An old lumberyard lot in downtown Crozet may soon be a business destination. While many people are excited about the idea, some business owners have lingering concerns.
A company called Milestone Partners has submitted a preliminary plan for the redevelopment of the property that used to be Barnes Lumber Yard. We are still likely years from seeing any construction begin, but the news is already the talk of the town.
Mark Cosgrove has run Fardowners restaurant in Crozet since 2007. He's excited about the city's potential for further growth.
"I actually hope more new businesses come into Crozet because it creates more traffic,” Cosgrove said.
And that's exactly what is expected to happen. Crozet real estate agent Jim Duncan says the added traffic could be a boon for the area.
"I think it's going to be a net positive because you're looking to bring more people into downtown Crozet who are going to make it a destination,” Duncan said.
Cosgrove says he has some concerns though. He says the new development could be harmful to his business and others if done the wrong way.
"My only fear is corporate; the corporate giants coming in and you know, opening a sports bar right next door to my little pub with 15 big screen TVs. To me, that would be the downfall of Crozet,” Cosgrove said.
There's also another concern. New buildings might clash with the feel of the town.
"Putting up all that new stuff might make our building look old because then it's just a matter of time until someone's going to want to tear down this building and then where does that leave us?” Cosgrove said.
The good news, says Duncan, is developers are looking for as much community input as possible.
"At this stage, it's important for the community to be informed and aware and to ask questions of what the future of Crozet should be and to get involved and aware of what's happening,” Duncan said.
The Crozet Community Advisory Council holds monthly meetings to discuss projects just like this one. Click here for a list of their scheduled meetings.
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