Albemarle Gets a Transportation Planner + Urban Density

Two stories at Charlottesville Tomorrow this week are worth noting (in truth, all their stories are), in part because they mesh with a conversation last night with a potential new client contemplating moving to Charlottesville from out West.

Two points he made:

1) They are considering moving to Charlottesville in part because they want a higher and better quality of life, and hope to achieve that with less traffic and a shorter commute.

2) He expressed concern that Charlottesville hadn’t grown in two decades. I advised to look at the population growth in Albemarle County (related: Should I move to Charlottesville?) Albemarle’s population has grown remarkably over the past 20 years while Charlottesville has remained fairly steady.

On to the Charlottesville Tomorrow stories:

Supervisors debate Albemarle’s growth area planning philosophy

“I really do think we are in a new era of the development area,” Sheffield said. “Without a doubt, I think things are going to move faster and faster and we need to get ahead of it.”

The population of Albemarle is projected to be 134,196 in 2030. The plan assumes nearly 15,000 additional dwelling units will need to be in place to absorb that growth.

The supervisors’ monthly review of the plan will continue in December when they are expected to take up chapters on transportation and parks. Echols said she is hoping the plan will go to a public hearing in April.

Albemarle to hire transportation planner

“Like many counties evolving from a rural level of service to an urban one, Albemarle is seeing a changing role for managing transportation issues,” said Mark Graham, the county’s community development director.

Graham said that 65 percent of Albemarle residents will be in the urban area by 2040, compared with around 45 percent today. The county estimates there are now 104,580 residents.

This. Charlottesville and Albemarle need to get along.

 

Keeping Up With West Main – Another Hotel Coming

Just a few years ago, West Main Street was the way you got from UVA to Downtown Charlottesville. Now, it’s Mid-Town. And it’s booming.

Sean Tubbs reports that yet another project – this time a high-end hotel – is being proposed for West Main Street.  The prospective developers, Carr Hospitality, have in their portfolio Embassy Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn & Suites and the Willard Intercontinental in DC.

Keeping up with West Main is nearly a full-time job (thanks, Charlottesville Tomorrow!)

So what? West Main is becoming more of an economic force in Charlottesville, adding stuff – new restaurants, new hotels, new apartments … new traffic. I suspect that this density and coming congestion will have at least two effects on the Charlottesville real estate market – 1) more will want to live close to this stuff, and I’d wager many of these will be renters of apartments rather than homeowners and 2) more will want to live away from this density and congestion.

Turns out, I’ve done a couple videos of West Main, and I thought it would be interesting to look back at a few of them:

(Click here to read the entire post)

2014’s 3rd Quarter Market Report – Answering “How’s the Market”?

2014-Q3-Charlottesville-Market-Report.jpg

Download the 2014 Q3 Charlottesville Market Nest Report.


The #1 Question buyers and sellers ask – whether in the conference room, the coffee shop, beers or dinner, is “how’s the market?” The underlying question tends to be a variation of, “can I sell?” or “should I sell” or “can I buy a home” or “should I buy a home”?

Update: NBC29 had a nice report last night and I’ve immensely glad they used what I’ve been saying for years –

“Get advice on what this report means to them because the report gives them good guidance but every market truly is extremely localized. The Charlottesville and Albemarle areas can vary neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street,” Duncan said.

For example -

I was pulling some data this afternoon on condos in the City of Charlottesville. Comparing 3rd Quarter 2014 with the 3rd Quarter 2013, condo prices in the City were up about 15%. But. Looking at the data a bit more granularly:

In 3rd Quarter 2013, 32 condos sold in the City versus 22 in the 3rd Quarter 2014 … and one sold in this 3rd quarter for $1.1 million, with the next highest sold price being $485k. Compare that with the 3rd Q 2013 where the highest sold price was $450k.

The data matters, but the context – and relevance to your particular situation – matters more.

 


The below reports will provide some top-level insight, but be cautioned … top level analyses provide just that – insight into what others are able (or unable) to accomplish.

More digging to be done, but for now here is CAAR’s 3rd Quarter Market report.

The Nest Report will be released a bit later today has just been releasedDownload the 2014 Q3 Charlottesville Market Nest Report.

2014 Q3 Charlottesville Market Report

More Houses Coming Near Mill Creek

I’d call this, generally, good density – in the urban ring, less than 10 minutes (east/south east) to the Downtown Mall, good access to schools and 64, close to stuff (including the coming Wegmans), and (hopefully) meeting the needs of the marketplace. If the end result looks close to the rendering … (and if there are sidewalks and crosswalks).

More infill neighborhoods, so long as the accompanying infrastructure improvements, are examples of relatively good growth.

Charlottesville Tomorrow reports:

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has approved construction of as many as 100 new homes between Avon Street Extended and Route 20 in the county’s southern urban area.

 

“We live in a county that increases population by about 2,000 people per year,” Cetta said at the board’s meeting earlier this week. “There has been very little change here as opposed to most places in the country that would be filled with subdivisions by now. We want density in these spots, and the county is looking terrific as a result of that.”