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June 13, 2018 - Council unanimously approved selling several properties to developers WVS Cos. and Saunders + Crouse Architects, who proposed a $35 million "transformative" development downtown that will include retail, residents and a restaurant.
"You in Hampton are at the crossroads of history and future," Burrell Saunders told City Council. "This is creating an opportunity for people to bring that lifestyle here and really celebrate it. You see people wanting to be in more urban spaces because they want to interact."
Developer Jason Vickers-Smith noted that Hampton is a perfect site for development today, as Millennials and Baby Boomers create new trends toward urban areas, walkable communities, amenities, authenticity and connection with nature. they plan to begin with residential development and believe that will attract commercial development. "This will not only help downtown but will reinforce growth in other areas" of the city, said Vickers-Smith.
WVS Cos. and Saunders + Crouse Architects’ proposal includes retail shops, office space, apartments or condos with rooftop decks, for-sale townhouses and a seafood restaurant. The initial plans are for about 215 residential units, but long-term plans could grow by another 530 units.
“The Economic Development Department and Housing Authority staffs have been diligently working with the WVS and Saunders+Crouse team to complete the master development agreement,” said Steven Lynch, interim director of Economic Development. “This future development in downtown will be transformative. The new residential components will generate the critical mass of residences in downtown that are needed to sustain the existing business while bolstering our ability to attract new businesses.”
The agreement specifies that land would be sold at assessed value (between $3.3 and $5 million). The developer would pay for all infrastructure improvements, with the exception of a city contribution of $600,000 toward parking. The agreement also sets forth a timeline for development. City parcels proposed for sale include:
A fifth city-owned parcel, about 5,000 square feet of Carousel Park, fronting on Settlers Landing Road, will be transferred to the EDA. The EDA, in turn, will lease the land for a proposed seafood restaurant.
The largest development part of the development will occur on land that HRHA will sell. That includes four parcels bounded by Settlers Landing, Wine Street and Queens Way that make up what city officials call the “Goodyear site.”
WVS Cos. is experienced in developing, financing and managing mixed-use projects in urban areas, including Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, the Peninsula, and Roanoke. In the past 15 years, WVS has developed projects totaling more than $300 million. Burrell Saunders of Saunders + Crouse Architects has been the lead architect in millions of square feet of mixed-use projects, including Oyster Point (Newport News), Virginia Beach Town Center, Rocketts Landing (Richmond & Henrico County), Innsbrook (Henrico County), and The Bridges (Roanoke).