Artful Lodger building

Rendering courtesy Bushman DreyfusRendering courtesy Bushman Dreyfus

Three possible designs for a 101-foot-tall, mixed-use building at the site of the Artful Lodger in downtown Charlottesville, seen from Ridge-McIntire Road, have been presented to the Board of Architectural Review.

{child_flags:top_story}Proposed 101-foot-tall building clears 1st hurdle

{child_byline}By NOLAN STOUT | (434) 978-7274 {/child_byline}

Charlottesville planners are supportive of a proposed 101-foot-tall mixed-use building but have urged the developer to focus on pedestrian access to the Downtown Mall.

Heirloom Development’s special-use permit application for the building cleared its first hurdle with the Board of Architectural Review during its meeting Tuesday.

The board’s oversight of the proposal focused on how it impacts downtown’s historic district.

The proposed project would sit on Market Street on the site currently occupied by The Artful Lodger, The Livery and other small businesses.

The permit would allow for a density of 240 units per acre and a maximum height of 101 feet. With the size of the property, that would translate to a maximum of 134 units.

The zoning ordinance only allows a maximum height of 70 feet by-right and 24 units.

According to the proposal, the building would include commercial space, as well as studio and one-, two- and some three-bedroom apartments.

Jeff Dreyfus, of Bushman Dreyfus, said the final design isn’t completed and receiving the permit would provide more “flexibility” to “sculpt” it.

“We have a long way to go in final design of the building,” he told the board.

Most board members were supportive of the increased density and height, while it was a sticking point for others.

“While I think density is great in this exact spot, I don’t think a giant building is,” board member Melanie Miller said.

All expressed concern that the building could reduce pedestrian access to the Downtown Mall from Market Street. They urged the developer to consider a design that retains a walkable path near The Whiskey Jar.

“It’s going to be quite a challenge to do a building this large that is compatible with the other buildings and storefronts that are butting up against it on both sides,” Planning Commissioner Jody Lahendro said.

Board members also expressed dismay that trees along the street would be removed for the project. The board recommended trees or other vegetation be planted on the Downtown Mall side of the project.

Heirloom is under contract to purchase the property, which is owned by Market Street Promenade LLC and valued at $3.2 million.

Heirloom is behind the proposed 602-616 W. Main St. complex and the under-construction 600 W. Main St. property. Prices for the latter development range from $1,499 for a studio apartment to $4,090 for a three-bedroom unit.

If the permit is approved, the existing building would be demolished.

The proposal is the topic of a Planning Commission work session Sept. 24.

The BAR will see the proposal again to consider the final design.

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City hall reporter

Nolan Stout is a reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact him at (434) 978-7274,, or @nstoutDP on Twitter and Facebook.

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