Midlothian mixed-use project drags on

The Winterfield Crossing site along Midlothian Turnpike. (Jonathan Spiers)

The Winterfield Crossing site along Midlothian Turnpike. (Jonathan Spiers)

A decision on a much-scrutinized Midlothian mixed-use development won’t be made for at least another two months – nearly a year and a half since the project was first proposed.

Blackwood Development’s proposed Winterfield Crossing project – a mix of 250 age-restricted apartments and 100,000 square feet of commercial space that would fill 25 acres along Midlothian Turnpike west of Winterfield Road – was deferred Tuesday night by the Chesterfield County Planning Commission, which will take the case up at its Oct. 18 meeting.

The deferral is the latest of many for the $40 million project, which was first submitted to the county in May 2015. An earlier version of the project received the commission’s endorsement last November, but county supervisors sent the case back to the commission in January, citing “a significant amount of opposition and misinformation about the case in the community,” according to a county report on the project.

Requests were made for revisions to the project’s architecture, and those changes have been negotiated over the course of this year, said Blackwood’s attorney, Andy Condlin of Roth Doner Jackson Gibbons Condlin.

“I think we’ve got most everything worked out, other than the elevations of how the buildings will look,” Condlin said. “I think we’ve got it down; we just need to get it done.

“Everybody seems to be generally agreeable as to where we’re headed with that,” he said.

Site plan, courtesy of Andy Conlin.

Site plan, courtesy of Andy Conlin.

Blackwood partner Marc Greenberg said the company continues to work with the county and community on the project and is hopeful the commission will again support it in October. A required zoning change would then be decided by county supervisors.

“We’re just still trying to work through things with the elected officials who are now in charge,” Greenberg said. “At this point, we’re just continuing to try to work through what everybody’s asking for here.

“It’s being deferred for another two months, and hopefully that’ll be the last time,” he said. “But we’ll see.”

Winterfield Crossing would fill part of a 58-acre area once slated for a mixed-use project called Midlothian Town Center, which fell into foreclosure in the wake of the recession. Pieces of that land were picked up by Blackwood and fellow Midlothian-based developer Rebkee Co., which is developing the nearby Winterfield Park across the railroad tracks.

The commercial piece of Winterfield Crossing – one-third the size of the original town center’s commercial plan – would include an 8,500-square-foot retail center and an 18,000-square-foot Aldi grocery store. The rest of the space would house other retail in a village-style setting, with on-street parking, landscaped sidewalks and gooseneck street lamps.

The retail would line Midlothian Turnpike, while the age-restricted apartments, for ages 55 and up, would be built on the railroad side.

Condlin said the project would connect with adjacent developments to reduce traffic impacts on Midlothian and Winterfield Road. Those developments include a nearly 250-unit apartment complex that developer Guy Blundon is planning on an adjacent 8 acres.

Across the railroad tracks, Main Street Homes has built the first homes for Winterfield Park, which is planned to total 122 townhomes and 25 single-family detached homes.

Tuesday’s planning commission meeting also saw a deferral of another high-profile project: a mixed-use development off Genito Road near Route 288 proposed by Sports Frog LLC, HMG Investments LLC and Waterford Business Center LC. The project, by developers Brett Burkhart and SweetFrog founder Derek Cha, was deferred to the commission’s Sept. 20 meeting.

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