The Shops at Stonefield

DAILY PROGRESS FILE

Another apartment complex could be coming to the Stonefield site in Albemarle County.

The property owner is requesting a special exception to build a six-story apartment building with 234 units, as the current code of development for the entire Stonefield site has a maximum height allowance of five stories.

Stonefield, originally named Albemarle Place, broke ground in 2011 after receiving a rezoning for the almost 65-acre site in 2003. The rezoning allows approximately 800 residential units in the overall development, as well as retail, hotels, restaurants and other uses.

“This is just one of those components that fulfills that original vision; this is not something new that’s being asked for,” said John Matthews with Mitchell Matthews Architects + Planners, who presented to the Places 29 Hydraulic Community Advisory Committee at its Monday evening meeting.

The apartment building is proposed to go in a current parking lot at the intersection of Hydraulic Road and District Avenue, northwest of The Shops at Stonefield.

Matthews said the building will have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and include an enclosed parking garage, also known as a Texas doughnut, with 447 parking spaces for building residents.

Jim Duxbury, also with Mitchell Matthews Architects + Planners, said the primary entrance will be on Bond Street.

“The idea is that residents could come in and can be dropped off by Uber, taxi, or whatever, and enter the building through the amenity space, which is this whole front of the building, all the sort of public common space for the project,” he said.

There are plans to have co-working spaces and a fitness center that will face out on Bond Street, Duxbury said. There will not be commercial or retail uses in the building.

“The owner of the development ... felt that they’re really trying to reinforce the existing shops and not trying to pull stuff over,” he said.

Supervisor Diantha McKeel asked what they plan to charge for rent.

“I’m obviously interested in the price of the rentals because one of the things that we’re really lacking is a certain level of [affordability],” she said.

Matthews said the costs of construction will affect the rent and they do not yet have a price for the building.

“They’re going to be competitive, they have to be competitive, but they haven’t really said yet,” Matthews said. “But as soon as we know, we’re happy to share it.”

Two community members who said they live in Stonefield asked about traffic and parking.

“Access and egress at certain times during the day are potentially problematic, but parking, this is not specifically with your project but I’m talking about the general area, is going to be impacted on the streets and in the rear of the current Hyatt,” one resident said. “This development is reducing surface parking in the general area for retail, for visitors.”

Already this year, the property owner has received two special exception approvals to increase building heights to six stories, one for a 160-unit apartment building and commercial space on a site that originally was proposed to be 55 townhouses and another for a proposed Hyatt House Hotel on current green space next to the current Hyatt Place Hotel.

Matthews said he doesn’t control all the other parts of the site, but that it’s in the property owner’s best interest to have enough parking for everyone.

The special exception request will need to be approved by the county Board of Supervisors. The project also will have to go through the county’s Architectural Review Board process.

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