• 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

Hinckley lawyer wants to quit after 20 years

imageBarry Levine , The lawyer who has spent almost two decades representing John Hinckley Jr. is quitting after Hinckley’s family said it would no longer pay the legal bills for his quest to spend more time at his mother’s Kingsmill home in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Levine submitted a motion Friday afternoon seeking to end his participation in the case, along with that of other lawyers at his D.C.-based firm, Dickstein Shapiro.

Continue reading


Breaking News- Williamsburg City to allow Four persons in rental homes

From the Flat Hat: The Williamsburg VA City Council has approved a resolution at its Dec. 10 meeting that will allow landlords to submit their properties for permits that would expand the residential occupancy limit to four unrelated individuals.

The resolution, which was prepared outside of council by Vice Mayor Clyde Haulman, was approved by a 3-2 margin, with Judy Knudson and Bobby Braxton voting against.

Under the amended ordinance, properties within the city’s four rental inspection districts that exceed 2000 square feet would, under administrative approval, be eligible to allow up to four unrelated tenants. The properties would have to meet the approval of the city’s zoning administrator.

“I do this because, in essence, the three person rule remains in effect. What this does is allow certain exceptions when [criteria] are met.” Haulman said, “I also do this because there has been an effort by the College and the students … to engage in the process.”

What are those gates on I64 ?

hurricane_gate interstate 64 Question: Can you tell me what the gates are for on interstate 64 at the exit ramps ?

Since almost all of the clients I work with ask this question I figured I would post the answer. If you have lived in Williamsburg or Hampton Roads Va for a while then you most likely know that the  gates on the on and off ramps to the interstate are  used for Hurricane evacuation.

In the event of a hurricane or other disaster, the governor can order an interstate lane reversal to help evacuate Hampton Roads.
Should this occur, all lanes on I-64 will carry westbound traffic.

If a hurricane is due to hit the gates are dropped making  all lanes will be out bound from towards  Richmond VA only…so that means both the east and west bound lanes will travel only west.

Where Are the Gates?

Gates are located on the eastbound ramps along Interstate 64 from exit 273 east of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to exit 200 at Interstate 295 in Richmond for use as part of the I-64 lane reversal, if the governor should call one.

Why Are There Gates at Each End of the Ramp?
Gates are on either side of each ramp to make sure the ramps are completely inaccessible when closed. This prevents motorists from driving on shoulders to go around gates.

If the Gates Are Down, How Do I Exit the Interstate?
There will be only two exits for reversed traffic before I-295:

  • Exit 234 in Williamsburg (where services include gas, food, lodging and a hospital)
  • Exit 205 at Bottoms Bridge (where services include gas and food)

hurricane_lane_reversal interstate 64Motorists exiting the reversed lanes cannot re-enter the reversed lanes. Once a motorist exits the reversed lanes, they can re-enter I-64 using the normal I-64 westbound ramps.
A temporary comfort station will be located on I-64 at Jefferson Avenue (mile marker 255) to provide restrooms and water.

Motorists cannot exit I-64 at Jefferson Avenue. Farther west, New Kent County safety rest areas will be open.
What Happens at the Interstate 295 Interchange?

  • The I-64 reversal ends at the I-295 interchange east of Richmond.
  • Motorists on I-64 west lanes must take Exit 200 and travel on I-295 north toward Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia or I-295 south toward Petersburg.
  • Motorists on I-64 reversed lanes (normally eastbound) will cross over to I-64 west lanes and continue west toward the I-95 interchange. See Exit 200 map for more information.

This link will explain more


Hurricane Evacuation Guide For Hampton Roads VA

Hurricane Evacuation Guide
Preparing for a hurricane
What is a hurricane?
Storm surge and evacuation
Bridge, tunnel and ferry closures
Interstate 64 lane reversal
Hurricane gates on I-64
Disaster supplies
More info
Order a hurricane guide

Calling all Williamsburg Business Owners

Ever participated in a “Meetup?” Mr Williamsburg and The Liz Moore eTEAM has launched its latest marketing initiative – The Williamsburg-Peninsula Internet Marketing Group!

img_invite11-4 What is it? A group of local business owners who will gather (physically) on a monthly basis to learn, collaborate, share ideas and generally network with a theme of building their online presence.

This will not be your  average networking meet-up. There’s no guise of self-promotion. We’re focused on sharing valuable knowledge among local business owners.

The group will also gather “virtually” at the meetup website, just visit http://www.meetup.com/Williamsburg-Peninsula-Internet-Marketing-Group/  to check us out!

Our first meeting will be Wednesday, November 4th, from 4-5 at the Liz Moore building in Williamsburg ( Across from the Green Leafe) for wine and cheese and our organizational meeting. It’s free, so come and join us – sign up by visiting the link above.

Williamsburg ,Newport News and VA Beach Virginia named Great Places and Streets

Duke of Gloucester Street, Hilton Village in Newport News and The Boardwalk in Virginia Beach have each been named Great Streets, Great Neighborhoods and Great Public Places of America by The American Planning Association

Each was one of only 10 selected in 2009

The American Planning Association (APA) has announced that Duke of Gloucester Street has been designated one of 10 Great Streets for 2009 by APA’s Great Places in America program.   There will be a ceremony to mark the achievement Saturday, October 31 at 9am on Duke of Gloucester Street.
APA singled out Duke of Gloucester Street for its unique ability to evoke the past at the same time it maintains a lively mix of modern-day uses. Early visionaries, with the financial backing of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., transformed Duke of Gloucester from a vehicle-dominated U.S. Highway to a pedestrian street that recreates the Williamsburg of 200 years ago. While it is a living history museum, Duke of Gloucester is also a vibrant community street for residents and the College of William and Mary. 

"We’re very excited to single out Duke of Gloucester as one of this year’s Great Streets," said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer, FAICP. "While many people think of Duke of Gloucester as just part of a historic district, it actually serves present-day needs with Merchants Square. There aren’t very many streets in America like this, and we commend city leaders and citizens for their thoughtful and grand vision to revert this once-U.S. highway into a living museum," he added.
Located at the center of Williamsburg, founded in 1699, Duke of Gloucester Street is home to restored and reconstructed houses, shops, religious and governmental buildings erected in their original locations during the 18th century, as well as the modern day shopping district known as Merchants Square. Flanked by the reconstructed Capitol Building to the east and the College of William and Mary’s historic campus to the west, the street has been visited by historical figures both early and late including former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.
Working with historic preservation advocate the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, Rockefeller began acquiring privately owned properties along the street in 1926. The purchases, along with the support and backing of the town, eventually led to reconstruction of more than 80 buildings along the mile-long street based upon archaeological investigations and historic records.
In addition to Rockefeller’s major investment, Duke of Gloucester Street has been shaped by six comprehensive plans and related measures dating to 1953. Outcomes of these plans included closing the street to motor vehicle traffic beginning in 1969 and requiring review of new buildings and building alterations by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals and Architectural Review Board. Other steps involved locating parking on the interior blocks of Merchants Square so cars would not detract from the colonial views and atmosphere recreated along the street.

Hilton Village in Newport News was the first of some 100 federally financed housing projects during World War I.  Historic Hilton Village today remains much as it did when it was first planned and built in 1918-19. On the east bank of the James River about three miles north of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., the village is patterned after principles and designs of the late-19th century Garden City movement begun in the United Kingdom by Sir Ebenezer Howard. The city established a historic overlay district for the village in 1969, the same year the neighborhood was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The village is compact with amenities and commercial areas within easy walking or bicycling distance of the homes, which are mostly in the Jacobethan, Dutch Colonial, and Georgian Colonial architectural styles. A streetcar originally transported workers between the neighborhood and the shipyards.  

VA Beach Boardwalk was originally from wooden planks during the nation’s Gilded Age, the five-block promenade attracted thousands of Victorian vacationers. Today, more than 2.2 million people visit the three-mile-long concrete boardwalk each year and it is an integral part of the City of Virginia Beach’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism. As such, the boardwalk has been the focus of numerous improvement and planning efforts, the most recent of which explores extending a light rail line from Norfolk to the boardwalk.

The boardwalk extends 40 city blocks between Rudee Inlet to the south and 40th Street to the north.

Popular among residents and tourists alike, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk offers an abundance of cultural, recreational and historical events and activities. From its de rigueur amusement park and fishing pier to the Naval Aviation Monument, the boardwalk presents an unparalleled range of sights, sounds and diversions.

Since its construction in 1888, the boardwalk has been a community treasure. Reminders of the boardwalk’s historic past are the 1895 deWitt Cottage — the oldest beach house along the city’s oceanfront — and the 1903 Coast Guard Station, which stands on site of the waterfront’s original 1870s Seatack Life Saving Station.

APA Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live. They are enjoyable, safe, and desirable. They are places where people want to be — not only to visit, but to live and work every day. America’s truly great streets, neighborhoods and public spaces are defined by many criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement

For more information about these areas and , as well as lists of the 2009 APA 10 Great Neighborhoods, Streets and 10 Great Public Spaces, visit www.planning.org/greatplaces.

James City County Harvest Festival featuring the Haunted Forest

hauntedforestOur family has attended  The Haunted Forest for many years. While overshadowed by Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens this volunteer effort hosted by James City County has always been great fun for our kids ( and the adults ! ).
It has moved this year to Chickahominy Riverfront Park from  it’s previous venue at Upper County Park.  The date for the event is Saturday, October 17, 2009 from 2-8pm.

James City County has combined The Haunted Forest with the Fall Harvest Festival this year . It will feature  local bluegrass and folk music, a DJ and entertainment,  crafts,  agriculture and fair foods, rides, art and craft vendors, a Farmer‟s Market, fall food favorites and more!
Begin the afternoon by making the biggest, the best, and maybe the only scarecrow in your neighborhood. Stuff „em, paint „em, name „em, and take „em home! Make this a family activity and create a scarecrow together.
Stay for the Haunted Forest if you dare to venture out after dark and experience the journey for the fun, for the fright, for the things that go bump in the night!
Children 6 and younger, along with their parents, will especially enjoy Goblinville with its moonwalks and a pumpkin patch hayride traveling through a maze of pumpkin faces and Nursery Rhyme Characters. In the Fall Fest Family Area you‟ll also enjoy the costume contest, pumpkin bowling, arts and crafts and games. Don‟t forget your camera!

Info: www.jccEgov.com/recreation  or 259-3200.
  Journey through the forest: $1/person. (Wear a costume and take the journey for half-price!) Parking $3 a car.

Scarecrow Stuffing, 2-6pm, $17/scarecrow, , first come, first served while supplies last!

If it’s a warm day you may want to rent a canoe, kayak or jon boat and do some exploring or fishing on the scenic Chickahominy River.


If approaching from Hampton Roads, follow Interstate 64W to Exit 242A. This will be Route 199 towards Jamestown. Follow 199 to the Monticello Ave exit. Turn left onto Monticello Ave and head straight for 8 miles. Monticello Ave will turn into John Tyler Hwy or Rt 5, the Park is the last driveway on the right before the bridge over to Charles City County.

If approaching from Richmond, follow Interstate 64E to Exit 234.This will be Route 199 towards Williamsburg. Follow 199 to the Monticello Ave exit. Turn right onto Monticello Ave and go straight for 8 miles. Monticello Ave will turn into John Tyler Hwy or Rt 5, the Park is the last driveway on the right before the bridge over to Charles City County

Map of Chickahominy Riverfront Park

View Williamsburg VA Neighborhoods in a larger map

Another Huge Developer Foreclosure in Williamsburg, VA

UPDATE- January /2009

The foreclosure was postponed in late September, however. At the time, substitute trustee Peter Zemanian postponed the scheduled sale “to facilitate discussions that are ongoing among the lender and property owner

With negotiations over, the auction has been rescheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 5 at the Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse.
The owner is in default of a $55 million loan and owes at least $68,823 in back taxes on the four properties that make up the tract, according to documents provided by Zemanian.
A $100,000 deposit is required to bid on the land.

Terms of the foreclosure sale require the buyer to honor the terms of those businesses’ leases. The land itself is in foreclosure, not the individual businesses operating within the shopping center.


Will Settlers Market in New Town become the next Marquis debacle ?

According to a notice in a local newspaper there is a foreclosure sale scheduled for the land and property currently owned by AIG Baker Williamsburg LLC. The sale will not affect the operation of Trader Joes , Bakers Trust or BB& T Bank . Nor will it have an effect on the leases already signed by Michaels Arts and Crafts which haven’t yet started construction. It had been rumored that Home Goods and Steinmart had signed leases in Settlers Market. No mention of those stores either.

Plans for the Wal Mart Neighborhood Market, an upscale boutique market seem to be up in the air. A chief plan examiner for the James City County Codes Compliance office, said Friday that while Wal-Mart had applied for a building permit the company had not followed through to actually obtain it.

Wal-Mart originally applied for the building permit for the proposed 40,000-square-foot store in February 2008. If built as planned it would be more than three times the size of Trader Joe’s.  It seems that Wal Mart was released from the deed of trust.

settlersmarketwiliamsburgva Settler’s Market was designed as a  mixed use center with a proposed 350,000 square feet of retail and office along with 210 residential ( Condos) flats and townhouses. So far the only businesses to open have been Trader Joes, BB&T Bank and Bakers Crust restaurant.

The center is located at the northeast intersection of Highway 199 and Monticello Avenue within the New Town Master Plan Development corridor, there are connecting roads and walking trails into New Town.

The property in questions as a combined assessed value of approximately $16 million dollars and is about 42 acres in total area.

The lender on a nearly $55.5 million note has declared the loan in default. The appointed trustee for the lender indicated the loan balance is far below the $55.5 million on the original note.

Five properties currently leased at Settler’s Market are specifically mentioned in a trustee’s sale legal notice as being obligations any successful buyer must honor. They include three already open businesses: Baker’s Crust, a popular southside chain that opened in May; Trader Joe’s and BB&T Bank. Also with signed and protected leases are Cingular Wireless and Michael’s Arts and Crafts, which have not opened.

The property  includes several shell buildings that appear on the verge of occupancy, there is little else at the development. A paved road, complete with decorative street lights and curbs, bends through acres of cleared property. An on-site sales office sits idle for the proposed condo units . This office was closed months ago.

It’s interesting to note that the developer  AIG Baker in their sales brochure was touting a projected  increase in population in James City County of  94% by 2025.

The developer behind Birmingham-based AIG Baker has indicated that the  company’s fortunes are not tied to teetering insurance giant American International Group Inc.

AIG Baker is not a subsidiary of New York-based AIG, though the insurer’s global real estate division is a longtime investor in AIG Baker.

The Federal Reserve has orchestrated what amounts to an $85 billion takeover of AIG to prevent the world’s largest insurer from a bankruptcy filing that could have disrupted global financial markets.

AIG formed a joint venture with then-AB Shopping Center Properties Inc. in 1993. AIG has provided some financing on the front end of projects according to company representatives. The company has projects under way in Alabama New Jersey, Virginia and Texas.

Unless a workout is accomplished with the current lender the sale is scheduled to occur on Monday October 5, 2009 at the Williamsburg and James City County Circuit Court Building.

Stay tuned for further updates

,image Map of Settlers Market, Williamsburg VA












 View Settlers Market in a larger map



5395 This post was 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, www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com  and   www.MrWilliamsburg.com, were created as a comprehensive resource about living in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads, with the hopes of selling a house now and again.  You can reach him at 757.254.8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com.

Outdoor Movie Night in Colonial Williamsburg VA

Movienightinwilliamsburgva With the help and support of the William & Mary Film Club the Blue Talon Restaurant has extended the movie schedule by just a few weeks.  This Sunday Sept 13th, 2009 they will showing the Batman thriller, "The Dark Knight".  Darkness falls around 7:45 or thereabouts, so bring a lawn chair.

(By the way, the Blue Talon will end the 2009 movie season the following Sunday ( Sept 20th, 2009 ) with a surprise cult classic at 9:30)

Thanks to the Blue Talon, the City of Williamsburg, Merchant Square, Middle Peninsula Insurance, a ton of local merchants and all the other folks who made this event possible this year.

Remembering 9/11 in the Williamsburg and Hampton Roads VA area ,2009

A number of area communities will mark the eighth anniversary Friday of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

9-11 Remembering 9/11. Thomas Nelson Community College, events at two locations. Remembrance of the victims of 9/11 is sponsored by the TNCC Student Government Association and the Office of Student Activities. Information: 825-2863.
11 a.m., Hampton Campus Wythe Gallery, 99 Thomas Nelson Drive, Hampton.
Noon, Historic Triangle Campus Student Commons, 4601 Opportunity Way, Williamsburg.
Memorial Service. 6 p.m. St. Matthew’s Anglican Catholic Church, 215 Main St., Newport News. Local fire, police and sheriff’s deputies as well as Virginia State Police have all been invited to attend. Local first responders who have lost their lives will also be remembered. Reception afterward in the parish hall. Information: 595-4318.
Freedom Walk. 5-7 p.m. Langley Speedway, Hampton. Operation Homefront Hampton Roads’ annual walk to honor those who were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, and to express appreciation for emergency workers. Event includes: one-mile walk around the speedway, activities for children and families, a keynote speaker who was a first responder at the World Trade Center. Participants will create "thank you banners" to send to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military families will be able to create video greetings to send to loved ones overseas. Registration begins at 5 p.m. Information: www.operationhomefront.net/hamptonroads
pentagon_9-11"Salute to Hometown Heroes." 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., City Hall Stage/Main Stage, 22 Lincoln St., Hampton. Hampton Bay Days will pay a special tribute to men and women in uniform. Those being honored include military and their families, as well as police, sheriff’s departments and fire personnel. Information: www.baydays.com or 727-1641.
Day of Remembrance and Hope. 8 a.m., Gosnold’s Hope Park, 901 E. Little Back River Road, Hampton. A time of reflection for those lives lost in the 9/11 attacks, and to celebrate the contributions of the armed services and public safety personnel. Ceremony includes: participation by representatives of all armed services, the national anthem sung by Ezra Hill, the Singing Tuskegee Airman, a rifle volley and playing of taps, followed by a public reading of the names of 9/11 victims, and those who have given their lives in combat serving their country since that date. Information: 727-8311.
Freedom Walk and 9/11 Remembrance. 5:45 p.m., Duke of Gloucester Street, in Merchants Square to the Capitol Building, Williamsburg. The community is invited to march with the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, the Joint Services Color Guard and the first responders as well as community leaders as they walk down the "most historic avenue in all America," Duke of Gloucester Street. At 6 p.m. there will be a short ceremony. Remarks will be given by Navy Chaplain Karl Lindblad and Coast Guard Capt. William Milne. The Armed Forces Committee of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation are co-sponsors. Information: 229-6511.
Day of Remembrance. 7:30 p.m., on the Great Lawn behind the David Student Union, Christopher Newport University, Newport News. Event includes: music, readings from state delegates, opportunities to write letters to U.S. troops in war zones and taking a photograph of a "human flag." The event will conclude with a candlelight vigil and moment of silence. Those who attend are asked to wear red, white or blue to help create the human flag. For more information, contact organizer Robert Grace,  robert.grace.06@cnu.edu  
Ecumenical Prayer Service. 7:30 p.m., Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg. Eleven area churches have joined to plan and participate in the service. Open to all. Event concludes with fellowship and light refreshments. Information: 229-1771.

Unless otherwise noted the following events are scheduled for Sept. 11, 2009:

“Always Believe,”  7 p.m., Unity Renaissance Church, 1120 N. Eden Way . (757) 282-9982, www.crystalcloud.com. Interactive children’s program and patriotic activity with storyteller Crystal Cloud.

Blue Mass, 10 a.m., St. Pius X Catholic Church, 7800 Halprin Drive . (757) 831-4132. Honoring emergency and public safety personnel.

Tidewater Association of Service Contractors Remembers and Honors 9/11, 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 . Hilton Norfolk Airport, 1500 N. Military Hwy.  RSVP by noon Sept. 11 . (757) 615-4913, www.tasc-tgic.org. Luncheon with speaker Lt. Col. Robert J. Darling (retired), who served as White House Military Office Airlift Operations liaison officer during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Leadership Lessons From 9/11, Noon, The Founders Inn and Spa, 5641 Indian River Road . $30. (757) 352-4836, www.regent.edu/events/els. Lecture by Adm. Vern Clark (retired), part of the Regent University Executive Leadership Series.


Day of Remembrance, 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 , Memorial Garden at the south entrance to James River Bridge. (757) 357-5352. Honoring past and present public safety personnel.

Will Busch Gardens be sold ?

Rumors of a potential sale of Busch Gardens and Busch Entertainment Corp. were rekindled this week by news that Merlin Entertainments Group, long thought to be a potential Busch suitor, is preparing to go public.

Merlin, whose holdings include Legoland theme parks, Madame Tussauds wax museums and the London Eye, is close to finalizing a plan for an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, according to a report last weekend in The Independent of London.

The offering is expected to raise more than $3 billion, the newspaper reported. Merlin is owned by a private-equity giant, the Blackstone Group, which also holds a 50 percent stake in Universal Orlando.

Merlin has long been considered one of the most likely buyers of Busch Entertainment, which has been rumored to be for sale since the merger of beer giants InBev and the Anheuser-Busch Cos. late last year. Representatives from Merlin and Anheuser-Busch InBev discussed a potential bid earlier this year, according to one person familiar with the talks, and there have been rumors that Merlin and Blackstone executives have toured Busch theme parks in recent weeks.

Industry experts say Blackstone could either make the IPO more attractive by buying Busch Entertainment and packaging it with Merlin or use the money raised through a public offering to help finance a purchase of Busch. Analysts have estimated that a Busch sale could fetch anywhere from $2 billion to $4.5 billion.

Berret’s 19th Annual Crab Race, Williamsburg, VA

berretts williamsburg va Sponsor a Crab to Save the Bay!!!!!
The Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill is having the 19th Annual Crab Race, a benefit for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

The live crab races start at 6:00 pm and run till 7:00 pm . Children will be delighted to choose a numbered crab and watch the exciting  crabby contestants line up – in a sideways crabby style – at the starting gate. You may bring your own crab but only amateur crabs may enter!

berretts crab race williamsburg va When: Sunday, Sept.6, 2009 from 6:00-7:00pm
Three Race Categories :
Great Friends of the Bay $50 entry fee
Good Friends of the Bay $25 entry fee
Friends of the Bay $10 entry fee
Catch one, bring your pet crab, or Berret’ s will provide a crab.
Pick a name and cheer for your crab.
Prizes  for fastest crab in each race ,best crab name and cutest crab
All entry fees go to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation®

Become a Friend of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on Facebook
Berret’ s Seafood Restaurant
199 S. Boundary St.  Williamsburg, VA 23185

Harris Teeter out of bidding for Ukrops Grocery

Ukrop’s is again in the headlines for a possible sale. And like last time, it’s because a grocery industry website ran a blurb about a possible sale

Harris Teeter is supposedly out of the running to purchase Ukrop’s Super Markets, according to a report published yesterday by Supermarket News, a trade magazine for the food distribution industry. 

The report states that Harris Teeter was outbid for the Richmond-based grocer by an unnamed private equity group that is now in "exclusive negotiations" to buy Ukrop’s. The report is based on anonymous sources.

Representatives from both Ukrop’s and Harris Teeter both indicated that they do not comment on rumors or speculation.

“Although Harris Teeter was considered a good strategic fit for Ukrop’s, deteriorating performance at the latter made valuations difficult, a source said. Delhaize Group ( Food Lion) and Ahold ( Giant ) were also said to be strategic suitors.”

Question is  Where are the leaks? Or, put another way, who is breaching confidentiality?

Normally in a situation like this you don’t these types of rumors.

Typically, an investment bank would take a prospectus to several companies that might be a good fit, including other grocery stores and private equity groups that buy those sorts of retailers. They would not promote the fact that the company is for sale and circulate a prospectus.

And normally deals of this sort for a private company stay private until the companies involved issue a news release. The investment banks that help companies buy and sell one another have their reputation at stake, so it’s unlikely they’ve leaked the news.

No information has been discovered on which investment bank is working for Ukrop’s, or if the company has hired one.

ukropswilliamsburgva Ukrop’s has 28 stores in Virginia, including one in Williamsburg VA . The grocer also for now owns about half of First Market Bank, but that’s being sold to Bowling Green-based Union Bankshares Corp. in a deal expected to close this fall.

Harris Teeter, a North Carolina-based grocer that is expanding in Northern Virginia, has announced plans to build a 500,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in King George County’s industrial park. The grocer signed an agreement with the county in January and was given three months to do a feasibility study. The company still hasn’t closed on the property and recently got its fourth extension.

Ruddick Corp., which is Harris Teeter’s parent company, recently indicated in a quarterly earnings report that the company is still studying alternatives to the site, and if it goes forward the timeline will be delayed beyond the originally stated 2012 completion.

Local Company Makes Inc Magazine Top 500 List and Offers Free Computer Services to Williamsburg, VA

SDV Solutions, a local computer services company located in Toano has rocketed onto Inc. magazine’s list of fastest growing companies this week, placing 27th in the nation. With this ranking, the company joins past elite honorees such as Microsoft, Timberland, Intuit, Oracle and Under Armour .It’s the first year that SDV Solutions, became eligible for the Inc. 500 list. By one metric, the firm is showing a growth rate of 4345.6%. Revenues in 2005 were around $250,000 and have grown to $11.1 million.

The company also placed fifth in the Government Services sector. Mike McMahan and his wife Erin started the company out of their Village at Westminster home by offering computer systems to the federal government.

“We are very pleased to be included in the top 100,” states Mike McMahan, founder and CEO of SDV Solutions, Inc. “SDV has worked hard to give our clients exceptional service and competitive pricing. Doing this well has propelled our growth and landed us on the Inc. list.”
SDV Solutions Inc, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) has provided information technology solutions to the Federal Government since 2004.  You can read more about them here


Federal agencies have trusted SDV Solutions to provide Client-Centric IT Solutions around the globe for over five years. They depend on us for leading technology and competitive pricing, backed by our expert service and support. From the DoD to the FAA, customers choose us for our catalog of over 500,000 products and for our global installation and warranty support.

We are now offering our services to you… our Williamsburg VA community.
To celebrate our five-year anniversary, and the dramatic growth that’s placed us in Inc. Magazine’s “Fastest Growing Companies” list, we’re offering our IT services at no charge.
Thank you,
Mike McMahan
President & Founder

That’s right – free.
Through 2009, our expert service team will repair your computer at no charge.

Residential consumers can drop off one computer item per household at our location.

Businesses receive three service calls at no charge.

Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance members receive five service calls at no charge.

We believe our world-class service should be available right here in our own hometown. For more information, call or visit our website. We’ll deliver the best value in technology sales and service.


757.250.3548   www.sdvsolutions.us    support@sdvsolutions.us
8105 Richmond Road  Suite 204  Toano, VA 23168

This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf.  John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market.  His websites, www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com  and   www.MrWilliamsburg.com, were created as a comprehensive resource about living in Williamsburg, with the hopes of selling a house now and again.  You can reach him at 757.254.8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com.


VA MBA programs on Forbes list

Forbes has just completed it’s sixth biennial ranking of business schools, based on the return on investment graduates have achieved after five years, shows that alumni of the best programs still command huge salaries with their degrees. Graduates of our five top-ranked M.B.A. programs typically earn more than $200,000 once they’re five years out of school. But rising tuitions and higher pre-M.B.A. salaries mean it’s taking longer for them to get a solid payback on their investment in going back to school.

Only two Virginia schools made the most recent list, which was released last Friday: the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville at (No. 9) and the Mason School of Business at William & Mary in Williamsburg at (No. 49).

The rankings were determined by looking at the total compensation earned five years after graduation, minus tuition, fees and forgone salary while in school.

UVA Darden graduates on average broke even on their MBA 4.2 years after graduation. At the end of five years, their return was $50,000. Class of 2004 graduates of the two-year program earned an average salary of $159,000 in 2008.

William & Mary Mason grads took 4.4 years to recoup the cost of their MBAs. At the end of five years, their return was $24,000. The average 2008 salary for the class of 2004 was $110,000.

Mason’s in-state tuition over two years is $45,000, just over half the cost of Darden’s two-year tuition cost of $82,500.

You can read the full report here


Foreclosure looms for Realtec/ Fords Colony Developer has defaulted on loans in Williamsburg, VA

fords colony williamsburg va Posted :August 8, 2009- 6 am

Have you been on the fence about buying a lot in Ford’s Colony in Williamsburg, VA ? Well now may be the time to get off the fence. Citizens & Farmers Bank, one of the lenders to Realtec/ The developer of Ford’s Colony will be selling 36 lots at a foreclosure sale next week. The combined assessed value of these lots is over $6 million.

Realtec has defaulted on a loan which has triggered a Trustee’s sale of quite a few properties it owns within Ford’s Colony. The sale is scheduled to occur on August 20th, 2009 at the James City County Courthouse.

This follows another legal proceeding against Realtec and Rocky Mount, NC Ford’s Colony development which I wrote about here back in May of 2009.

The list if properties, thirty six in total includes the following properties:

116 Knob Hill, 104 Knob Hill and 100 Knob Hill 224 Ashford Manor, 220 Ashford Manor and 204 Ashford Manor 201, 220, 216 and 204 Brick Hampton 140, 136, 128, 124, 120, 112, 108 and 104 Freshwater Bay 116, 108, 115 and 104 Entry Hill 100 and 116 Eagles Cliffe 104 and 100 Edenbridge 124 James Bray Drive 204 Coxmoor 124 and 168 Nottinghamshire 219 Oakmere Park 209 Kilton Forest 205 Royal County Down 205 and 208 Tralee and 101 John Pott Drive.

Most likely if no reasonable individual bids are received the lender will foreclose on the entire lot portfolio. The lots would then be marketed individually after the sale to net the highest return for the lender.

The Terms of Sale are: Cash and settlement must occur within 30 days of sale. A bidders deposit of ten (10%) percent of the successful bid may be required.

This information was from a public sale notice posted in a local Williamsburg VA newspaper on August 7, 2009

Update August 20th, 2009
Although the sale brought many interested parties no lots were sold at the foreclosure auction on Thursday. Five people bid on properties but all were outbid by the lender.

The lender ( Citizens and Farmers bank)  offered a special on financing of 3.99 percent interest,with interest-only payments for the first 36 months.

Stay tuned for further details. You can sign up for email updates here to insure you have the latest news.


Click here to search homes for sale in Ford’s Colony Williamsburg VA

Click here to search land/lots for sale in Ford’s Colony, Williamsburg, VA

This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf.  John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market.  His websites, www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and  www.mrwilliamsburg.com   were created as a comprehensive resource about living in Williamsburg, with the hopes of selling a house now and again.  You can reach him at 757.236.8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Colonial Williamsburg Fourth of July 2009

colonial williamsburg fourth o fjuly Colonial Williamsburg’s Fourth of July Activities celebrate the founding of a nation.

The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Virginian Thomas Jefferson, was adopted July 4th, 1776. Celebrate the nation’s birthday with Fifes and Drums, militia parades, and Colonial Williamsburg’s famous Historic Area fireworks. Colonial Williamsburg offers programs throughout the day that honor the birth of our nation.

At 10 a.m. on Market Square, A Salute to the States offers a salute to the original 13 colonies with a Fifes and Drums performance and cannon fire.

At 12:30 p.m., the Declaration of Independence is read to citizens of Williamsburg at the Capitol building.

At 8:15 p.m., Music for the Fireworks features a concert of patriotic music with Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums prior to the fireworks. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

colonial williamsburg fourth of july Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and park at the Visitor Center and take Colonial Williamsburg’s buses to the Historic Area. No ticket is required to enjoy these programs.

Find out more information here

Where to watch local fireworks in Williamsburg and Yorktown VA:

■ Next to the 1770 Courthouse in Colonial Williamsburg. Listen to the Fifes & Drums perform tunes dedicated to each of the 13 original colonies, then sit back as the rockets are launched from the Publick Hospital.

■ Aboard a boat on the York River. The reflection of the fireworks against the water is magnificent.

■ Thomas Ebert of Gloucester recommends the view from The Duke of York Motel in Yorktown. “Viewing from the fourthfloor pool area was exquisite,” he wrote in an e-mail to York County.

■ Atop the bridge on Page Street or Capitol Landing. It’s possible to see the fireworks from Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens simultaneously.

■ The Yorktown Fourth of July Celebration Committee recommends viewing from the Victory Monument. Fireworks are launched from the beach picnic area directly below the monument.

■ Parking in Yorktown is difficult. Arrive early enough to score a spot in the parking deck at Riverwalk. From there, it’s a short left down Water Street to the Colonial Parkway or Route 17.

■ For those trying to watch the Busch Gardens fireworks for free, don’t try to park on the flyover from Interstate 64. Police will move you along.

■ For a quick getaway, watch the Colonial Williamsburg fireworks from the parking lot at the Bruton Heights Education Center. The view has diminished since the launch site was moved away from the Governor’s Palace, but the benefit is a 5-minute ride to get to Bypass Road as opposed to 25.

■ Avoid parking at Matthew Whaley Elementary or the parking deck next to the Williamsburg Community Building. While a short walk to watch the fireworks, getting out can take up to an hour.

Hinckley to have longer visits to Kingsmill

Presidential assailant John W. Hinckley Jr. will be allowed to obtain a D.C. driver’s license and spend more time at his mother’s home in Kingsmill in Williamsburg Virginia under a ruling yesterday by a federal judge.

The decision is the latest in recent years expanding privileges for Hinckley, who has been held at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in D.C.  since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1981 shooting of President Ronald Reagan, his press secretary and two law enforcement officers. The psychiatric hospital is seeking to gradually increase Hinckley’s freedom so that doctors can evaluate whether he is nearing the point where he can be released and live independently with his mother in Williamsburg VA.

Friedman’s ruling was not a complete victory for Hinckley, however.

The judge refused to allow Hinckley to perform unsupervised volunteer work in the District, a hospital request opposed by prosecutors. In the District, Hinckley must remain supervised by a hospital staffer at all times.

Under yesterday’s ruling, Hinckley will be required to carry a GPS-enabled cell-phone so authorities and doctors can ensure that he is following his release restrictions.

The judge also ruled that Hinckley would not be granted more social privileges unless he successfully completes volunteer work during three straight visits to Williamsburg. The expanded privileges include increasing the amount of unaccompanied time in his mother’s subdivision and more free time for recreation and other activities.

Fords Colony Retains Realtec as HOA Manager

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Williamsburg, VA -The Ford’s Colony’s board of directors voted to continue its relationship with Realtec Monday, agreeing to contract with the management arm for five more years.

Two years ago the Ford’s Colony homeowners association began to consider other management companies for the $4.5 million management contract. In the past year it solicited proposals and narrowed the choice down to three companies: two from northern Virginia and Realtec. It was the first time in the 24-year history of Ford’s Colony that the association had considered an outside firm. Realtec’s development arm retains veto power over the vote, so if the association had chosen another vendor, Realtec could have struck down the decision. Association president James Taverna said the directors ultimately chose to remain with Realtec for the cost, the synergy and history of Ford’s Colony, and the risk of trouble during a transition to a new company. They also felt Realtec was best poised to handle future growth within the gated community.
fordscolonyaerial Realtec Community Services has also agreed to a lease-purchase option on the management facility, which was the management company’s leverage to renew. Under the new arrangement, the association can lease the management and maintenance facilities for $800,000 a year for five years.

With a $4.5 million annual budget, derived from $1,400 annual fees from each homeowner. Realtec  maintains 46 miles of private roads, and  manages the security, property maintenance, and recreation crews. They have 65 employees, and are responsible for the contractors, as well.

Also, because there was a perception that Drew Mulhare might have a conflict of interest because he is both general manager and president, which means he has responsibilities to both the developer and the board, the assistant general manager will now become general manager and Mulhare will remain president.

Mulhare said the new general manager will have more direct contact and communication with the association.


Ford’s Colony

Williamsburg/ James City County

Williamsburg VA

clicktosearchhomesforsale clicktosearchhomesforsale 55555555555555

Rock The Block in Williamsburg, VA

When :Friday, June 5th, 2009
(Rain Date – June 6th)
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm • On Prince George Street
Between Boundary and Henry Streets

Make plans to attend the 7th Annual Rock the Block Festival. Hosted by downtown Williamsburg Merchants.

  Music, Food, Games, Shopping Discounts & more. Games for the children, live entertainment & raffles to kick off the arrival of Virginia’s Famous Summer outdoor festivals. This small town event, a locals’ favorite is sponsored by the Williamsburg Land Conservancy. Enjoy the area’s best hot dogs and frozen custard at Retro’s, Baubles and More at the Queens Court and the best ever java from Aromas! Open to the public – FREE admission and reduced prices for all food and beverages. Handicap accessible.


  There will be food, beverages,  Entertainment: John Tracy & Dick Smith aka “Dick Tracy, information tables on recycling and more and a children’s activities area. The annual Celebrating Conservancy Awards will be presented to schools involved in conservation activities. Free admission. Proceeds to benefit the Williamsburg Land Conservancy.


Some of the recipients of the Conservancy’s annual Celebrating Conservancy awards smile for the camera! The awards are given to schools in the Historic Triangle that involve students in projects related to conservation. Thirteen schools received awards in 2008

Founded in 1990 as the Historic Rivers Land Conservancy, we were the first private non-profit land trust in Virginia incorporated specifically to use the provisions of the Virginia Conservation Easement Act. In 1996 our name was changed and today, the Conservancy operates as a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, supported by annual membership dues, donations and grants. A 20-member Board of Directors, comprised of community leaders from throughout the Historic Triangle, governs the organization. Ten working committees help to carry out the programs and projects of the Conservancy.

The Conservancy is dedicated to protecting and preserving significant natural, scenic, agricultural and historic land in the Historic Triangle. Through a combination of land preservation tools, education and advocacy programs, and shaping public policy, the Conservancy strives to maintain the character and ambiance of this special place where we live and work or where others simply come to visit for a while.

The Conservancy currently protects over 3,000 acres of land in the James and York Rivers watersheds. We measure our success by the total acreage of land protected in our region. That’s why the Conservancy works in partnership and collaboration with other land protection organizations and programs to ensure land owners use the best conservation tool to protect their land.

Location Map of " Rock The Block"

Map picture


Alizé Bistro • Aromas Coffeehouse Café • Baskin Robbins
Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill • Big Top Entertainment, Inc.
Blue Talon Bistro • Campus Shop • Center Street Grill • Cheese Shop
Fife and Drum Inn • Flower Cupboard • G. Bates Studio • Green Leafe Café
J. Fenton Gallery • Movie Tavern • Queen’s Court • Quilt’s Unlimited
Retro’s • SunTrust Bank • The Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe
The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg • The Williamsburg Winery
Williamsburg Event Rentals • Wythe Candy

Harris Teeter opening near Kingsmill in Williamsburg, VA

DSCN2663_edited Quarterpath Crossing Shopping Center off Route 199 is set to open in November of 2009.

The location is directly across RT 199 from the entrance to Kingsmill.  85,610 square feet of commercial space. It will include two banks, ( Towne Bank and Wachovia ) and  21 small shops .

According to Harris Teeter this will not be  an" ordinary grocery store," it is what they term a Flagship Plus Store sized at 52,000 + square feet .

The developer has indicated there has been extreme interest in filling the 21 other storefronts scheduled to open along with Harris Teeter in November.

Wachovia Bank is already open at Quarterpath.. According to Stephan Gordon, who handles local leasing for the developer, S.L. Nusbaum Inc., TowneBank will open in October. The anchor supermarket Harris Teeter is set to open Nov. 4, 2009. In addition, Subway, No. 1 Chinese Restaurant, Lee Nails, Swan Cleaners and women’s clothing store Kyrie Designs have have leases signed and will ne opening soon.

The road being built to the site from Route 199 will also support the 385-acre Quarterpath at Williamsburg mixed-use project planned by Riverside Health System. Riverside’s proposal includes Doctor’s Hospital of Williamsburg, a 120-bed nursing home, assisted living, medical office buildings, and residential and commercial space. The developments are expected to provide a comprehensive shopping mecca for local residents.

Quarterpath Crossing will be the fourth shopping center developed, leased and managed by S. L. Nusbaum Realty Co. in the Williamsburg market.

Location Map of the new Harris Teeter in Williamsburg, VA

Map picture

Brokaw to speak at W&M commencement

tombrokawwilliamsburgLongtime “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw, one of the most highly regarded figures in broadcast journalism, will receive an honorary degree and deliver the main address at the College of William & Mary Commencement Exercises on May 17, 2009 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Read more here

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Opening Sesame Street April 3, 2009

Park to Open March 28, New Attraction Opens April 3

 forestoffunbuschgardens It’s the kind of news that children and parents everywhere will love to hear–Sesame Street Forest of Fun at Busch Gardens will open April 3.

Sesame Street Forest of Fun will open in two phases.

When the park opens Saturday, March 28, families can dine with Elmo and mingle with the cast of characters over breakfast or lunch at a Sesame Street-themed indoor dining facility. They also can watch all of their favorite Sesame Street characters in a 4-D movie at the Globe Theatre called "Sesame Street presents Lights, Camera, Imagination!" Then on Friday, April 3, Busch Gardens will open Sesame Street Forest of Fun for the season starting with a special two-week preview. Guests can visit Elmo and his friends and explore Busch Gardens’ newest attraction, situated in the England section of Busch Gardens.

Sesame Street Forest of Fun features four new rides offering kid-sized versions of popular attractions, including a junior roller coaster designed for parents and children to ride together.  The Forest of Fun will also feature wet and dry play areas, a photo studio where families can capture images of their children with "Sesame Street" characters and stage performances by the children’s television show’s creatures.

Generations of children have grown up on the acclaimed and hugely popular "Sesame Street" educational television series, which melds education with entertainment.

As workers and machinery bustled about the 1.5-acre construction site, the  the emerging Forest of Fun was shown to parents, reporters, amusement park enthusiasts and local officials yesterday. Officials  would say only that building the Sesame Street area in the England section of Busch Gardens will cost "millions of dollars."

"We believe Sesame Street Forest of Fun will be a hit for our park and boost tourism in this region when families are looking for vacations that are worth their hard-earned money," said John Reilly, Busch Gardens’ general manager and executive vice president, in a statement.

Read more about Sesame Street coming to Busch Gardens , Williamsburg here

WordPress Tags: Busch,Gardens,Williamsburg,Sesame,Street,virginia

WALT- Williamsburg Area Learning Tree

For eight years, the Williamsburg Area Learning Tree has been providing enlightening, unique and fun opportunities for everyone, young and old, in greater Williamsburg to learn something new. From the beginning, as a public service project ,WALT has strived to create an environment for those who have an enthusiasm for a subject to share their knowledge with others. Today more than 50 classes are offered each spring and fall. This is only possible because talented people are willing to give of themselves.

Look  Here for New Spring 2009 Classes on January 31 or check the VA GAzette

WALT is a not-for-profit education program that brings you and your neighbors together to share in the excitement and fun of learning.  Individuals in our community have stepped forward to offer their knowledge of a subject that they love so that the rest of us can learn from them.  With the help of these people and many businesses and service organizations, we present this catalog of classes.

Classes are offered to everyone in the community from teenager to senior citizen.  Look over the listings.  If you have questions, call their staff.  Carefully fill out the Registration Form and mail it with a check to the address provided.  Registration will continue until a class fills or starts.  Refunds are available until one week before a class begins.  Scholarship help is available.

Classes in the past have included: 

Adventures in Sailing , Organize Like A Pro , Researching and Preserving Family Histories,Household Document Organization – ,65 Years Young. Is Medicare For You?, Medicare Part D – Maximize Your Drug Benefit , Basic Meditation  , Watercolor Painting , Sculpting the Human Face , Beginning Blues Harmonica ,Introduction to Pointed Pen Calligraphy ,  Basic Bicycle Maintenance ,  Basic Repairs for your Home , Managing the College Admissions Maze ,  Basic Wine Appreciation , Burn Without Crashing: Maintaining your Personal or Small Business Computer, Tech Stuff for the Technophobic ,  Intro to Tai Chi , Intro Yoga  Boot Camp” for New Digital Camera Owners  Writing your Life: The Art of the Memoir , Take the Pain Out of Your Golf Game , *Spanish for Fun  -, Understand Planned Giving ,   Living with Arthritis

Sponsors Include: Anahata Yoga Center, Bike Beat, Computer Concepts of Williamsburg, Virginia Dominion Power, The Virginia Gazette, James City and York Counties, Cities Grill, Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists Church, Sentara/Williamsburg Regional Hospital, Williamsburg Landing, Williamsburg/James City County Library and Ukrop’s for providing class space. 

WALT is always looking for new instructors.  If you are interested in teaching a future WALT course, give  them a call.

Williamsburg Area Learning Tree (WALT)
3051 Ironbound Road
Williamsburg, VA  23185-2391
Questions or comments?
To contact WALT, send email to walt@wuu.org

Click here for 2009 course availability after Jan 31, 2009

Relocating to Williamsburg VA

For the size of town that we are ( approx 70,000 + if you include Upper York County, City of Williamsburg, James City County) we do seem to have a varied cultural scene.

There are ample and quality medical facilities although for more specialized medical assistance you would need to go to Newport News, Norfolk or Richmond. ( between 30 – 60 minutes away )  Our weather will be more moderate than Leesburg in the Winter but as you indicated hotter and more humid in Summer. If Leesburg get’s snow we typically won’t. It has been many years since schools closed for snow. Our Spring come about two weeks earlier than Leesburg, VA

Question: I’d guess Richmond is your major hub, but you may consider other larger towns preferable to Richmond. Can anyone provide more info?  Newport News, Norfolk and Va Beach all offer other cultural events.

Flooding has been an issue in a few places around Jamestown and further west in James City County. It is not really an issue when getting around for most who lived here . Fords Colony has one road that floods but four exit roads so it’ s not an issue.Jamestown 1607 had flooding issues. ( it’s a sub$170k town home community )A bigger problem was fallen trees. We have had numerable storms Trees were toppled. I would think that the weaker ones have now been removed by nature. But that would be my only concern in a storm.  Quite a few generators we installed by homeowners after Isabel in 2003.
The topography varies throughout the county. My neighborhood varies in elevation about 60 feet. There are other communities that are flat. It just depends on where you are in the county or city.

As far as political views, All I can say is that in previous elections you would see predominantly republican signs in yards. This time it was the other way around.

Yes Williamsburg is impacted greatly by tourism. We are starting to see the closings of various businesses and budget cutbacks by Colonial Williamsburg. Only time will tell. Suprisingly there are new hotels being built. But older ones are closing.  There is too much commercial space empty or being built to in our current scenario. I’m sure we will see more closings in the future.

Mortgage loans are still readily available if you have good credit. I have yet to have anyone I work with be declined for a mortgage. The inventory of homes is up drastically. ( makes for a great buyers market) I am astounded at the prices that some of the sellers are accepting..

Question: Finally, please tell me about general costs of living: taxes, both RE and personal property, property insurance costs, and utilities since like most folks we’ve taken a beating as retirees.

Try this link http://www.bestplaces.net/col/?salary=50000&city1=55144984&city2=55186160

For a cost of living comparison. Or go to www.BestPlaces.net and enter in Leesburg and Williamsburg. It indicates that we are 18% less expensive to live in as compared to Leesburg Va. Although the major difference is housing.

I can say from personal experience when we moved here years ago from Annapolis , MD. everything seemed to be at least 15-20% less expensive in Williamsburg. Health insurance, car insurance, gas, ( I paid $1.31 a gallon yesterday), groceries, Our heating bills are less due to it being warmer, and of course homes. OUr property tax is .77 per $100 or $3850 annual real estate taxes on a $500,000 home in James City County. In the city of Williamsburg it is .54 per $100 or $2700 on a $500k home..

Cost of Living Comparison:
Leesburg, Virginia – Williamsburg, Virginia

Change cities

Williamsburg is 18% cheaper than Leesburg.

Housing is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference.

Housing is 34% cheaper in Williamsburg.

A salary of $50,000 in Leesburg, Virginia could decrease to $41,190 in Williamsburg, Virginia

Leesburg U.S. Avg. Williamsburg
Cost of Living Indexes Leesburg Williamsburg
Overall 140 115
Food 100 95
Housing 212 139
Utilities 89 141
Transportation 105 105
Health 105 94
Miscellaneous 100 94

100=national average

» Compare these cities in over 100 categories


Best of Williamsburg VA 2008

This annual poll in the VA Gazette is eagerly anticipated by all in the area. Do realize there are others that should appear. It is based on votes submitted by readers.

By Cortney Langley VA Gazette Dec 2008 “If you drive through Toano and smell fried chicken, it’s peanuts cooking,” explained Terri Morgan. She’s director of Retail Sales for Smithfield Specialty Foods Group, owner of The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg.

The kitchen in Hankins Industrial Park cooks about 2 million pounds of nuts annually for mail orders and the shop on Prince George Street. Gazette readers recognized The Peanut Shop as carrying the best nuts in town.

“It’s nice,” she said. “In a tough economic environment, it’s rewarding to get the vote from the readers and the sales during Christmas,” she said.
To earn the best, the shop begins with the best. The kitchen cooks only the meaty Virginia Peanut, grown in North and South Carolina. No puny “runner” peanuts here. The crop is then hand-sorted for the “supers,” the largest 5% of the year’s yield, Morgan said.
Small batches of these are cooked according to a traditional recipe in pure boiling peanut oil under the supervision of the plant’s roastmaster.
That’s the key, Morgan said. Other plants dilute peanut oil with other types, she said. “We think our have a stronger, more distinct peanut flavor.” They also maintain the trademark blisters that mark the Southern favorite.
As a result, where other retailers are struggling, The Peanut Shop has held steady this holiday season. Usually, The Peanut Shop brand makes up about 65% of holiday sales in the store, but it’s up this year to 75%.
“That tells us how strong the brand is,” Morgan said. Even with shipping, they also make affordable gifts.
“For less than $20, it’s a great item that you know Dad’s going to love,” she said. And in case Dad diverts from the usual “lightly salted” variety, The Peanut Shop offers a bevy of flavors, including wasabi, hot Southern, crab and spicy New Orleans cajun.
For those with a sweet tooth, the shop sells chocolate-covered, butter toffee, honey roasted and new this year, praline-glazed peanuts. And of course, peanut brittle, chocolate-covered brittle, clusters and white chocolate cashew toffee.

With a menu like that, the shop has endeared itself to generations of loyal locals as well as tourists.
Long-time residents remember when Louise Anderson, then in her 50s, opened the small shop in 1973, cooking half-sized tins of peanuts on site and selling them out of the back door of Ayers Garage. Within a year, she had to hire her first employee.
In 1986 she retired, selling the shop to Peter Pruden and Dick Fuller, who also owned Smithfield Ham & Products and Williamsburg Foods. At the time, Smithfield Foods was trying to buy up anything with the Smithfield name. Fuller and Pruden sold to the pork giant in 2001. “Most people don’t know that,” Morgan said.
In December 2006, a fire next door in Baskin-Robbins severely damaged the original store. After an extensive remodel, the shop re-opened in February 2007.
Meanwhile, the store had diversified. For more than five years, the shop had witnessed double-digit growth. That fueled the opening of the Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe of Williamsburg across the street.
Second to loyalty among long-time customers, Morgan credits the proximity to Colonial Williamsburg and the energy on Prince George Street for the store’s success.
“I’m so glad we’re on Prince George Street,” she said. “It’s a really healthy business environment. We have great neighbors. They are really kind and aggressive business people.” Whitley’s Peanuts placed second and Virginia Peanuts third in reader results.

Winners 2008 Best in Williamsburg

Best Men’s fashion
1. Belk
2. L.L. Bean
3. JCPenney
Best Peanuts
1. The Peanut Shop
2. Whitley’s Peanut Factory
3. Virginia Peanuts
Best Heating/AC
1.Weather Crafters
2. Williamsburg Heating & Air
3. Betty’s Plumbing
Best Japanese/sushi
1. Kyoto of Williamsburg
2. Peking
3. Soya Williamsburg
Best Crab cakes
1. The Backfin
2. Bonefish Grill
3. Opus 9 Steakhouse
Best Restaurant (opened in 2008)
1. Francesco’s
2.Wok n’ Roll
3. Scala Pizzaria
Tastiest pizza in Williamsburg
1. Buon Amici
2. New York Deli
3. Chanello’s
Best Ice cream
1. Bruster’s
2. Cold Stone Creamery
3. Ben & Jerry’s
Best Picture framer
1. Prince George Art&Frame
2. Williamsburg Pottery
3.Walls Alive
Hometown hero
1. Active military
2. Lois Hornsby
3. Veterans

Best Car dealer
1. Williamsburg Ford (tie)
1. Williamsburg Honda (tie)
2. Patriot Buick
3. Casey Toyota
Best Florist
1. Morrison
2. Williamsburg Floral & Gifts
3. Seasons of Williamsburg
Best Furniture store
1. Ethan Allen
2. Carolina Furniture
3. Willamsburg Furniture
Best Travel agency
1. AAA Travel
2. Travel Corner
3. Sue Mayberry Travel
Temp service
1. Protemps
2. A Temp
3. Caliper
Best Home improvement store
1. Lowe’s
2. Home Depot
3. Ace Hardware
Best Italian restaurant
1. Sal’s by Victor
2. Buon Amici
3. Maurizio’s
Best Locally owned gift shop
1. The Mole Hole
2. Paisley
3. Kinks, Quirks & Caffeine
Best Supermarket in Williamsburg
1. Ukrop’s
2. Farm Fresh
3. Fresh Market
Best Shopping center/mall
1. Prime Outlets
2. New Town
3. Monticello Marketplace
Best Veterinarian Williamsburg
1. Godspeed Animal Care
2. Colonial Veterinary Clinic
3. Noah’s Ark Vet Hospital

Best of Williamsburg 2008

Best of Williamsburg 2008 Continued

By Steve Vaughan VA Gazette—In two decades, Prime Outlets have become part of the local culture. Lining up in the wee hours of Black Friday morning is as much a part of some residents’ holiday traditions as the Grand Illumination and the Christmas Parade. It’s not just locals who queue up. “As far as Black Friday, that’s really a regional thing,” said Kathie Strauss, marketing manager for Prime Outlets. “We have people who come from Northern Virginia and North Carolina for that.” But being part of the local lifestyle, as reflected by Prime’s selection by Gazette readers as the best local place to shop, is important. “That’s great,” Strauss said, when informed of the selection. “We’re thrilled and, of course, we’re very grateful for the support we get from the community.” Strauss said selection and prices are Prime Outlet’s big advantages. “People ask me what an outlet mall is like and I always tell them it’s like a big department store turned inside out. The departments are each huge and the prices are always discounted.” Prime outlets has 120 stores, mostly focused on clothing and accessories. It expanded south this year to overtake Ewell Hall Shopping Center and a motel, which it reconfigured for additional parking. The Williamsburg area location allows it to attract shoppers from Norfolk and Richmond. Strauss said the wide variety of stores in Prime Outlets, combined with top name brands that shoppers are looking for contributes to the center’s success. “And with outlet pricing,” she said. Prime Outlets beat out New Town and Monticello Marketplace as Gazette readers’ favorite place to shop

Men’s fashion
1. Belk
2. L.L. Bean
3. JCPenney
1. The Peanut Shop
2. Whitley’s Peanut Factory
3. Virginia Peanuts
1.Weather Crafters
2. Williamsburg Heating & Air
3. Betty’s Plumbing
1. Kyoto of Williamsburg
2. Peking
3. Soya Williamsburg
Crab cakes
1. The Backfin
2. Bonefish Grill
3. Opus 9 Steakhouse
Restaurant (opened in 2008)
1. Francesco’s
2.Wok n’ Roll
3. Scala Pizzaria
Tastiest pizza
1. Buon Amici
2. New York Deli
3. Chanello’s
Ice cream
1. Bruster’s
2. Cold Stone Creamery
3. Ben & Jerry’s
Picture framer
1. Prince George Art&Frame
2. Williamsburg Pottery
3.Walls Alive
Hometown hero
1. Active military
2. Lois Hornsby
3. Veterans
Shopping center/mall
1. Prime Outlets
2. New Town
3. Monticello Marketplace
1. Godspeed Animal Care
2. Colonial Veterinary Clinic
3. Noah’s Ark Vet Hospital
Landscape business
1. Cookes Landscaping
2. Virginia Grounds
3. Grass Roots of Virginia
Local politician
1. Tommy Norment
2. Jeanne Zeidler
3. Philip Forgit
Worst stoplight wait
1. Jamestown Rd/Rt. 199
2. Monticello/Ironbound
3. Route 199/Route 5
Best annual event
1. An Occasion For The Arts
2. Grand Illumination
3. First Night
Best principal
1. Andy Jacobs (Matoka)
2. Sister Mary Jeanne Osterle
3. Kim Hammond (Bruton)
Mexican restaurant
1. Tequila Rose
2. South of Border
3. La Tolteca
1. RightWay Remodeling
2.Wayne Harbin
3. Charles Ross Homes (tie)
3. Ryan Homes (tie)
Coffee shop
1. Aromas
2. Starbucks
3. Harbour Coffee
1. Sport Clips
2. Caroline’s Hair Shop
3. Salon 109
Concert of the year
1. Slapwater at Matoaka
2. U.S. Air Force Band
3. Chamber Music Society
1. Ukrop’s
2. Farm Fresh
3. Fresh Market
Locally owned gift shop
1. The Mole Hole
2. Paisley
3. Kinks, Quirks & Caffeine

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.

Williamsburg VA- Thomas Nelson Community College Opening New Campus

  The new Historic Triangle Campus at Opportunity Way begins a new era in the life of Thomas Nelson Community College and the communities we serve.


 In a region steeped in our nation’s history, Thomas Nelson Community College is proud to make its own history. The campus’s 120,000 square foot building is on nearly 74 acres of land at the Warhill site, strategically located next to Williamsburg-James City County’s newest high school.



The new campus will play a major role in providing quality education, serving the workforce development needs of businesses and industry, and helping individual citizens achieve their goals.

For more information, please call 757-253-4300 or visit us online at www.tncc.edu


John Womeldorf is Mr. Williamsburg, sharing his thoughts, real estate expertise, and “all things Williamsburg” in an effort to spread the word that Williamsburg and Hampton Roads, Virginia is the greatest place on earth to live!

Mr Williamsburg.com " Williamsburg VA. Real EstateContact me at John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Research the area at www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com

Or ask any questions about homes, neighborhoods, schools, amenities, recreation , shopping or anything else about the area.

Click here to Search all homes, town homes, condos and building lots for sale in Williamsburg, James City, New Kent, York, Gloucester, Charles City Virginia

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InBev deal with Anheuser Busch has closed

Associated Press
© November 18, 2008


BRUSSELS, Belgium 

InBev SA on Tuesday formed the world’s largest brewer when it closed its $52 billion takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos.

The new company, named Anheuser-Busch InBev, will be headed by InBev CEO Carlos Brito and will be headquartered at Leuven, Belgium.

InBev promises to keep Anheuser-Busch’s St. Louis base as the company’s North American headquarters. Anheuser-Busch President and CEO August A. Busch IV joins the new company’s board as a non-executive director.

The deal gives InBev a jewel of a brand in Budweiser – the world’s top selling beer – which it promises to sell more widely by pushing into emerging economies in Asia, Latin America and eastern Europe.

This will help generate growth as beer sales decline in North America and Europe where drinkers are cutting back and turning to wine and other drinks.

Brito said the combination had created “a stronger, more competitive global company with a leading international brand portfolio and distribution network, and great potential for growth all over the world.”

InBev said it now had all the regulatory clearances it needed for the deal. Last week it agreed to sell Labatts USA to win U.S. Department of Justice approval for the takeover.

U.S. antitrust officials had worried that beer prices would increase in upstate New York because the two companies would supply most of the beer in the region.

InBev did not say who would buy the U.S. unit. It will keep its Canadian subsidiary Labatts, which is one of the top beer brands in the country.

Anheuser-Busch provides half of America’s beer but it has not managed to expand around the world as fast as InBev – a Belgian-Brazilian hybrid that owns hundreds of local brands but few real stars.

Anheuser-Busch owns several properties in Virginia in the Williamsburg area. In addition to a brewery in Williamsburg, the company’s subsidiaries own the Busch Gardens theme park, the Kingsmill Resort and Spa, and the Water Country USA water park.

InBev has borrowed $45 billion to pay for the deal and secured $9.8 billion in equity bridge financing that it had planned to replace with a share issue in October.

But rocky financial markets forced it to postpone issuing new shares and it says it can keep the bridge financing in place for up to six months after it closes the deal.

Carlos Brito, Chief Executive of the newly combined global brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, talks about the completion of the deal, the significance of today’s announcement and next steps.

Mr Brito also underscores the rationale of deal in spite of today’s current economic climate and highlights the new company’s strategic and brand priorities to secure its ambition of becoming “the best beer company in a better world”.
Talking frankly of the challenges to come, he said the business would have to work harder but added that its beer business was lean and resilient and that it had the talent and skills base to see them through tough times.
He said that the company and its board were working hard on both possible asset sales and its prospective rights issue.
“The equity issuance is something that the Board will decide on the best time to do it; we have a bridge of six months after closing to get it done. And for the disposals of $7bn we have a bridge of up to 12 months after closing.”
The interview and transcript are available now on http://w3.cantos.com/inbev.

We’ve been Ghosted ! in Williamsburg Virginia

A new Halloween “prank” is spreading cheer through the Williamsburg, Virginia area in the run-up to Friday’s big night. It’s called ghosting, and most new Williamsburg residents have never heard of it. I have to say when we first moved here it was quite a thrill for our then very young children to experience.

Ghosting is a way to secretly send Halloween treats to family, friends, and neighbors. Once you have been Ghosted you should spread the Halloween fun by passing it along to others. 

First laugh and enjoy the fun! Think of some family and friends that would enjoy getting Ghosted. Assemble some treats and goodies to bring along and leave with a “Ghosting Letter” which contains a poem and instructions for continued Ghosting. The idea is to secretly surprise your friends with some Halloween fun!

When you least expect it  the doorbell will ring. You won’t find anyone at the door. What you will find is a  package of Halloween-themed treats, a black and white picture of a ghost and a poem informing you that you have been ghosted. 

The origins of ghosting are unclear. 

Here are instructions and the ” Ghosting Letter” for you to start the tradition in your neighborhood.  Print out the letter below or make up your own, gather a bag of treats,  Then put them all in a little treat bag or basket and leave them on someone’s front steps – don’t let them see you!

Here is the Ghosting Letter:




The Phantom Ghost has come to town,
To leave you some goodies, I see you have found.
If you do not wish a curse to fall,
Continue this greeting, this Phantom’s call.

First, post this Phantom where it can be seen,
And leave it there until Halloween.
This will scare other Phantoms who may visit.
Be sure to participate, you don’t want to miss it!

Second, make two treats & two copies of this Ghost with a grin
Deliver them to two neighbors where this Phantom hasn’t been
Don’t let them see you, be sneaky, no doubt …
And make sure they put their Phantom Ghost out!

Next, you have only one day to act, so be quick!
Leave it at doors where the Phantom hasn’t hit.
Deliver at dark when there isn’t much light…
Ring the doorbell and run, and stay out of sight!!

And last, but not least, come join in the season.
Don’t worry, be happy, you need no good reason.
This is all in good fun and we are just trying to say…