Two Options With Potential For Development On The Southside Of Charlottesville, Va


Here are two options with potential for new development on the Southside of Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Southside is a gold mine with the disposable income prevalent in the Redfields, Mosby Mountain, Mountain Valley Farm, Oak Hill Farm, Whittington, Mill Creek, Lake Reynovia, Foxcroft, Willoughby, Avon Park neighborhoods, etc. There are tens of thousands of residents on the Southside who are craving more dining, brewery, retail and service-oriented businesses.

The Virginia Electronic Components (VEC) building and land are not currently for sale. However, the owner of the property, Ludwig Kuttner, has received interest. Developers and big-box businesses are targeting VEC because of its proximity to Wegmans (Charlottesville, VA), the soon-to-be-finished Starbucks and the emerging nature of the 5th Street Corridor.

A team financed by Ludwig purchased VEC from my mentor and friend, Bill Nitchmann, a visionary developer in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Among many other properties, Bill owns The Professional Center on The Downtown Mall (next to the Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar).

Founded in Charlottesville in 1949, VEC has evolved from a local electronics & radio parts supply store to a regional distributor of Datacom, Security, Audio-Visual and Industrial Automation supplies. VEC serves the Mid-Atlantic and Southern markets from several stocking locations in Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama.

I’ve heard from inside VEC that its property has one primary challenge working against it: a lack of parking (cue the “anti parking chorus” in CVille). VEC’s lack of parking concerns big box stores interested in purchasing the property. They would need to create more parking spaces by either knocking down part of the building or building a parking deck upward. The property’s elevation also makes the land difficult to develop.

Ludwig, the co-owner of the Ix property, the IX Art Park, Central Place on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall and many other commercial properties across Central Virginia, is a shrewd and savvy businessman and developer. While the VEC property currently is not for sale, I know that the property is gaining interest and will become too valuable to remain as regional distributor and supply chain.

Eventually, I expect Ludwig and his VEC team to move this business outside of Albemarle County to another more affordable location (i.e. Fluvanna County, Waynesboro, Louisa County, etc.) with strategic positioning to major highways. Once this happens, Ludwig will sell the VEC building and the land for a significant return on investment, which will further fortify the Southside as a booming corridor in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The second property is much more complicated. This 1-acre plot next to the Waffle House has been on and off the market for years. It also is located in a flood plane and has a pedestrian easement in the back, which makes much of the land difficult to develop. With a $1,000,000 asking price, you can see why this land has little momentum.

It will take an enterprising entrepreneur and developer to turn this 1-acre property into something special. However, its proximity to Wegmans, 5th St. Station, Starbucks, Interstate 64 and at least 12 middle and upperclass neighborhoods makes the property appealing.

Top Return On Investment Neighborhood On The Southside: Redfields Neighborhood

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CEO Jerry Miller

Jerry Miller is the CEO of The Miller Organization, The I Love CVille Network, VMV Brands, The Blue Ridge Venture Fund and I Love CVille Real Estate, which are all headquartered in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Jerry is passionate about the #ShopLocal movement and supporting locally-owned businesses. Get to know Jerry at