County Pushes Back on Stonefield Design

The ARB has told the developers of Stonefield (née Albemarle Place) that it’s just too ugly. Amen. And if the county lets them call their private road “Main St.,” I’m gonna pitch a fit. We have a Main St.  #

12 Responses to “County Pushes Back on Stonefield Design”


  • I don’t understand all the issues here, but I am glad that someone is keeping an eye on this development.

    I too would oppose a second “Main” street.

  • Someone clearly failed, or forgot their “Elements of Design” class. And failed common sense. OF COURSE we will all be SOOooooooo happy to have the dumpsters of the places facing 29N.

    And Main Street in a shopping mall?

    Could these guys get any more self absorbed and egocentric?

    Holy crap, I am agreeing with Waldo “Left of Lenin” Jaquith! Must need a nap. ;-)

  • The dumpsters do not face 29, that was one of the requiremnets. If you are not to sleepy Dan, go to page 9 of the PDF at http://www.readthehook.com/files/article-documents/News-StonefieldPresentation.pdf and you will see the truck area is hidden behind walls on the west and south side. So it is even screened from Hydraulic. I’m not fan of big shopping centers, or of calling thinks like UVa Northfork pedestrian-friendly, when you know everyone drives there, but this place could be a lot worse. The slide of TJoes is deceptive, the building ends right at the edge of the picture, it is not one big shopping block. I guess they though we would like it that 29 would not get another big junky parking with signs in front. The building can’t have windows on all four sides – though Whole Foods almost accomplished that – and we want a street grid, so we get windows on the new streets. You can’t expect them to build a street grid, and then face all the buildings back out onto 29 and Hydraulic like a strip mall with service roads.

    Anyway, Trader Joes is not known for moving into boho paradises as much as Whole Foods. The one in Richmond is far out in the suburbs in a strip mall. TJoes are cost cutters.

  • Typos fixed:

    The dumpsters do not face 29, that was one of the requirements. If you are not too sleepy Dan, go to page 9 of the PDF at http://www.readthehook.com/files/article-documents/News-StonefieldPresentation.pdf and you will see the truck area is hidden behind walls on the west and south side. So it is even screened from Hydraulic. I’m not fan of big shopping centers, or of calling things like UVa Northfork pedestrian-friendly, when you know everyone drives there, but this place could be a lot worse. The slide of TJoes is deceptive. The building ends right at the edge of the picture, it is not one big shopping block. I guess they thought we would like it that 29 would not get another big junky parking with signs in front. The building can’t have windows on all four sides – though Whole Foods almost accomplished that – and we want a street grid, so we get windows on the new streets. You can’t expect them to build a street grid, and then face all the buildings back out onto 29 and Hydraulic like a strip mall with service roads.

    Anyway, Trader Joes is not known for moving into boho paradises as much as Whole Foods. The one in Richmond is far out in the suburbs in a strip mall. TJoes are cost cutters.

  • Holy crap, I am agreeing with Waldo “Left of Lenin” Jaquith! Must need a nap. ;-)

    After a good decade, you still haven’t noticed I’m basically a centrist? :) Though I believe you once referred to yourself—half-kidding—as being to the right of Ghenghis Kahn, so perhaps it’s a matter of perspective. ;)

  • *This* is what a Trader Joe’s should look like:

    http://you-are-here.com/location/trader_joes.html

    The Stonefield design has about as much relation to a True Trader Joe’s as the Pentagon has to a Quaker meeting house.

  • I’m glad they’re pushing back at this. Let’s figure these buildings will stand for at least 20-40 years, with minimal adjustments. The ARB and the community as a whole should be trying as hard as possible to get this development to be as nice as possible, we’re gonna have to look at it and use it for decades to come. And let’s not even get started on the name “Main St,” go ahead and kill that idea.

    I want to see brick too. The rocks look great. I’m not a fan of stucco but it’s Charlottesville, let’s see most of those buildings with a brick facade.

    There’s a whole political debate as to where a “centrists” stands these days. We seem to be getting squeezed by an extreme right and extreme left who wants to label anything that’s not on their end of the spectrum as a “right wing nut job” or a “leftist commie.” But, Waldo “Left of Lenin” Jaquith has a nice ring to it though.

  • Here is a selection of Trader Joes exteriors. I tell you, they go cheap on the locations, and tend to the suburbs. The stores are also smaller than Whole Foods.
    http://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl=en&safe=active&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=trader joes exterior
    The mausoleum has added expenses they probably resisted, like the interior/walled loading docks.
    That original Joes on Pico on L.A. is not representative.

    I was wondering if people would prefer the Barracks Road design, the most successful shopping center in Cville or Albemarle. Not me, but the complaints would benefit from some clarity.

    For instance, I could agree, “we want a grid, but with alleys also, so some stores face out onto Seminole & Hydraulic.” Or, “we want bricks, white trim and a dome.” I would agree with either of those.

    I’d also like a group statue of Cville’s civil rights leaders on the 1960s, and the streets named after them. Or how about rename it “STONEWALL” to make it both gay friendly and a joke on Confederates?

  • David and Colfer,

    Here are a couple of attractive Trader Joe’s Exteriors that would probably be met by the ARB with open arms:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_4Yr5rOz2Sug/S_qn4UXcGfI/AAAAAAAAA88/ZU2ZbYu_HEk/s1600/trader joes raleigh.jpg

    http://mrwilliamsburg.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/traderjoes.jpg

    http://activerain.com/image_store/uploads/1/6/8/4/5/ar124482523254861.jpg

    http://sandhillsseniors.com/wp-content/uploads/traderjoes.jpg

    http://chicago.eater.com/uploads/Trader-Joes-exterior-med.jpg

    http://www.rivercityshuttle.com/images/clip_image001.jpg

    I’d be comfortable with any of these. Barrack’s Road is clearly the most successful shopping center, but how much of that has to do with it’s location as opposed to design? It also has some of the best stores in town but what came first, the chicken or the egg? If Albemarle Square were in Barrack’s Road, would it be as successful? There are certainly some things that could be improved there but it’s been tastefully maintained and upgraded over time.

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