses can swea […]
    • THE WORD ON DOG STREET: REVERSING ATTENDANCE TRENDS
      The word on DoG Street is that the program changes at Colonial Williamsburg over the past few years have led to a decline in attendance. In fact, just the opposite is true. In 2014, after President Mitchell Reiss and his new team brought innovative program changes to CW, attendance rose after a seven-year decline. For...Read More »
    • An Open Letter to the Colonial Williamsburg Community
      The role of Williamsburg in America’s founding is nothing short of extraordinary. In the years leading up to the Revolution, this colonial capital city was a thriving center of culture, enterprise, education — and revolutionary ideas. It was here — in these homes, government halls and taverns — that Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and so...Read More » […]
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Annual Parade of Homes Returns to Richmond VA in October 2015 with More New Homes to Tour

The Parade of Homes, sponsored by Trust Mortgage Corporation, will be held October 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18, 2015. Hours are from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free.

The Home Building Association of Richmond (HBAR) is proud to announce that the 64th Annual Parade of Homes event will return to the Greater Richmond area in October 2015. This event is the premier program showcasing the best new homes in the region and is free for the public. The Parade of Homes begins on October 3 and will run for the first three weekends of the month.

There will be 82 new homes and 2 multi-family properties built by 33 builder members in this year’s show, and more than half are decorated models. This number of homes represents an over 15 percent increase in entries from 2014, providing attendees even more new homes and trends to tour.

The Parade of Homes, sponsored by Trust Mortgage Corporation, will be held October 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18, 2015. Hours are from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free.

The homes are located throughout the Greater Richmond area including the Counties of Chesterfield, Goochland,Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George and the City of Richmond. This is the best opportunity to see every type of new home imaginable, showcasing the latest in designs, construction techniques, and materials, at prices ranging from the $200s to over $850,000. Plus, you can take advantage of touring two multi-family properties in RVA offering an unparalleled urban-type lifestyle.

The Parade of Homes Plan Book  will include detailed information about the event and the individual homes on the tour, including home designs, floor plans and descriptions, detailed directions to each home, and a map. The magazine is free and will be available beginning Saturday, September 19 at Richmond area Martin’s and Kroger supermarkets, as well as at HBAR headquarters, 400 N. Ridge Road, in western Henrico County. This website will also feature a linked map showcasing entries in a specific area of interest and a special search by criteria section to make it even easier to find your new dream home. You can download a copy on the Parade of Homes website after Sept 19th.  Richmond VA Parade of Homes

Richmond VA Parade of Homes 2014

Whether you’re considering purchasing or building a new home, you’ll find what you need at the 63rd annual Richmond VA Parade of Homes. Each year, this event has grown in popularity and has become Richmond’s premier showcase of new homes. This year is no exception as you can tour 70 new homes located throughout the Greater Richmond VA area including the Counties of Henrico, Hanover, King William, New Kent, Chesterfield, Powhatan, and the City of Richmond. This is your best opportunity to see every type of new home imaginable, showcasing the latest in designs, construction techniques and materials, at prices ranging from the $190’s to $1,450,000. Plus, you can take advantage of touring the remodeled home to see how you can modernize your existing home.

Download the planbook here

View map here

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This event is presented by the Home Building Association of Richmond (HBAR), a non-profit trade association founded in 1946 and an affiliate of the Home Builders Association of Virginia and the National Association of Home Builders. HBAR members include builders, developers, remodelers, Realtors®, mortgage lenders, suppliers, subcontractors, and many others that relate to the residential construction industry.

More info here

Meg Ryan Film Produced by Tom Hanks to be filmed in Virginia

Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Ithaca will be filmed in Virginia this June and July.  Actress Meg Ryan will direct and play a role in the movie along with Sam Shepard and Ms. Ryan’s son, Jack Quaid.  Tom Hanks and his production company Playtone will be executive producers on the film set during WW II and based on William Saroyan’s 1942 book The Human Comedy.  One of Saroyan’s most popular novels, this coming-of-age story is a poignant and tender chronicle of the challenges of growing up during wartime. 

“We couldn’t be happier that Meg Ryan has chosen Virginia as the location for her directorial debut,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Ithaca is a heart-warming story, and we are proud that it will be shot in the Commonwealth.  We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks on this film about an important time in American history.”

Meg Ryan commented, “The welcome we’ve received from Governor McAuliffe and the Commonwealth of Virginia has been lovely. We’re happily surprised by the cinemagraphic opportunities, the talent of the filmmaking community and the variety of resources at our disposal. We couldn’t be more delighted to be here.”

Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds noted, “Ithaca supports our mission of bringing jobs to the Commonwealth and expanding our workforce in television and film production.  It will provide exceptional opportunities for our crew and actors, as well as for Virginia businesses that provide goods and services for films.”

Ithaca will begin filming in July – August in the Richmond – Petersburg area, and will be eligible to receive a Virginia Film Tax Credit and Grant.  The exact amount will be based on Virginia workers hired, Virginia goods and services purchased and deliverables including Virginia Tourism promotion.  In 2012 the total economic impact of the film and television industry in Virginia totaled $328.4 million and provided 3,061 jobs and $50.5 million in tax revenue.

Renegade gardener digs in, fights Home Owner Association

A Chesterfield County VA  resident is determined to fight his homeowner’s association for the right to keep a garden in the front yard of his family’s home — even if it ends up costing him $900 in the process.

In a letter dated May 28, the Brandermill Community Association informed Chris Gilson and his wife, Teresa Collier, that their garden’s location constitutes a violation of the community’s restrictive property covenants.

The letter gave them until June 14 to correct the violation and noted that if they failed to remove the garden, they’d be charged $10 per day for 90 days or until the property was brought into compliance.

“We try to get people to do the right thing,” said John Bailey, community manager for the community association. “When they ignore that, we have to ratchet it up a little.”

Contacted on the afternoon of June 14, Gilson made it clear that he had no intention of digging up his garden. He says he has contacted an attorney and may decide to fight the covenant violation in court if it gets that far.

“Maybe I’ll be the one who stands up and [the community association] will realize, ‘Yeah, this is kind of stupid; maybe we should change our rules,’” Gilson said in a telephone interview.

More of the story here

What about you ? Have any HOA horror stories to share ?

New gourmet market coming to Richmond VA

Southern Season has  announced plans to open a store in in Staples Mill Centre, an 80-acre, urban mixed-use community located between West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road in Henrico County, Virginia.

The 49,000-square foot   retail store will be a “culinary mecca,” offering a wide variety of gourmet foods, an extensive wine selection, hard to find grocery items, housewares, cookware, candy, cut flowers, coffee shop, ice cream shop, tasting stations, take-out prepared food, cheese, gifts and a bakery. The store will also feature a full-service restaurant and cooking school.

Based in Chapel Hill, N.C., Southern Season operates a 60,000-square foot flagship gourmet food emporium there. It recently announced plans to open its second store, in the summer of 2013 in Charleston, S.C. The Henrico County store will be the company’s third. The company has announced an expansion plan that will involve launching new stores in Charlotte, N.C., Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Ga., Nashville, Tenn., Northern Virginia, Palm Beach, Fla., and Naples, Fla. “We are excited to bring the Southern Season experience to Richmond. We plan to carry on the tradition of offering the full-service experience our customers have grown to love. The new store will include one of the world’s largest gourmet food markets with a vast selection of local and international products,” said Clay Hamner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Season Acquisition Corp., owner of Southern Season. Gumenick Properties believes Southern Season will fit well with its plans for the new community

Construction of the store will begin in the fall of 2013 with a grand opening set for mid-2014. 

 Staples Mill Centre, a new $434 million mixed-use community on a 79.5-acre site along Staples Mill Road in Henrico County, VA.. Gumenick Properties is the developer for Staples Mill Centre, a new $434 million mixed-use community on a 79.5-acre site along Staples Mill Road in Henrico County, VA..

When finished, the company says the project is projected to have 994 homes, 1,096 apartments, about 150,000 square feet of retail space and 50,000 square feet of office space. As it has done with other local projects, the company will employ the creative use of architecture to give the community character. Gumenick Properties intends to draw on the rich architectural heritage of Central Virginia. Staples Mill Centre will have the intimacy, scale and ambiance of area neighborhoods during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This neighborhood will offer single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums for sale. It also will have apartments, offices and retail spaces for rent. Gumenick Properties will build, occupy and maintain its own company offices there.

In addition to commercial tenants, the mixed use project will have a library. Henrico County announced in June that it’s building a new public library in the community to replace the current Dumbarton Library. The three-story library will be located next to a two-acre lake with a fountain that eventually will be surrounded by residences and shops.

Based in Henrico, Gumenick Properties is an award-winning real-estate development and property management company with operations throughout the Southeast. Founded in the late-1940s, the company engages primarily in the development and operation of apartments and in homebuilding. Gumenick Properties is currently developing the Grayson Hill and Monument Square communities in Henrico.

Map location Staples Mill Centre

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Kroger opens massive Marketplace store in Richmond

Kroger  unveiled its largest Richmond store and plans for an aggressive expansion strategy.Thousands of shoppers turned out Wednesday for the opening of the Kroger’s first mega-store in its mid-Atlantic region in Richmond VA

The 123,600-square-foot Kroger Marketplace store is unlike the chain’s traditional grocery stores. In addition to selling groceries, prepared foods and bakery items, the store carries furniture, jewelry, kitchen supplies and home decor – from rugs to soap dishes – It  boast huge areas of fresh produce, including organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

There was plenty to see, taste and touch at the store, a prototype Kroger is rolling out aggressively in the next five years. While some retailers such as Walmart started with a variety of hard and soft merchandise and then added groceries, Kroger is moving in the opposite direction.

In addition to launching a 123,000-square-foot Kroger Marketplace in the old Cloverleaf Mall at Midlothian Turnpike and Chippenham Parkway, the grocery chain is working on its next local store planned in the Henrico area of Richmond .That store is scheduled to open in 2014.

The company also has a 124,000-square-foot Marketplace store under construction in Virginia Beach at the former Super Kmart site on Holland Road. That store is planned for an opening in 2013

Virginia Launches The LINCOLN Movie Trail

-Spielberg’s biopic LINCOLN is the subject of a new trail that connects film sites, restaurants and shops in Richmond and Petersburg-

The worlds of movie magic and travel are set to come together in Virginia with the launch of The LINCOLN Movie Trail.  LINCOLN, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, opens today nationwide.  The movie was filmed 100 percent in Virginia at sites in Richmond and Petersburg.  The state tourism office has created a self-guided trail and interactive Web site to help movie and history buffs visit actual film locations that are open for visitors as well as restaurants, bars and shops that were favorites of the stars.  The trail experience includes special LINCOLN tours by Segway and guided walking tours.The worlds of movie magic and travel are set to come together in Virginia with the launch of The LINCOLN Movie Trail.  LINCOLN, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis, opens today nationwide.  The movie was filmed 100 percent in Virginia at sites in Richmond and Petersburg.  The state tourism office has created a self-guided trail and interactive Web site to help movie and history buffs visit actual film locations that are open for visitors as well as restaurants, bars and shops that were favorites of the stars.  The trail experience includes special LINCOLN tours by Segway and guided walking tours.

Notable film locations that are open for visitors include the Virginia State Capitol, historic downtown Petersburg and the Empire Theater. Each participating trail site is marked with an iconic "LINCOLN was Here" graphic, with more information online about each site’s connection to the movie.  An interactive trail map as well as LINCOLN travel packages, special offers and unique guided tours are on www.Virginia.org/LINCOLN.

Online visitors can also learn about historic sites in Virginia where President Lincoln himself visited during the Civil War.  The online trip planner will help build a personalized itinerary complete with museums, restaurants and lodging options.