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Houses, commercial space proposed off Stafford’s Courthouse Road

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GWVillageA development group wants approval to build as many as 2,900 homes and 1.8 million square feet of commercial space off Stafford’s Courthouse Road in what would be the county’s largest mixed-use development.

The project, called George Washington Village, would be built on about 1,100 acres between Courthouse and Ramoth Church roads. Interstate 95 borders the property to the east, and Accokeek Creek runs through it.

George Washington Village could someday be the county’s largest development, overtaking Aquia Harbour, which has about 2,500 homes.

It would also surpass Spotsylvania County’s largest development—Lee’s Parke, which is approved for 2,232 homes. It would rival three approved developments in Caroline County—Ladysmith Village (2,850 homes), Pendleton (3,500 homes) and Haymount (4,000 homes). Haymount has not been developed, and the majority of the homes allowed in Ladysmith Village and Pendleton haven’t yet been built.

The main entrance to George Washington Village would be off Courthouse Road directly across from the primary entrance into Newland Communities’ Embrey Mill project, which is currently being developed.

The development plan calls for Mine Road, which also serves as Embrey Mill’s main entrance, to be extended all the way to Centreport Parkway and paid for through project revenues.

Newland Communities is extending Mine Road between Courthouse and Garrisonville roads as part of its Embrey Mill development, which is being built on about 831 acres and will eventually include about 1,827 homes.

Local developer Andy Garrett is among a group of investors in a limited liability company called Augustine South Associates that is proposing George Washington Village. They are represented by Hirschler Fleischer attorney Charlie Payne, who sent a letter about the proposed development to Stafford planning officials this week.

Though plans for George Washington Village are still being finalized, the concept calls for a town-center development with a mix of single-family detached houses, town houses and apartments. Much of the commercial space would be built along I–95 near the Courthouse Road interchange, which will be rebuilt in coming years.

The development plan also calls for more than 400 acres of open space, $50 million in new infrastructure and amenities such as parks, athletic fields and swimming pools. The developers anticipate that the project would be built over 20 years.

Payne wrote that the project would generate about $1.5 billion in new county revenues and create 10,000 new jobs. He called it “a game changer for the county” and said it would “create a true economic center at or near the courthouse.”

He also argued that the development would help entice other projects, including a Legoland theme park, which county officials are now trying to bring to a site along Centreport Parkway not far from the proposed George Washington Village.

The developers have been accumulating the 1,100 acres, which they either own directly or have under control, over the past several years, according to Payne’s letter. The land is mostly within Stafford’s George Washington Village Urban Development Area.

Payne plans to submit a rezoning application for George Washington Village within a month. The land is now zoned a mixture of mostly agricultural and residential, and the developers will ask the county to change the classification to planned traditional neighborhood development (P–TND).

George Washington Village is one of several proposed developments along or near Courthouse Road, which the Virginia Department of Transportation plans to widen between I–95 and Ramoth Church Road. Among the other larger projects are Embrey Mill and Colonial Forge, along with a number of smaller ones.

Though the Courthouse Road corridor is seeing the majority of proposed development activity in Stafford, it’s not the only area of the region seeing increased projects as the economy and housing market improve and more people move into the area.

Developers have also been proposing numerous residential projects in the Massaponax area of Spotsylvania, including most recently a 2,000-home development off U.S. 1 just south of Cosner’s Corner. In addition the Silver Cos. recently proposed a 250-home subdivision near the Chancellorsville battlefield.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405

bfreehling@freelancestar.com

FOR COMPARISON

The proposed George Washington Village wouldn’t just be Stafford County’s largest community. It would also surpass Spotsylvania County’s largest development—Lee’s Parke, which is approved for 2,232 homes.

And it would rival three approved developments in Caroline County—Ladysmith Village (2,850 homes), Pendleton (3,500 homes) and Haymount (4,000 homes).

The majority of the homes allowed in Ladysmith Village and Pendleton haven’t yet been built. Haymount, approved in 1992, has not been developed.

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