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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Comparing Amelia Square with others in city

The Silver Cos. and Georgia-based The Columns Group Inc. plan to transform the former home of Fredericksburg Hardware (which is in the downtown block between Amelia and William streets, Winchester and Prince Edward streets) into a high-end townhome community called Amelia Square. The 19 units will be between 3,500 and 4,200 square feet and will range in cost from about $769,000 to $1.3 million. See tomorrow’s FLS Business section for more details.

There have been 29 homes in the city that have sold through the Multiple Listing Service for more than $750,000 in the past five years, and 12 in the past three years. A few of them are in Idlewild or the Hills at Snowden, but most are in the downtown area. There are currently 17 homes actively listed for sale in the city for more than $750,000. Click here to see these 17 to get a sense of how Amelia Square’s offerings compare with others in that price category.

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  • Don

    I would so much rather the city remain a sleepy little ‘Burg than become over priced (which it already is based off of average income for 22401).

  • John

    Wow…..why do we need upscale housing in that central location in the city?? It will be cheap, over priced trash that WILL NOT SELL IN THIS ECONOMY! We dont we build something useful that people all over the city and beyond can use and enjoy. Maybe some commercial space?

  • Jessie

    These are not single-family homes with any sort of yard. They are townhomes. That’s a hefty price. And, there will most likely be a homeowner’s association. The cost of living there is getting more expensive. The next thing that will likely happen is those owners will then want to condem the neighborhood around them because those homes will not match their homes. Why not build nice townhomes that work WITH the neighborhood? And the next issue is parking. That burden will be overlooked…again. Like too many communities around here you won’t be able to have guests from out of the area visit. No parking will be available for them. Don’t even think of having a party.

  • Rufus

    What about all the poor-folks who live on the next block? The Company should give all these new houses to the poor-folks, as a sign of generosity. You have lots of people in the surrounding houses on food stamps or welfare, and it ain’t right.

  • Vic

    We cannot even support the infrastructure in the Fredericksburg/Stafford and Spotsylvania areas. Our schools are suffering the most. Stop the growth!

  • nya_nyas

    It’s a shame to see Silver get his hands on Olde Town!

  • George Graves

    Not a positive response so far. Leave the man alone. If you object, buy the property and do as you wish under the current permitted uses.

  • DZADave

    I think everyone would agree that it would be better if Fredericksburg stayed small town…but that’s a thing of the past. Let the old rich people get a glance at something old and rich.

  • Jessie

    Mr. Graves: Your statement makes me think that only the wealthy need have an option here. Why must one have an enormous amount of money to care about this city? It is not one “man” we are talking about here. Obviously it is a corporation working with another out-of-area corporation building McTownhomes in an area that may benefit from residental units but they need to be in keeping with the area. Yet again, these will a group of homes left partiially unsold and then the developer will come up with “alternate” ideas to sell the units. Common Sense Building…that’s the thought here. The economy has changed. We all need to consider reality on this and other projects.

  • Matt

    I personally feel this is a good things for the downtown area. I know it doesn’t quite fit with the current look and feel of the city, but I think the developers and the city planners are looking forward toward how they envision the city in the future, and this fits with that vision. Think Old Town Alexandria. It succesfully blends upscale housing, along with restaurants and shops, yet still is able to maintain its historic city charm.

    John – You are correct, these townhomes wouldn’t sell in this economy. Fortunately they aren’t currently for sale, but instead will be for sale in a future economy possibly 3 years down the road. Additionally the city has built plenty of commercial space for the people to enjoy. It’s called Central Park

    Jessie – If you viewed the development site plan you would see that parking won’t be an issue as each unit has a two car garage and there appears to be guest parking in the center of the development

    Rufus – Why would the developer or the builder just give homes away to those which can not afford one. Doesn’t seem like you would remain a builder or developer for long with that business model.

    Everyone needs to stop complaining with all their NIMBY nonsense and accept it for what it is…a step in the right direction for the future of downtown Fredericksburg.

  • Hartwood

    Oh yeah, a step in the right direction. Just what we need, more snobby rich folks in the area. I agree with the other posts it’s a stupid plan, but we all know it will soon be called SilverBurg anyway.

  • Oldtimer

    I have lived on Winchester St. for 32 of my 45yrs.I’ve seen the building across from that property go from Safeway to 7-elven and so forth. The Neighborhood is ever changing now a days and it’s sad for me to see. I am afraid the building of High-end Townhomes will choke out the remainder of what’s left of my street and may even take away the place that I have resided for most of my life. My heart is heavy over this ,but what can be done? I’m neither poor or on welfare,but it is my home and I hope it will be for years to come. Of couse it’s business,but what about human beings that belong there? Are we not taken in to consideration? well as Matt has said let me stop with my NIMBY nonsense and keep my fingers crossed.

  • Bebacker

    Of course I’m sure it will be as popular as the other empty sites downtown. I’m mighty glad they did away with that horrid courtyard next to what was Spanky’s and put a nice new building in there. Who doesn’t love looking at unfinished drywall and “Build To Suit” signs when they are on their romantic night-time walks? On the bright side, the lower income areas nearby will be greeted with slightly higher property values which of course will raise the property taxes, weeding out the non-Silver-worthy tenants. (sarcasm, of course. please nobody take offense (unless you are Silver-worthy)

  • anonymous

    I don’t understand the big fuss, its only 19 townhomes. I feel as if everyone is acting like its 100+ unit complex coming in.

  • Arrggg

    And queue the anti-growth stupid rich out of towner talk now. You people stink..I say no growth, more antique stores because that was getting people on the streets there. Maybe sprinkle in a few more ice cream shops. BOOOOOO. Thank you Silver Co for having brains and vision.

  • Rufus

    Where would they park their cars? Space is very tight down there.Maybe they could have ramps, to park on top of the townhouses.

  • Anonymous

    Will people really pay this much to live in these? You can buy in Old Town Alexandria or a nice part of DC for 750K-1.3 million.

  • Fred

    Silver needs to lay off buying up property. Downtown not to mention barely has any parking as is. Where are new residence going to park unless they have a garage or driveway?

  • ashley

    I think this is completely uncalled for. Like the other people have said on here what about all the people in that area are living on welfare and foodstamps, with barely enough room. Why are we doing this to our people. OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!

  • Andrew

    thats silver for ya, look what theve done to this area

  • TPKeller

    Some of the last available condos at Maury Common have been on the market for over a thousand days, and the price of one unit I just checked has dropped from over $600K to just under $400K. These town houses ARE currently listed, check with a realtor or your favorite real estate website. They won’t sell for those prices anytime soon.

  • Kaptain Kommunism



    The time’s are a changing; lets hope not for the worse.

    Real estate which could be utilized to bolster the meek nightlife, eateries to enrich the palate of the surrounding public, Such a faux-colonial compound nestled into an utterly non-congruent alignment of contrasting architecture.

    If you’re going to build homes, then build homes, but not some poorly planned, designed, and marketed luxury homes.

    Follow the plans of the most recent luxury apartment complex that was developed on unused land between the tracks and lafayette. Build a bridge, and build on the outskirts of historic downtown.

  • Fred Lover

    Most of you people kill me!
    First before you start ranting about something – GET THE FACTS!
    If you took the time to look at the plans you would see that each townhome has a two car garage and there are another 30 parking spaces in the court yard. Not to mention the on-street parking.
    Second, this plan was approved through the city at least 18 months ago and if you did not like it that is when you should have spoke up.
    Third, take a little trip down memory lane. I believe it was in the late 80′s and early 90′s. Downtown Fredericksburg was DEAD! Nothing happening downtown, no growth and no TAX revenue! When Marvin Bollinger came in he looked at the situation and told City Council – “Become a “Town” and loose the “City” name and be part of Spotsylvania or figure out how to get some tax revenue.” If it was not for the City working with the Silvers and BOTH of them having some vision – Thank you Fredericksburg City Council and the Silver’s for Central Park – you would not even be talking about this. Fredericksburg would be a very different place. Like it or hate it, Central Park single handily saved Fredericksburg from a financial meltdown and brought in and brings in a significant portion of the City’s Taxes!
    So now someone wants to bring more people into downtown to help support the merchants, increase the tax base and you complain. Who cares how much they sell the townhomes for? If they are overpriced, then they won’t sell and they will come up with another plan.
    Please don’t be so negative. Change happens. Look up and down the streets of Fredericksburg. Not every home looks the same. That’s because of change and that’s what makes our City so great.
    I am happy to see that there are still people interested in Fredericksburg. We could be Detroit you know?!

  • downtown resident

    Enough with the parking! Anyone that actually lives downtown knows there is PLENTY of parking, maybe even too much. Just be prepared to walk for a few blocks. Is that so hard? Kinda like going to Walmart, but instead of walking across an ocean of parking lots to get to the store, you get to walk through lovely downtown Fredericksburg.

  • Lolly

    I actually think it’s a good thing for your downtown area. The area needs new growth to actually survive the upcoming years and support its local businesses. Residential living in the downtoan area will only help it prosper. it doesn’t mean that Fredericksburg will not stay small and charming. Times are changing and you have to be willing to change with them and welcome some of the change. I do agree the price point is quite high — but they may come down. I also believe there is plenty of parking in downtown Fredericksburg. Hopefully they will create a parking ramp for their new development. This has been done in many communities without ruining them.

  • Lolly

    In addition — you can only have so many stores and antique shops without the people to shop in them. Have any of you been downtown on a Friday, Saturday night — there is no one there… this development appears to be tastefully done and will definitely bring people to your community to enrich the business. A grocery store is desperately needed in the downtown area. Personally, I take the train and WISH there was one somewhere down there. Instead I have to drive to Central Park…

    I’ve lived in Old Town Alexandria and Arlington Virginia… and am now a resident of Fredericksburg. Nothing horrible has happened to these two cities due to development. They thrive and even in a downturned economy –they did better than most.

    I agree also with another postser who mentioned these are not ready yet and are planned for a better economy… growth happens.