Changing Face of West Main: Demolition Approved, Apartments Planned

August 20, 2013

It's out with the old and in with the new on West Main Street in Charlottesville.

On Tuesday, the city's Board of Architectural Review granted a request to tear down Republic Plaza.

The three-story building, which houses Shear Power, UVa. Patient Financial Services, Research Strategies Network, Medical Center Financial Operations and Blue Ridge Care Connection for Children, was built in 1988.

An architect working with the site says the plan is to create "The Standard | Charlottesville," a mixed-use residential building with retail and commercial space on the first floor and nearly 200 apartments above.

The proposed apartment complex would be right across the street from where another similar complex is currently under construction.

With increasing efforts to revitalize West Main Street, the board spent time discussing which buildings should be considered "contributing" versus "non-contributing."

That determines whether they get to do a review before a building is demolished.

"We've seen so much demolition in the city," says Justin Sarafin of the Board of Architectural Review. "I mean, if it's as simple as a review before somebody can literally go down and get a demolition permit, and be gone the next day, I am for including as much of that as possible."

The West Main discussion is ongoing, and the board will invite those property owners to its meeting next month.

The architect for "The Standard | Charlottesville" says they hope to start construction next fall.

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