Bed & Breakfast Inns
Historic Triangle Events
James River Plantations
William & Mary
In The News
Pottery to Break a New Mold - Williamsburg, VA
Release Date: 1/13/2007
JAMES CITY — The Williamsburg Pottery will raze everything between Richmond Road and the railroad trucks for a $16 million redevelopment called The Promenade.
The original kiln and famous round building that date to 1938 will be bulldozed, along with the tacky set of buildings by the road.
They will give way to a 161,000-square-foot ?neighborhood shopping center,? according to attorney Vernon Geddy III, who is representing the Maloney family on the project.
Pottery executives, who could not be reached for comment, will hold a community meeting next week.
According to documents filed with the county planning division, ?the design inspiration is that of a village street. Variety in materials, colors and finishes will be provided and encouraged in order to give its tenant its own identity.?
The plans call for 155,000 square feet for shops and 6,000 square feet for two restaurants close to Richmond Road. 850 parking spaces are out front, with the stores set back on Richmond Road. The project entails roughly one-third of all the retail footprint of the Pottery.
Rumors of redevelopment have circulated for months. At a ceremony last summer honoring Pottery founder Jimmy Maloney's contribution of land for a YMCA, a drawing of the proposed retail center was shown briefly and withdrawn.
Soon, retailers leasing space in the buildings along Richmond Road began to leave. Long-time tenant Black & Decker relocated down the road at Williamsburg Outlet Mall.
The redevelopment is contained within James City, tucked between Richmond Road and the CSX railroad tracks. The Pottery extends deep into York County as well, all the way to Interstate 64.
A 1989 archaeological study by the College of William & Mary recommended that the Maloney house and the original kiln be preserved and nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
?No such preservation occurred,? according to the documents filed this week. ?The original house has been significantly altered and now operates as a cafeteria, and the original kiln and sales area have been significantly altered and/or removed.?
The Pottery struggled during its early years and nearly folded during World War II. That's when Maloney was struck by the idea
of imperfections found in a set of dishes bought for his family. He invented a market in selling cast-offs from factories.
Maloney solidified the Pottery's place in the business community in 1956 when Colonial Williamsburg chose it as the official manufacturer of its 18th century saltglaze reproduction pieces. The saltglaze line continues today.
The redevelopment requires a rezoning of some land from agricultural and industrial uses to general business. The proposal calls for work to be done in three phases that will work around some of the existing structures. That's so some of the remaining businesses can remain operating.
Developer Robert Singley, who is working with the Pottery on the project, said Friday that some existing businesses hope to move into the new shops. He wouldn't say which ones, but tenants who stay may be able to relocate in late 2008.
The plan notes that, ?as much as possible, each storefront will be unique.? Singley said the shops would be targeted to high-end retail, a sharp departure from the down-market origins of the Pottery.
Architects Dayton & Thompson Associates indicated in the project documents that the plan requires a reduction from 50 feet to 30 feet in the Community Character Corridor landscape buffer. The project also calls for shifting the current Richmond Road entrance a few hundred yards up the road and installing a new stoplight at an intersection with Colonial Heritage.
[Williamsburg B&Bs] [Williamsburg
Events] [Attractions] [Area Information] [B&B Advantages] [Dining
Options] [Community] [Colonial Williamsburg] [Colonial Jamestown] [Historical Yorktown] [Revolutionary City] [News] [Williamsburg Photos]
Info] [Williamsburg Christmas]
[Travel Info] [Recipes]
[Resources] [Online Availability]