Regal vs. Hillsdale Drive Extension

The news of the Regal Seminole 4 expanding presents some problems for the planned Hillsdale Drive extension. The planned road will go right along the edge of the theater, and Regal’s expansion will push the theater right out into the proposed route. Brian Wheeler, with Charlottesville Tomorrow, broke that story a few days ago, and today Rachana Dixit and Brian McNeill provide the city’s response to all of this, which seems to boil down to annoyance. It’s Regal’s land to do with as they see fit, and there’s certainly nothing stopping them from expanding their theater into the path of the road.

The trick here is that there’s just not room for both uses. Either the theater can expand, or Hillsdale Drive can be extended clear down to Hydraulic, creating the first of what the city and the county intend to a series of roads paralleling 29 North, to take traffic off of the main drag. The two are headed towards an eminent domain showdown, and I’d bet that Regal will lose that particular game of chicken.

13 Responses to “Regal vs. Hillsdale Drive Extension”


  • Maybe Regal decided to expand because it would increase their claim of value when time comes to compensate at “fair market” prices?

  • I do not think that the owners of land should not be allowed to make improvement changes to their business because sometime in the future the state/city may or may not get the funding and land required for a project that may or may not occur.

    Either get the right of way done and the funding in place, as the Theater has done, or forget it.

    Or perhaps the theater is forcing the issue?

  • By the time that road is funded, we’ll be seeing movies via chips implanted in our brains and teletransportation will have solved our traffic problems.

    Beam me up Scottie!

  • > It’s Regal’s land to do with as they see fit

    “Right-of-way”??

    My land in the city backs up to Meadow Creek. We have power-lines near there with a right-of-way that prevents me from putting up a big deck over a steep hill.

    If I can’t build a DECK there’s sure to be something that would make it so they can’t put up a BUILDING!

  • There is no “right-of-way” there yet. The government has simply indicated they want it someday, but right now, its just talk. See Meadowcreek parkway for how long this could take.

  • I’m usually sympathetic to public projects (and I think the Hillsdale connector is one that actually makes sense), but it strikes me as pretty nervy for the city/county/whoever to say “hold off on developing your private property in the way you see fit because sometime in the amorphous mid-range future we hope to have our act together enough to actually start our own project.” I don’t see how the Regal is under any obligation to decline improving its own situation out of regard for a public project that might or might not happen.

    And moreover, if Regal DOES go ahead and improve the theater, I would think it would be really difficult for the city to come along in 2015 and eminent-domain a fairly new and luxurious and presumably prosperous piece of private property. But I don’t know much about the law in this area.

  • Why don’t they just change the alignment and put it through the K-mart. Then they don’t have to move the light on Hydraulic. Wouldn’t we rather have the movie theater?

    Another idea, they can just swap Regal their existing land for some park land next the YMCA and build the movie theater there. Then they can keep planning for the road for a couple centuries.

  • Maybe Hillsdale Drive ought to tie into Michie Drive.

  • Why don’t they just change the alignment and put it through the K-mart. Then they don’t have to move the light on Hydraulic. Wouldn’t we rather have the movie theater?

    Heck no—I guarantee that KMart brings a lot more to the city in the form of taxes than a movie theater.

  • Waldo, his second paragraph suggests to me his comment was tongue-in-cheek. At least that’s the way I took it and had a good laugh.

  • Since when did our local gov’t make decisions based on economics? This is a political process not a business decision. You will save yourself a lot of gray hairs by accepting the unfortunate differences in the two.

  • The city has gone out of its way to block any useful new roads. I wouldn’t be surprised if a city official suggested that the Regal expand in that directon.

  • Well at least they’re not trying to build a theater where the 29 bypass will be built in 50 or so years. Snark.

    I think the real project should have precedence over the possible future project that will probably never happen.

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