Crozet Pizza to be demolished?
Architect Bill Atwood, along with property owner Sandra Everton, hopes to transform the Crozet tracts that currently contain the IGA Shopping Center, Three Notched Grill, and Crozet Pizza strip into a new mixed use complex that would demolish the whole shebang to create "Crozet Station."
Atwood (who recently unveiled a 9-story proposal for Charlottesville) and Everton made their preliminary Crozet proposal to the Albemarle Planning Commission on May 30.
"This is not really the neighborhood model," said Atwood. "This is the reinvention of a Downtown that has been left behind."
Atwood has some history in Crozet. He's the guy who designed the fanciful, copper-roofed Dairy Queen, a structure widely praised at the same meeting.
He says commercial/retail space on the site would climb from its existing to 49,000 square feet to about 56,000 square feet– with the addition of 72 residential units, and the site might have about 270 parking spaces.
"There's a lot of chagrin about the possibility of demolition," said longtime Crozet advocate Mike Marshall. "I think there would be a lot of sadness," said Marshall, adding that the site contains "romance."
"Nobody ever considered in the course of the master plan that there would be the demolition of these buildings," Marshall said. "It was discouraging to learn that some of them are pole buildings, frankly, because we understood that they had foundations."
Numerous Planning Commissioners expressed hope that the project would find a way to preserve the facades or at least– as one of them put it– to pay "tribute" to the demolished structures.
"I'm a little worried about mandating that those exact structures on Route 240 be rebuilt," said one Commissioner, who hoped to see "some tribute to their visual impact."
Charlottesville Tomorrow summarizes some of the Commission discussion and even includes a podcast of the meeting.
Atwood says the development could be built in stages over five years so that existing businesses wouldn't have to leave the site. "You shouldn't try to draw in a Harris Teeter," said Atwood. "The IGA's fine."
Depending on market conditions, Atwood said, the one or two stories over the shops could be apartments or offfices– "we're flexible on that."