Hydraulic curiosity

Corner of Cedar Hills and Hydraulic Road. The trees in this part of town are disappearing, soon to be replanted along the grand boulevards of Stonefield. I suppose the trees in the Route 29 median are gone for good.

Has the Muse of Architects been communicating on a regular basis with the builders of Stonefield? Will the addition of veneers, nature band-aids, signage, street lights, and grifters make it feel more like Charlottesville? While the grifters might not be welcome to loiter and panhandle in the interior of Stonefield, they’ll probably be able to set up along the Hydraulic frontage in the public right of way.

When will the Big Windowless at Stonefield be activated? Is it a Downtown Mall slayer? Will it spew cars through Cedar Hills neighborhood? Is there a water feature?
Commentator Bill Emory puts up a new photo nearly every day at billemory.com/blog.

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I actually feel less informed after reading this.

I would bet $100 that Whole Foods leaves C'ville within a year.

maybe the trees were removed b/c helen dragas thought they were too fat.

Rober....um....goodness why would Whole Foods leave?

Happy to take that $100 bet

@Rober O'Clare
You, sir or madam, sound like perhaps the world's worst gambler.

Whole Foods and Trader Joes coexist very nicely in places like Alexandria and Bethesda MD,, so there's no reason to think that C'ville would be different. The planned new Fresh Market is a less likely contender to survive, and Wegmans won't open for quite a while, so I feel pretty safe with expecting Whole Foods to be around for at least another year.

With the departure of the Giant store from 29, there is room for another market to open in town. Trader Joe's isn't really a full supermarket and will only likely negatively influence wine sales at other wine retailers.

Wegman's is the sleeping giant (pun intended) and will be the best store in town once it opens. They have it all and you can even eat at the store. Best market I've seen in this part of the world and compares favorably with the high end markets on the West Coast. If they had rooms you could live at Wegman's.

What is more likely to happen is that the older shopping centers will see a mass exodus to the newer spots. This town can only support so much retail. Was at the Corner yesterday afternoon. It was dead. There were more salespeople than shoppers in the stores.

It is all about parking and convenience, along with a bit of hipness. Biff and Muffy only shop where the cool people can be seen and see each other!

RIP unused baseball field and really old Safeway that I only remember as a Blockbuster and Piece Goods Store.

Well now, Mr. Emory, you couldn't really expect windows in a movie theater now, could you?
Anyway, trees are the fauna world's equivalent of Cockroaches in this neck of the woods and another fever swamp drained on the perimeter of town ain't so bad. Now, as to the quality of development at the latest exercise in strip mall building, that's another matter and we all know there's not enough business her for this project without stealing business from someone else, but that's the whole point here. All the cream has already been skimmed from the older projects and so it's time for them to dodder off into genteel decay so new projects can be skimmed by those who live off commissions and fees and this project too will wander off into serial bankruptcies as we like it in this wonderful land of limitless opportunity.
But it is nice to see more skuzzy Virginia jungle cleared away for all that I've said before...

Kinda hoping this mall will teach the preposterously named Fashion Square a lesson. Yes, this is a mall. But it looks to be an aesthetically pleasing one given the investment in fancy extras such as stone (okay, that's the only fancy extra I can discern so far, but still...). And it has a much better name.

That's a great idea about living at Wegman's, Julia Child. I would buy a retirement condo there in a heartbeat.

Wegmans will bring some real competition to C'ville. Whole Foods will survive, but they will have to jump, finally, through some real hoops to stay in the game. People are so class conscious around here about where they shop. Now the snotty ones will have to travel South of the RR tracks to shop at Wegmans. Poor things. Directions: From Food Lion on Avon,take River Crest Parkway, and you are there! Meet you in the parking lot!

@ Julia Child -- the Corner is usually pretty much deserted in August. Students are still a seasonal phenomenon. Hugo Malanga proposed four-laning the traffic and "platooning the cars" through the Corner with a series of computer controlled synchronized lights. It's not a mall. Thank your lucky stars: it's not a mall.

Great, Andy. Bet's on. Gotta run right now, but we'll figure a way to meet up for that handshake.
I've been a great fan of WF, too. Just seems to me that they couldn't have chosen a location more likely to fail than that one, even without Stonefield. One year is a bit short, but I'll keep the bet.

I remember shopping in the Safeway there...but that was a long, long time ago.

Ridiculous to think WF is going anywhere...I'm sure this will hurt their margins, but I very much doubt they'd have built a new facility and moved knowing that TJ's was coming.

Wegman's is very nice, but more of a threat to Harris-Teeter (or Giant/Kroger) than Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. People shopping at the latter two have already opted to pay a premium for a certain level of branding and are not really price-competitive (Whole Wallet anyone?). Trader Joe's does have a unique line of prepared foods not readily available elsewhere.

Me, Woo, Trap, Wein, Mac, and Dirty Dave used to rip off that Safeway (that used to be there) for steaks and beer on a regular basis.

Matter of fact, that's where we got Humphrey Bogart.

Ah the memories!

would have really liked to see an REI and not the over priced BRMS, also would have loved a bigger DICKS (so trendy here in cville)

@Angel Eyes: You're truly hilarious. You make me feel like Haley Mills next to your cynicism. Are you busy writing "The Poison Ivy Bible" about your exile in this foetid corner of the earth?

The big spectacle sign which sees all (The Great Gatsby reference) will see the IMAX open for the Great Gatsby. The spectacle saw the Ridge Drive In torn down and Kroger built and catty cornered to that the Safeway torn down and IMAX put in.

Crazy to think that a TJ could put WF out of business. If anything my money is on whole foods because it's going to be a lot easier to access from 250 than this nightmarishly large shopping center. Wegman's will probably take a cut of my grocery spending once they get here, though... it'll be closer to my house and it's a pretty magical place. Unlike the 5th Street Food Lion which is the opposite of magical... prefer not to buy my groceries under the gaze of armed guards.

Either way, I'm glad to see more options moving into town.

I am starting to hear a roaring sucking sound as all of the money flows out of the downtown mall and into Stonefield. The downtown mall is a too sketchy. Too many obviously mentally disturbed people acting erratically and too many youngsters also acting erratically. When my older retired parents visit, I don't even like to take them there, it doesn't sem safe. The downtown mall just doesn't seem safe. And the prices at the stores on ghe mall are definitely the kind of prices that demand a pretty hefty disposable income. It ain't cheap down there. So ill be happy to shop somewhere else

And retailers will also see benefits to moving to the new shopping area that will be less easily accessible to deranged, drunken, adults and errant youth. The mall downtown will collapse if the city doesn't do something to clean it up. It has happened in many other cities, where the money flows out of the city center because that center got too dangerous, and that outward flow just starts a vicious circle leaving the former downtown area an empty husk. Richmond is kind of like that. The main shopping and retail area moved out towards the Short Pump mall.

Lost in Space, this comment sounds like it was airlifted from the 1970's when Fashion Square Mall was supposed to kill the downtown. It did some damage for a while, but the downtown has adapted and now serves a different market niche (love it or hate it). Competition from Stonefield will be felt most acutely by Fashion Square Mall, Barracks Road, and the other strip centers along 29.

I have spent many years of my career working in and around the Downtown Mall.

At lunch time, it seems to be fine. It offers different and, in many ways, unusual products and services that are not available elsewhere in town.

At night, after dark, it seems to have a different feel, but I have never felt it was a negative feel.

The police need to enforce existing laws. The police and the elected and hired leadership of the city know exacly what those laws are.They cover a wide swath of behaviors. The Downtown Mall is an asset to Cville. Policing it better will allow it to continue to be so.

Retail expands to meet the needs of a community. The community responds with their feet. We shop where we feel welcomed and comfortable. We don't sjop in places that we don't like. The consumer will determine the future of all shopping in Cville.

The Downtown Mall had better get regulated and to do that city council is going to have to grow a pair. If this doesn't happen, it will die.
Dolemite, I think I love you. I saw Haley Mills in "The Parent Trap" when I was in early teens and was lovesick over her for the next year...

All the Fashion Square thugs will come to claim new turf.

As long as big stick man doesn't come up north. That guy scares me.

Shouldn't the name be Las Ventanas in honor of the windowlessness--sort of like Timberland Blvd with no trees?

Excellent idea G. Keller! I love ironic names! Maybe we'll be treated to developer pomposity on parade, the naming of streets for oneself. I think some of that took place on Pantops.