Council set to vote on selling select properties as part of downtown development

A proposal for development downtown on several publicly-owned properties is expected to take a big step forward at the City Council meeting Wednesday, June 13.

The proposal isn’t new –  city entities have been working with the proposed developers since 2016 and some of the mixed-use plans and concepts have been aired in public meetings – but hammering out the final legal agreements to sell property and set development standards has taken time.

WVS Cos. and Saunders + Crouse Architects’ proposal includes retail shops, office space, apartments or condos with rooftop decks, for-sale townhouses and a casual seafood restaurant.

“The Economic Development Department and Housing Authority staffs have been diligently working with the WVS and Saunders+Crouse team to complete the master development agreement,” said Steven Lynch, interim director of Economic Development. “This future development in downtown will be transformative. The new residential components will generate the critical mass of residences in downtown that are needed to sustain the existing business while bolstering our ability to attract new businesses.”

City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on selling four city-owned parcels. The Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the Economic Development Authority have authorized the execution of the master development agreement.

The agreement specifies that land would be sold at assessed value (between $3.3 and $5 million). The developer would pay for all infrastructure improvements, with the exception of a city contribution of $600,000 toward parking. The agreement also sets forth a timeline for development. City parcels proposed for sale include:

  • A parking lot at the corner of Wine and Lincoln streets
  • Part of an adjacent parking lot (the frontage areas on both Wine and Eaton streets)
  • A parking lot on Lincoln Street and High Court Lane
  • The Macy Carmel Center at (136 Kings Way). That building currently houses some city offices, and new locations will be found before that building can be transferred. The purchase price is dependent on whether the building can be renovated or needs to be demolished.

A fifth city-owned parcel, about 5,000 square feet of Carousel Park, fronting on Settlers Landing Road, will be transferred to the EDA. The EDA, in turn, will lease the land for a proposed seafood restaurant.

The largest development part of the development will occur on land that HRHA will sell. That includes four parcels bounded by Settlers Landing, Wine Street and Queens Way that make up what city officials call the “Goodyear site.” See aerial view of the sites.

WVS Cos. is experienced in developing, financing and managing mixed-use projects in urban areas, including Northern Virginia, Central Virginia, the Peninsula, and Roanoke. In the past 15 years, WVS has developed projects totaling more than $300 million. Burrell Saunders of Saunders + Crouse Architects has been the lead architect in millions of square feet of mixed-use projects, including Oyster Point (Newport News), Virginia Beach Town Center, Rocketts Landing (Richmond & Henrico County), Innsbrook (Henrico County), and The Bridges (Roanoke).