Stonefield development: Trader Joe's coming to town

Back in January, the Hook reported that the latest renderings for Stonefield, the 65-acre development formerly known as Albemarle Place, showed a Trader Joe's on the corner of Hydraulic and Route 29.

On March 9, developer Edens & Avant announced that it's true, folks.

"In addition to Regal Cinemas, we are extremely excited to introduce Trader Joe's to Charlottesville," said Jessica Bruner, Vice President of Leasing for Edens & Avant in a release, calling the chain, "a specialty grocer that we feel is a perfect fit for such a progressive community."

Bruner says the Trader Joe's will be 12,500 square feet. Construction on the development will begin this spring.

The release also confirms that a 135-room hotel and a 65,000 square foot Regal IMAX Theater with 14 screens will anchor the development. When finished, the development company states,  the shops will offer 1.2 million square feet of retail and mixed uses and generate 722 new jobs in retail and hotel management, as well as 1700 new construction jobs over the life of the project. During a planning commission meeting in January, the company proposed chipping in $1 million to build a fourth southbound lane on Route 29 from Westfield Road to 29/250 interchange, and a second lane for the on-ramp onto 250 West.

The Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority is also in the process of replacing the aging sewage infrastructure called the Meadowcreek Interceptor, after discovering that it did not have the capacity to handle the new development, a $24.5 million project scheduled to be completed in August.

Updated 10:34am


I was hoping for a Wegman's!

I am sure the Charlottesville's city council will find away to stall it or run them off!

yea finally!! i appreciate not having to travel to spump with the icechest----looking forwrd to one of my fav staples from my recent move here to c-ville from so cal----thanks another great reason to be here in c-ville----missing ca less and less!!!

Rick, that corner of 29 and Hydraulic is in the county, not in Charlottesville (the boundary runs right through that intersection).

I like cheap wine, but with TJ and Whole Foods coming to that stretch, traffic will be even more of a snarl.

People in this town just can't wait to get in line to get rid of their money. Hooray!

The director of the RWSA tried to claim on Monday that the new enlarged pump station, which the county prefers to locate in the City Woolen Mills neighborhood at the entrance to Riverview Park is needed for rainwater infiltration --WRONG -- this is the reason COUNTY GROWTH . Get smart Charlottesville the County wants city residents to give up their parks ( Ragged Mt., McInitre, Riverview) and pay millions to subsidize new infrastructure that they want to grow. Let them put it in their own backyard, and let them pay for it.

Next city election only elect those who will stand up to the county and not get weak in the knees like Huja, Szakos, and Brown just did when they caved into the county dam water plan and abandoned the city owned Ragged Mt. Natural Area and dredging their own Reservoir at South Fork .

If the county wants to grow so be it, but let them pay for the infrastructure to support it; use their own land and their tax dollars.

@Maureen...I'm sure you would agree then that they City should forgo the annual $18 million (and growing) gift it gets from the County because of the foolish agreement from 1982, and thereby support its own growth by raising r/e taxes roughly 14% as well to roughly $1.33/$100.

Yeah for Trader Joes in C'ville! Now all that is needed is a Wegman's on Rt. 53 towards Palmyra. We have only a rather small and antiquainted Food Lion here for a county that is growing in population very quickly and Wegman's would draw customers from throughout all of Central Virginia.

Sorry, Larry, but that would be a goofy place to put a Wegman's. It's nowhere near the real population center. You guys do deserve at least a Kroger, though.

@Big Daddy G and would you be willing to allow the city to annex county land ? Remember county residents voted for this agreement.

The county could increase their tax base by the same amount they give to the city by ending their land use tax credit program to the wealthy, maybe that's where you should start if you think the county needs more money for their schools and other services.

What No Local Store??!! I was hoping for a local place so I could pay more be treated like crap support the local faux farmers(hucksters) did I mention pay more for low quality foods and of course be treated like crap?!?!?!
Yep a Wegmans would be great .There has to be enough central and western New Yorkers who live in the county to support a "WE WANT A WEGGYS" drive .Lets do it before the past a law that wont allow them in town

Sigh..i was wanting a Piggly Wiggly...

I thought Trader Joe simply re-branded food produced by large manufactures? Not sure it's a "specialty grocer." Now if they opened up an H-mart or another Asian supermarket, I'd be excited. That's where I see high quality meats and produce at reasonable prices. I should keep this on the down low, as the yuppies may have not figured this secret out already.

Why can't they build something downtown for once? 29N at that intersection in particular does not need more congestion. It's called planning.

Well, it hasn't been built yet and there have been other inception dates bruited over the course of several years. In today's economy with high rent commercial property vacancies high and many commercial developments nationwide "going back to the bank" it'll be interesting to see if financing will materialize to build this latest mega mall. Being skeptical, I'll believe it when I see it.

@rooster, TJ's is cheaper than the grocery stores we have.


I get the cmpettition of business' thing but doesn't Albemale County want to have sucessful business' in their county to bring in continuous revenue?? Putting a Trader Joe's "just up the street" from Kroger and Whole foods is setting someone up to fail. Wwho will it be?? Maybe we should rethink how much of one type of store goes into an area.. I hear ya, convvenience for the consumer but look at all of the empty real estate like Rio Hill.....Old Circuit city.. Please people aren't we inthe age of recycling??

No more trips to Short Pump. Yeah!

katesut Its not the business that fail its the way the county treats the business that does it . This is the most "business unfriendly place in the world" just ask Home depot or any Franchised business they tell you. This buy local stuff is just a bunch of good old boys (or rich boys) That just take care of each other and nothing else

his wife is right

I say bring on the Trader Joe's, take out the Hydraulic Road Kroger and put the drive-in theater back in its 1950-60s location. The terrain was perfect. A lot of fun for everybody.

katesut, I think the Whole Foods and Kroger (the full-fledged supermarkets) serve different customers and will continue to do so. Trader Joe's is a specialty store that is not a full supermarket. Trader Joe's has a terrific, eclectic mix of foodstuffs - often at great prices.

Sure Maureen, annex the Trader Joe's site and then you shouldn't have a problem with the RWSA using the woolen mills infrastructure?

Dum-deee-dum...... If I charge you 50 cents for 6 eggs, how much should I charge you for a half dozen? I'll give you a couple of hours to figure that one out.

Those that pit the city's interests vs. the county's are not using their noggin. The whole point of a REGIONAL authority is to acknowledge the REALITY that the county and city are symbiotic. People in the city drink water and use the bathroom, just like people in the county do.

The 1982 agreement is also a reflection of this REALITY (oops, there's that word again). The municipalities share revenue and do not share real estate. What they also share is the need for a service authority. They therefore share the use of and overhead for its facilities.

To not realize this is to reflect a hyper-provincial obtuseness for which I have no use.

Maureen, one of the head-in-the-sand Charlottesville residents that are in a froth over imagined giveaways by the CVille city council, is parroting the party line: That the city's interests and county's interests are diametrically opposed and therefore there should be no cooperation between the municipalities.

This myopic and provincial perspective would be worthy of ridicule except for the fact that so many people have it.

Arpal Bite Me

I hear that A+P and Stop n Shop are merging. Fingers crossed!

Sounds like someone is newly single and a little bitter. @idontknowanythi(no more wife)...

Arpal Nope Im Happier than a pig in sh#t with my life

Since we are bringing back the drive-in, let's bring Barnaby's pizza back...

Of course, if we are to see a vibrant community for both City and County residents we need to co-operate where we can. I agree with the statement make by outgoing City Councilor Holly Edwards on this matter reported by Charlottesville Tomorrow :

" The water plan and the Meadowcreek Parkway have been two issues that have deeply divided city and county officials during Edwards tenure. In her remarks, Edwards called for “building bridges” in the city-county relationship.

“I was hoping for a closer collaboration [with Albemarle], even consolidation between our police force, to develop a metropolitan police force, and the consolidation of social services,” said Edwards. “I do look forward to seeing the future collaboration of successful services between the two [localities].”

Edwards said she has learned a lot more about the “city-county dynamic” while serving on council.

“In many ways our goals are the same…but the city and county really have two different cultures and different sets of values,” said Edwards. “I think because the values are different we are not really able to collaborate in some areas or consolidate in others.”

“Some of the environmental issues that we embrace, the county may also agree with, but they don’t have the level of passion that’s in the city,” she said.

Before this development goes any farther the transportation issues need to be resolved. We have seen enough development already without adequate transportation improvements and to move forward with this large a development without adequately doing this will not only hurt the businesses located there, but the general traffic flow for many many people who use this corridor.
We are already facing a traffic nightmare at Free Bridge leading to Pantops and this is headed in the same direction.

i'll bite you, but only if you werent raised knee deep in excrement like most grocery store feedlot meat. you're pig in sh#t comment wasnt too far thanks

Arpal I love when you talk dirty to me ! Same time next week OK with you ?

I agree with the commenter who suggested that Trader Joe's use the old Circuit City building. We have lots of existing vacant retail space--the county should encourage businesses to use it before issuing permits for new construction.

Stop and P... Get it? hah ah ha ha

take that mwfm mess over to craigslist

@? Since we are bringing back the drive-in, let's bring Barnaby's pizza back.../good Lord, I remember both and they were both fabulous.

I've been to Trader Joe's in Marin County, CA; and I was unimpressed. Big yawn! I am, however, glad to see a good movie theatre coming to C'Ville, but this location is already too congested.

I vote bring the drive-in theatre back too!!!

Along with cold beer, and Lupo's steak and cheese hoagies!

There is a Barnabys pizza in South Bend. Was the one in Charlottesville a chain? If so maybe a road trip is in order!

"There is a Barnabys pizza in South Bend"

The pizza was thin-crust and rectangular. How is it the place in South Bend?

This project has been on the drawing board for quite a few years. The company builidng it is a well financed and successful company out of the carolinas and are paying millions in proffers. There are no more "studies" to be done as everything seems to have been addressd.

I find it amusing how people think they know of a better location for Trader Joes... do you think they became a national success by NOT doing any research?

I don't thnk they have had any failing stores.

If the county were to deny permits until the circut city space was rented they would be subsidizing some "rich" guy at the expense of someone who wants to spend millions creating hundreds of permanent jobs. Let the owner of the CC building lower his rent.. if it gets low enough someone will rent it.

I wonder what some of the people against development would do if they inherited a piece of land on 29 and someone wanted to give them a million bucks for it... would they just pay the 7000 dollar tax bill with no income perpetually or would they sell and have a nice life. I also wonder how they would feel after paying 7k a year for twenty years and then the county wants more when they finally want to build a Barnabys Pizza or a lupos steak house, or a vet clinic, or a clinic to serve the poor?

@Maureen: State has a moratorium on annexation...which is why the deal doesn't work. Albemarle is trapped in a horrible deal that could have been viewed as a good thing at the time. I'm not knowledgable about the history enough to judge whether the county could have foreseen the state placing a moratorium on annexation. What I do know is that they were foolish to not demand an out in the agreement for just such a scenario, and unfortunately the people who led the reversion drive a few years back screwed the pooch on the only other way out of the deal. Whomever the county attorney was when that deal was struck committed malpractice.
@everyone else: Barnaby's is a small chain in the Midwest, and I am all for bringing it back. ( I loved the pizza, and more specifically the "pole position" game. I went to many a kid's b-day parties there back in the day, there's no place like that here now. Lupos was great, but it was a Kessler joint, and he ain't coming back.

The damage being done by RWSA in charge of the Meadowcreek Intereceptor to city neighborhoods is unbelievable . If this is the kind of oversight RWSA provides for putting in a pipe, how do you expect them to construct a dam and new pipeline thru Albemarle County ?

It was suppose to be a 40ft clearance but has gone well over that and clear cut trees in it's path. Now there are complaints of pits being left open.

"I wonder what some of the people against development would do if they inherited a piece of land on 29 and someone wanted to give them a million bucks for it... would they just pay the 7000 dollar tax bill with no income perpetually or would they sell and have a nice life"

I'd probably split the difference and use some sort of donation vehicle to help the community (local and global) by getting a darn grade-seperated interchange there.

More development on those corners -- where places have inflated rents justified by the number of eyeballs in cars held hostage at stoplights -- is insane. Can we have a more sensible traffic pattern? Oh, no there is a new vitamin store here, a new fast-food joint there. It is insanity.

seperated -> separated. probably other typos too this early in the AM.

But look at the development website, it looks like there are some traffic changes, including a new stoplight on 29 (roughly across from where the Boathouse restaurant is) and another new stoplight on Hydraulic (roughly across from the old ball field where I once played).

I've shopped Trader Joe's out west and loved it. It would be grand to have one here. So my earlier comments have nothing to do with TJ's, but with the current viability of the development paradigm typified by Albemarle Place or whatever they are now calling it. If the economy continues to sputter and resource constraints limit future growth, then the world of happy motoring recreational shopping may be in for a world of hurt, but a TJ's would be great and would give "Whole Paycheck" a reality check.

Chances are high that this project will never come to fruition as with many other shovel ready projects in this area

You can tell you've lived in Charlottesville too long when you remember:
(1) The drive-in theater
(2) Barnaby's
(3) Lupo's
(4) The Home of the Humpburger ("Two-Cheese")
(5) The Cavalier
(6) Dairy Queen (the one across from JPJ)

And the best of all:

(7) The Biff Burger (where KFC is currently)

Biff burger? Haven't heard that name in a long time. We always called it Kenney Burger.

The sauce they used on their burgers.... out of this world!!!

And they had some of the best fries in this town.

I would give $25 right now for two of their cheeseburgers and an order of fries!

Wasn't this development supposed to have been finished by now?
As to Wegmans, I can't imagine Rt 53 supporting this, even on the backs of people headed to WIntergreen - too many square feet filled with duplicative rows of massive quantities of overpriced food - tried to find oatmeal once and there was the store brand section, the organic section, the regular brands section, and probably more I didn't find so I walked out. My husband was impressed with the locked case of truffles in one of the multiple produce sections.....

I was very opposed to the revenue sharing plan, but now that the county is about to take control of Ragged Mountain, South Fork Rivanna and Sugar Hollow from a naive (at best) Council I am all for it. It replaces the things that the county has duped the city into giving them under the name of "cooperation." Mrs. Edwards is a lovely person but she doesn't belong on Council. Neither do the rest of them. And take the new city manager with you - his only training occurred under Overrun O'Connell.

At least Ms. Edward didn't cave into the county and give away all the city owned water infrastructure like Szakos, Huja and Brown. I'd prefer her on Council to any of these three. I think she understands that the city and county have different interests in many areas and has stood up to the county when necessary.