A new traffic light and the newly created 5th Street Station Parkway officially opens to road traffic today. The new road built and developed by 5th Street Station Ventures, LLC (5thStStation.com), a commercial real estate partnership that also developed the retail center, connects Avon Street with 5th Street near the Interstate 64 ramp.
Over a half mile, the landscaped parkway eliminates about two miles or 10 to 15 minutes off a commuter’s drive time. The $13-million project included constructing the new road, building a new $2-million bridge, revamping the current drainage and filtration systems and restoring large stretches of Moore’s Creek.
The new bridge was designed and constructed to accommodate additional traffic, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways that will connect to the existing trail system adjacent to the property. 5th Street Station Ventures donated $250,000 to the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department for future connectivity with Rivanna Trail. When completed, the three trails will intersect to form a walkable connection point for the community to promote a healthy lifestyle.
“The opening of the 5th Street Station is not only a great new addition for shoppers and for the tax revenue that will help us deliver services to our residents, but it is an extraordinary economic development anchor for the eastern and southern parts of Albemarle County,” said Jane Dittmar, the Chair of the County Board of Supervisors when the project was approved in 2012 and who played a critical role in the development process. “The project will provide jobs and new infrastructure, especially the new connector road between 5th and Avon Streets that has been long wanted and long waited for. I was proud, as Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, to have been a steward during the development process and I am thrilled to see it come to fruition.”
Slated for stores to begin opening this fall, the retail center’s current tenants include A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts, ABC Liquor, Alamo Drafthouse & Cinema, Bank of the James, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream, Fuzzy’s Tacos, GNC, Great Clips, Hair Cuttery, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, Havertys, Jersey Mike’s, Lee Nails, Mattress Warehouse, Panera Bread, PetSmart, Planet Fitness, Red Mango, Select Medical, Sprint, Timberwood Tap House, Verizon and Wegmans.
“We anticipate this retail center will become a regional retail draw for Charlottesville and the surrounding area,” said Jay Douglas, director of leasing for 5th Street Station Ventures. “To that end, our team made a substantial commitment to improving the infrastructure as part of our dedication as a firm to creating walkable lifestyle environments that are sustainable, connected and dynamic. With this center and the newly-opened parkway, we expect this retail hub will benefit our south side neighbors, visitors driving from other nearby counties, sports fans traveling to college game days, downtown businesses and the entire Charlottesville market.”
Along with planting 2,500 native trees along the parkway, the 5th Street Station Ventures team created a new drainage system to treat any run-off water to prevent future pollution of the creek and to help replenish the watershed and hydrate wetlands downstream.
On part of the new roadway bank, passersby will notice the developer opted for a green “living” wall, adjacent to I-64. The 40-foot vegetated wall is not only visually appealing but is also environmentally friendly. It acts as part of the ecosystem and will house wildlife such as birds.
The developer worked with the Charlottesville Transit Authority to establish a number of bus routes that will service the surrounding areas, including a bus stop to the retail center for easy access to Wegmans.
Currently, the retail center is 90 percent leased, but the leasing team is constantly searching for quality merchants to add to the retail hub’s diverse merchandising mix. For more information or leasing options, contact 5th Street Station Ventures at 770-692-8300 ext. 121.