More Condos coming to Belmont – The Coal Tower Project

The Coal Tower Project in Downtown Charlottesville is ambitious, to say the least.

There are a lot of Charlottesville condos on the market right now; quite a few condos on the market right now near Downtown Charlottesville.

What will 300 new condos do to the condo market (and wider real estate market) in Charlottesville?* What infrastructure (any?) will be implemented to support this development?

NBC29 reports:

The Coal Tower Project in Charlottesville is set to bring more than 300 condos to the downtown area. It will usher in a number of people into a small area, but the project is getting little attention. With the draw of “connectivity”, the city is happy with it. The project will extend Water Street to Meade Avenue, to make Charlottesville even more pedestrian friendly.

Hint: you can search active building permits at the City of Charlottesville’s site; go to “search by Owner Name, you’ll find several entries for “Choco-Cruz, LLC”. You’ll find an entry for Permit/Project # P11-0015, the “COAL TOWER – EXTENSION OF WATER ST BETWEEN 10TH & CARLTON RD”

Coal-Tower-Project-Charlottesville-application-status.jpg
If they applied on 2/1/2011, shouldn’t some documents be available online?

When following the links below, keep in mind two things:

1If you don’t own it, it’s going to change (one of the most common things I tell my buyer clients
2 – Growth and development moves interminably slowly; only journalists and lobbyists seem to be able to effectively track said progress. Until it doesn’t; then growth and development move extremely quickly.


Where I think the coal tower project is going to be

The HooK reported in 2006:

Now, Capshaw stands ready to develop via his Choco Cruz LLC. The coal tower will stay, but it’ll be joined by four buildings, according to city planner Missy Creasy. Thanks to the city’s 2003 overhaul of its zoning ordinance in 2003 which removed many height restrictions to encourage denser development, one building could rise nine stories.

Plans call for a mixed-use project, with 64 townhouses (four above a parking structure), 118 condos, and a commercial segment that includes restaurants and retail on 2.77 acres of
the site, Creasy says. And parking– lots of parking– 506 spaces, some of which are underground.

Juniee Oneiga lives across the tracks from the coal tower in Belmont Lofts. “It’s one of the biggest developments in Charlottesville I’ve seen,” he says. “In sheer size, there’s nothing else like it.”

He questions whether– in a town where hundreds of apartments have recently been converted and offered for sale– new condos are really needed, and he’s concerned about that nine-story building.

C-Ville noted in 2007:

Coran Chapshaw’s plan for a mixed-used development around downtown Charlottesville’s trademark coal tower is one step closer to reality. At an August 14 meeting, the city Planning Commission unanimously approved an application for a preliminary site plan for the project.  The coal tower, a longtime landmark, is now becoming a focus of residents’ worries about connectivity, traffic and an altered skyline as it moves closer to redevelopment at the hand of Coran Capshaw.

Some Belmont residents neighboring the site, however, are less enthusiastic about the complex’s proposed maximum of 287 residential units and 98,246 square feet of commercial space. With the development’s tallest building at 101′, the project will alter the area’s skyline.


As an aside, cvillenews pointed out in 2006 how there was going to be a green condo construction project,* which I noted in 2007 briefly in my Belmont neighborhood story.

* “Charlottesville” in this usage means “City of Charlottesville” not “Charlottesville MSA.”  

** Another example of how the Daily Progress abdicated its community responsibility by deleting (unintentionally) all of its archives in early 2008.

*** Read this PDF that shows condo inventory history in the City of Charlottesville

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