On May 16, 2017 The York County VA Board of Supervisors voted to rezone 84 acres of land in the upper part of the county making way for a new residential development of up to 493 units.
The development, to be called Arbordale, would consist of 151 single-family detached homes, 85 two and or three level townhouses, and 288 apartment units totaling no more than 493. The developer, Bulifants Residential, LLC, said the mix of dwelling types is flexible and has not yet been decided.
The site is designated Economic Opportunity in the Comprehensive Plan. An Economic Opportunity designation was intended to guide a mix of office, light industrial, commercial, and tourist-related uses to certain portions of the County that have or are planned to have the access and infrastructure necessary to support both capital- and labor-intensive uses.
Barbara Wilkinson Yandle one of the partners of Bulifants LP, which owns the subject property stated that Bulifants LP is a family-owned partnership that consists of the living members of the Wilkinson family, which can trace its roots to the property as far back as the 1800s. Ms. Yandle stated that the land was rezoned from RR to EO many years ago, and at the time there was not a clear understanding of how the area would develop. She said her family and the County just wanted to see economic growth in the area, but that it later became clear that the land is not well suited for commercial uses since it is on the far eastern side from the nearby highways and its lack of visibility from the main road. She stated she had watched a commercial site nearby that should have been very successful either because of lack of residential population to sustain it. She stated that she felt some type of planned residential community is not only the best and wisest use of the land, but also the best use to complement the developments that have already been built out. She added her family is pleased with the proposed design and feels it is what the community and York County need.
Comments from the planning meeting included Trip Ferguson, a real estate agent for the Wilkinson family. Mr Ferguson stated that he has been involved in every commercial property sale in the area including the Home Depot and Michael Commons and feels there is a large need for residential development to support the existing and planned commercial development. He noted several parcels that have been purchased and lost value because of the lack of residential development in the area including Williamsburg Marketcenter, site of the former Ukrops Store which was initially sold for $24 million, the closing of Ukrops created a domino effect in the shopping center causing the center to ultimately be sold for $6 million. He said the proposed development would bring hope and hopefully business to the struggling Mooretown Road property owners.
Existing retail and office spaces near the planned subdivision have expressed a need for residential spaces to boost business, according to county planner Tim Cross. Cross noted that Arbordale would be within walking distance of Williamsburg Marketcenter and that a trail would lead from the neighborhood to the retail area. A representative of Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center also spoke during a public hearing and said a new subdivision would help attract young health professionals to jobs at the hospital.
Site plans for Arbordale show a little under half of the 84 acre area would be open space and recreational space. A large number of the residential homes front the green open space areas. There are over five miles of sidewalks, nature trails, and multi-use paths, allowing connectivity among all of the land bays and the adjacent properties. The target detached home prices should start in the mid $ 200’s. Rents for an apartment are expected to be between $900 and $1,400 for one through three bedroom apartments.
Initial site work is expected to start in about a year and construction will begin in about 18 months. The developer expects the first units in Arbordale to be completed around 2019 with the entire project completed sometime in 2021-2022.
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This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His website and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA or the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula.
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