'Albemarle Place' Edges Toward Reality

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin
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August 8, 2006

The landscape is starting to take shape in one portion of Albemarle County. Drivers along Hydraulic Road may have noticed a difference.

The debris says it all. There is a change on the horizon for Albemarle County, and while most people forgot what is supposed to be coming here, the community got to see the plan for 'Albemarle Place' move forward.

"There going to be some significant retail tenants there. There is going to be residential and office space. There are some significant roads improvement that have been offered by the developer," said Albemarle County Supervisor of the Rio District David Slutzky.

'Albemarle Place' is described by many close to the project as a one-stop shop for the community. The idea for it all began several years ago, but it was only approved in 2004.

"It is one of the larger-scaled development projects that have approved by the board in recent years," added Slutzky.

Its development is aimed at the intersection of Route 29 and Hydraulic road. Construction on the target site means some places will have to be torn down to make room.

One place which is not budging just yet is the 7-11 convenience store.

"To accommodate the road improvements, I suspect that the developers will work out some kind of a deal out with the owners of the 7-11 because It's going to be in the way of road improvements," added Slutzky.

The laundromat was demolished on Monday. The Pet Supplies and old Blockbuster stores are empty, but still stand. Route 29 is sure to be mangled with construction soon, and for quite some time. The board of supervisors said it will be better in the end.

"All in all, I think it could be a real asset to the community," said Slutzky.

Slutzky went on to say 'Albemarle Place' is in a perfect location, and it will be better than it is now when finished. While the debris is a sure sign of the changing landscape for residents of Albemarle County, even better news could come when everything is leveled and actual construction begins.

Construction could get underway soon if the the Albemarle County Planning Commission approves the site plan.

The blue prints will be presented to the commission next week.

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