“Merchants Walk” Proposed for Zion Xroads

A Utah developer plans 450k ft2 of retail space for Zion Crossroads, Brian McNeill writes in today’s Daily Progress, described as “upscale retail outlet stores.” (“Upscale” being a euphemism meaning “no poor people here,” like “high-end.” It’s synonymous with putting an extraneous “e” at the end of the name of development, like “North Pointe.”) On top of that, the proposal calls for a 150k ft2 convention center and 225k ft2 of office space. The planned name is The Merchants Walk(e) at Zion Crossroads. The 119 acre property is located between 64 and 250, and is already zoned appropriately.

15 Responses to ““Merchants Walk” Proposed for Zion Xroads”


  • The developer says they’re planning “environmentally friendly building elements.” I’ll happily put up $100 in a 1:1 wager (the Piedmont Environmental Council gets the proceeds) that the environmental features described in the article won’t happen as described or, if they do, they’ll be token efforts that don’t have any meaningful reduction on the enormous project’s environmental impact.

  • Where’s Jessica Kitchin when you need her? She wrote this beat for the Daily Progress. This article by Brian McNeill reads like a press release for the developer.

    There’s no reference to the recent water wars out there, or to sprawl generally.

    Mmmmm James River water taste good, Covington & Lynchburg upriver notwithstanding. Must take a lot of diesel or coal/gas/uranium to pump it uphill all the way to Zion X though.

    quote:
    “Growing up here, I saw many of my friends leave for Northern Virginia, Charlottesville and Richmond,” Purcell said. “With the growth that we’re having, it might give people the option to come back to a vibrant, viable community.”

    I guess he’s right in his own terms. Why should Louisa suffer when Fluvanna, Albemarle and Goochland (and Orange?), are all booming? Charlottesville bluestockings try to keep them down on the farm… In that case, we should be tending to our own development problems here.

  • Mmmmm James River water taste good, Covington & Lynchburg upriver notwithstanding. Must take a lot of diesel or coal/gas/uranium to pump it uphill all the way to Zion X though.

    According to the RSWA (during the search for a solution to the Cville water supply) the James River water will also require an “additional” amount of processing to make it drinkable because of the storm water runoff from Lynchburg and all the toxins it dumps into the River.

    I wouldn’t be purchasing real estate served by a James River water supply.

  • I agree, James River water doesn’t exactly quench my thirst.

    And mostly unrelated, but what’s the latest with RSWA and C’Ville water? I remember the city and county bought up all this land for another reservoir only to shelve it to explore James River water instead. Like the above have said, Mmmmmm…

  • While we are all piling on here…
    Why a Utah developer? What? We don’t have enough developers here in Central VA? (This is a serious question, BTW).

  • Outlet stores don’t actually strike me as all that ‘upscale.’ I think developers just throw that word into plans these days.

  • Fluvanna is booming? If you mean getting crushed because residents keep moving into Fluvanna but the county is so anti-business that each new resident makes the county lose money, then yeah, I agree that it’s booming.

    I just hope some of this development at Zion’s gets spilled over onto the Fluvanna County side. They need the tax dollars in a bad way.

    I realize there’s a lot of anti-growth people around, but if Fluvanna (and similar counties, I’m sure) doesn’t get the business tax dollars to offset the amount they lose on residents, the schools will suffer (they already are), services will degrade, etc. You can’t be purely a residential county and have people drive to spend their money in Charlottesville.

    jdkjl;kdasfjfdasl;kjasfdldsfj

    bit of a sore point for me.

  • BilCo – why an out of town developer? Have you heard that this area is ranked one of the best places to live? That speaks to future residents. To big business there is another message about this area; $KACHING!$

    Stuart – Obviously, to get your plan approved, language is important;

    big shopping center = town center
    big urban housing development = new urbanism or neighborhood model
    big rural housing development = preservation low impact development
    big road = parkway
    big industrial development = high tech business park
    big sprawling state complex or campus = grounds (as in hallowed)

    key immeasurable adjectives;
    Jeffersonian, upscale, leading edge, environmental, context sensitive, green, alternative, blah, blah, blah

  • Let me add on to my last post and say that the people in these anti-business/overwhelmingly residential communities are getting exactly what they deserve — higher property tax rates. By not letting new businesses in and making your population drive to Albemarle (and now looking like Louisa) County, you leave them one thing to tax — you.

  • I am not disagreeing with you Chad, but here’s a headline you are unlikely to ever read: ‘Citing robust business growth, county lowers tax rate.’

  • I am not disagreeing with you Chad, but here’s a headline you are unlikely to ever read: ‘Citing robust business growth, county lowers tax rate.’

    Agreed, but they may jack assessments by only 20% instead of the 40% I (and others in LM) got.

  • Oh man, you want to see a love letter to a developer, check out this NBC29 story about the next phase of Hollymead development.
    Sad.
    http://nbc29.com/Global/story.asp?S=6445714

  • The Hollymead development is exactly the worse of what strip malls produce. Lots of traffic, you almost need a car just to go from one store to the next. No connecting side walks, just a huge paved parking lot surrounded by stores.

    That said, Merchant’s Walk could be good if scaled properly and designed with the stores in the middle and the parking around it. It also has great existing road access with the interstate, Rt 250, and Rt 15. It has far better road access than anything on Rt 29.

    People wouldn’t need to drive to Cville for clothes etc. Since we’re not going to build developments close to the City like Biscuit Run would be, but instead put the homes far off in Fluvanna, Greene, etc – well, the shopping will eventually go there as well.

  • “People wouldn’t need to drive to Cville for clothes etc. Since we’re not going to build developments close to the City like Biscuit Run would be, but instead put the homes far off in Fluvanna, Greene, etc – well, the shopping will eventually go there as well.”

    jmcnamera I agree with you completely. The thing is, though, I can guarantee you that Louisa and Fluvanna residents won’t be the only ones shopping there. I am willing to bet thousands of Charlottesville-Albemarle residents will hop into their gas guzzling vehicles and wonder on the 15 mile drive out why something like it wasn’t built closer to town where the population is several times larger. The same holds true for all the retail going up in Greene.

  • UVA08, I agree with you regarding that Cville residents will drive east to Louisa, in fact, that is what Louisa hopes for.

    The best place for this mall would be between Rt 250 and I-64 near Cville. It could have great access to population and roads, but the county and city have blocked those type of proposals before. Thus sprawl…

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