Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Midlothian Town Center under the Radar

While much attention has been given the Watkins center project, in lareg part due to its size and scope, the new mixed use project planned for the intersection of Winterfield and Midlothian known as Midlothian Town Center has been progressing under the radar.

The Center will be a mixed use of retail, residential and commercial properties highlighted by a southern feel of both design and function. James Doran & Company is overseeing the project and if you visit their site you will see some of their projects going up mostly in the South.

The current project was slated to have 400 new homes with single family, townhome and flats included in the fold. Ryan Homes and Lifestyle Builders are the two builders set for this part of the project. However, an amedment to the original zoning may be in the works in order to increase both the commercial space and residential space.

The intersection at Midlothian is currently being worked on and re-rerouted as well as resurfaced to meet the demand of both the project but also to meet the volume of residents who use Winterfield through the Salisbury Subdivision that conect to Route 711(Robious). This intersection with Robious is also witnessing commercial development as well as is Winterfield with additional new homes going in across from the Founders bridge community and the Independence Golf Club.

The Midolthian Town Center also appears to have a planned four acre lake within the project for walking trails and bike trails inside the developed area. Rumors also are going around that a first Publix grocery store will be coming there, but at this time though James Doran has had Publix participate in other projects there are no Publix stores in Virginia as of yet so this could be big news of another grocery retailer entering the Richmond market to challenge Ukrops. Whole Foods is already building a store in Short Pump which will be its first in the market.

These new homes will certainly stress an already overcrowding situation of schools at the elementary and middle school level. There is a new elementary school coming on line at CenterpointI believe in Fall 2008 which will certainly help but the issue of school boundaries will be highly debated.

Currently, Beattie Weaver serving the area along the Route 711 corridor has a capacity of 752 students and yet currently has over 900. JB Watkins is also stressed. It will be interesting to see just how many new homes come on line in the area before we start to begin to get ahead instead of behind in terms of seats in our schools. The county currently awaits the opening of two new schools next month, where its student body started the school year in trailers outside existing schools in the Matoaca and Bermuda Districts.

While James Doran has a great reputation for its projects, I cannot help but wonder whether we are still politically speeking traveling down the road of "wants" and not "needs" in the district.


Anonymous said...

There goes the Village feel of Midlothian. From Midlo High west will simply be the continuation of the Midlo Tnpk Rt 60 of old. Must we really need another Target or Walmart on 60?

James said...

The economic impact of the corridor west to Rt. 288 will be tremondous but at what cost to the Village. I was not to impressed with the presentation given by Mr. Sowers and Sen Watkins and though this intersection is closer in than Watkins there was no mention of the further buildout that would take place in addition to Watkins. I understand they would like to have more land re-zoned or amended as well.
Theres no money for it but it sure would be nice if the Village got a facelift like Bon Air Village is currently. That might not help the traffic but may help it keep its charm.

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