The Downtown Crozet Initiative (DCI), along with developer Frank Stoner of Milestone Partners, held a virtual community meeting on June 14 to provide an update on plans for the proposed downtown plaza and attendant roads and infrastructure. Stoner presented the latest images for the design of the roads surrounding the plaza and connecting to Hill Top Street, and noted that the plan includes a bike/pedestrian path along the southern portion of the property from High Street to Hill Top.
The plaza as currently envisioned (designed by Mahan Rykiel Associates) embraces themes related to Crozet’s railroad, orchard, and industrial heritage, and includes a multi-purpose pavilion stage and green spaces for play structures, a splash pad water feature, a fire pit, outdoor art and sculpture, and plenty of seating areas. The plaza will be bounded on the western side by a hotel and mixed-use commercial buildings, and will feature a large concert lawn that faces the stage to the west. Railroad-themed ideas include the use of embedded tracks in some of the promenade areas, timber platform seating, wooden play structures, and double-sided railroad-tie benches.
The project will be financed through a public-private partnership with Albemarle County that involves $3.5 million in cash, right-of-way, and land contributions by the developer, $3.2 million from the county, and $2.5 million from VDOT in revenue sharing funds, plus an additional $1.2 million to be raised by the DCI for plaza features such as seating, structures, and art.
The current timeline projects that road construction will begin in March of 2022 and the plaza site plan will be reviewed in early 2022 with construction to start next summer. The DCI will be fundraising in the spring of 2022, and is working on a Memorandum of Agreement with the county to allow the DCI to manage plaza events such as concerts, festivals, and outdoor movies. To view the presentation, visit downtowncrozetinitiative.com and click on the Blog tab. Questions can be directed to [email protected]