Transforming Richmond Road

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October 6, 2009

2:38 AM

The College of William and Mary Real Estate Foundation presented an artistic rendering of the proposed mixed-use housing complex off Richmond Road Friday.

The design includes 12,000 feet dedicated to retail on the building’s first floor, including a restaurant with outdoor seating, and 14 apartments that would accommodate up to 56 upperclassmen on the second floor. A breezeway will connect a parking lot with Richmond Road, and brick sidewalks will surround the building. The complex is expected to cost approximately $5 million.

The proposed location is on a one-acre stretch of property owned by the real estate foundation on Richmond Road neighboring WaWa called The Triangle Property. The Thiemes House, which holds the College’s Human Resource Department, the empty Master Craftsmen building and another empty building which formerly housed the College’s finance offices currently stand on the property.

The complex will contribute to College President Taylor Reveley’s goal of increasing on-campus housing by 200 beds.

“This is a project designed to address two significant issues — a lack of student-specific retail near campus and a lack of College-operated student housing,” Reveley said. “Our students want more entertainment opportunities close to campus and more options for student housing. This is the first project and we’re thrilled with its potential.”

The Real Estate Foundation will submit the architectural design to the City of Williamsburg’s Architectural Review Board Oct. 13.

“I expect [the design] will be approved,” Director of The Real Estate Foundation Nancy Buchanan said. “We’ve been in touch with the city’s Planning Commission on a regular basis and neighborhoods and they have all been very positive about it.”

The College expects to break ground on the building next summer and open the complex for use in Fall 2011.

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