The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Mixed-use projects planned downtown
Three new mixed-use projects are planned along William and Amelia streets in Fredericksburg, continuing the trend of higher-density downtown projects.
Two of the projects are on properties currently owned by The Free Lance–Star Publishing Co., and the third is on a vacant lot that local developer Mike Degen owns on the corner of Prince Edward and William streets.
The Free Lance–Star is under contract to sell five city lots along Amelia between Winchester and Douglas streets to Degen and Patrick Gay. Those lots include a building the FLS uses for maintenance equipment, an employee parking area and a vacant lot.
Degen plans to renovate the existing building on the corner of Douglas and Amelia into a commercial office for lease with a parking lot. Gay’s Simply Home company, which is also building the nearby townhouses at Amelia Square, will build homes with garages on the other three lots.
The sale of those five lots is expected to close in about a month.
The FLS is also under contract to sell the 1.46-acre property across Amelia Street that houses the William Street Executive Center, an office building that used to be a Safeway grocery store.
An investment group that includes local contractor Tom Wack plans to tear down the office building and develop a mixed-use project that would include underground parking, residential condominiums and offices, retail and restaurants. Wack said the residential side would be toward Amelia Street, and the commercial side toward William.
Wack said he anticipates the condos would sell for between about $400,000 and $700,000, less than the homes at Amelia Square or proposed One Hanover riverfront condo project.
Wack said the project is contingent on the Fredericksburg City Council passing a new series of building and development codes called the Unified Development Ordinance. Council has approved the UDO on first read and will take it back up at its meeting Tuesday.
FLS Publisher Nick Cadwallender said the properties being sold are now “non-operating assets” for the company, leading to the decision to sell. The company owns additional adjacent property that is not being sold, including its headquarters and a parking lot on William Street.
Degen’s proposed project at the corner of Prince Edward and William, which he is calling Parkview for its location near Hurkamp Park, would also need the UDO to be approved to proceed in its current form.
Degen proposes ground-level commercial space and three levels of residential condominiums, 14 in total. He said the condos would be smaller than others that are proposed and cost between about $200,000 and $450,000. Garages would also be built for residents, and the building would connect to the adjacent property Degen owns, where Lydia’s was formerly located.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405