The entrance to "Main Street" as seen from a southbound vehicle on U.S. 29.
Trader Joe's would occupy the building shown at lower right.
Trader Joe's, the specialty grocery chain that has caused ripples of enthusiasm over its impending arrival in Charlottesville, will present a mostly windowless expanse of stone and masonry to the intersection of U.S. 29 and Hydraulic Road, according to architectural renderings released in advance of a meeting of Albemarle County's Architectural Review Board.
Replacing the now-shuttered 7-Eleven store at that high-profile location, the Trader Joe's would serve as one of the anchors of the Stonefield development, a massive shopping center whose planned 14-screen Regal Cinema received criticism– before its eventual approval by the ARB last month– for presenting its own 320 feet of grey stucco further west along Hydraulic.
Originally pitched as a mixed-use community that would have put as much space under roof as two Downtown Malls into its "town center," Stonefield has reportedly won the option to delete its planned housing component.
Most recently, a member of the ARB reviled the overall site plan as "anti-urban" and criticized the design for orienting the Regal cinema's better features toward its parking lots and for attempting, with synthetic stucco and metal panels, merely to "dress up its backside."
The comments, recorded by Charlottesville Tomorrow, noted that the presenting architect countered that perception, arguing that, like Rome's St. Peter's Basilica, the cinema building was "coherently scaled."
Another drawing released in advance of the Monday, August 15 meeting of the ARB shows the main entrance to Stonefield along U.S. 29. Along that busy thoroughfare, Austin-based Nelson Partners have planned copious amounts of stone veneer to provide a gateway to Stonefield's "Main Street."
There, a restaurant called Burton's Grill would occupy the north side. On the south side would stand a glassy two-story retail structure whose exposed wood and streamlined overhanging portico echo design elements from Charlottesville's downtown Transit Center.