Latest on Proposed Eastern State Hospital Surplus Land Developments

Posted on June 19, 2024, by John Womeldorf

This is John Womeldorf, a.k.a. Mr. Williamsburg, author of, the most comprehensive website for neighborhood information in the Williamsburg, Virginia area. I do my best to keep people informed of upcoming new developments. I know some of you are not fond of development, but I feel it’s my job to keep people informed. The land adjacent to New Town is the Eastern State Hospital land, which was declared surplus by the state of Virginia. I’m sure a lot of folks would like it to remain undeveloped, but unless someone is willing to step up and buy it for $7 million, that’s not going to happen, and there’s no way the county would spend $7 million to keep it from being developed. Or maybe they would—maybe someone should start a movement to make that happen.

Developments Ahead

Changes are on the horizon for New Town with two significant developments, Westwood Park and Cardinal Ridge, progressing through the James City County rezoning review process. To move forward, the James City County 2045 Comprehensive Plan must be revised to change the land designation from public land (PL) to multiuse (MU). This Master Plan revision process will occur concurrently with the rezoning actions.

Upcoming Developments

Westwood Park Rezoning

ABVA Development is planning to transform 79.6 acres of surplus Eastern State Hospital land (Parcel C) into Westwood Park. This development, first discussed in 2020, will adjoin Charlotte Park and be accessible via an extension of Discovery Park Boulevard. The current proposal includes:

  • Up to 86 single-family homes
  • A maximum of 125 multifamily/senior living units
  • 40,000 square feet of office/commercial buildings
  • A community pool, recreation areas, and natural paths

Importantly, Westwood Park will have its own homeowners association, independent of New Town.

Cardinal Ridge (Eastern State)

Developed by D.R. Horton Inc., Cardinal Ridge spans approximately 368.4 acres of Eastern State land behind the current hospital buildings. The development will be accessible via Longhill Rd., Galt Drive, and Foster Rd. The proposal includes:

  • Up to 946 residential dwellings:
    • Apartments: 396
    • Cottages: 78
    • Townhomes: 139
    • Single-family homes: 333
  • A Colonial Behavioral Health site (10.9 acres)
  • Hope Family Village (35.4 acres)
  • Commercial space (19.6 acres)
  • A public-use site, possibly a middle school (25.5 acres)

D.R. Horton plans to develop Cardinal Ridge in six phases, starting with apartments and cottages along Route 199. The commercial area is anticipated to be anchored by a grocery store along Longhill Road. The project promises substantial upgrades to public utilities, improvements to major thoroughfares, and comprehensive stormwater management solutions.

Stay Informed and Get Involved

Neither development is yet scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission, as County staff are still addressing comments. It’s crucial for residents to stay informed about these zoning actions and participate in the planning process. Detailed plans are available through the James City County website, and public input will be essential in shaping these projects.


These developments represent significant growth and change for New Town. They offer exciting new residential, commercial, and recreational opportunities while also posing challenges, particularly in traffic management and environmental impact. Community involvement will be key to ensuring these projects meet the needs and expectations of current and future residents.

If you have any questions or need assistance with buying or selling a home, feel free to reach out to me. As a local real estate expert, I’m here to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of our community.

John Womeldorf

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