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Richmond's Suburban Developments

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uh oh.. Cam won't be happy...

GardenRidge to close

I guess Garden Ridge is being forced out by the probable land value increase spurred by White Oak Town Center and other expected commercial development in the area. I believe Audubon Drive, east of Laburnum, will have shopping and a multi-plex cinema -- the same type of commercial development that surrounds SPTC.

Isn't this the kind of East End non-residential growth that Cam has gone on record as approving? :)

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Coupe's referring to my using GR as an example of "build it, they will come." It's not as if they're closing after 10 years because people from the west end refuse to drive to the east end and that the business struggled. It was a success! When people said NOTHING could thrive in the dead east end, this proved them wrong. I also would want to remind people that, "if you build it, they will come", works or Short Pump would be nothing since it attracts people from the entire region and not just Wellesley and Wyndham as people would want you to think with "critical mass" bull. So if they want to stay, I hope they choose another location in the east end and if not, anywhere but Short Pump.

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Coupe's referring to my using GR as an example of "build it, they will come." It's not as if they're closing after 10 years because people from the west end refuse to drive to the east end and that the business struggled. It was a success! When people said NOTHING could thrive in the dead east end, this proved them wrong. I also would want to remind people that, "if you build it, they will come", works or Short Pump would be nothing since it attracts people from the entire region and not just Wellesley and Wyndham as people would want you to think with "critical mass" bull. So if they want to stay, I hope they choose another location in the east end and if not, anywhere but Short Pump.

and if they want to stay, I hope they get their crap together and hire new management. I have noticed a difference over the past 10 years of how they have the store arranged. It used to be spacious with plenty of room in the aisles for 2 carts to pass. Now it is a clusterfluck. You can't walk 10 feet without having to manipulate your cart around someone else and their configuration of items is messy as well. Stuff isn't stocked well and items are strewn all over the place giving it the appearance of a Big Lots or Salvage Barn. Overall, I have noticed a big change for the worse with this store. It used to be an enjoyable shopping experience but the last time I went, I just wanted to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible before I blew a gasket.

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Yeah I used to enjoy going to Garden Ridge with my parents but last weekend when I went I it was a complete mess and more like an obstacle course trying to get through that store. But then the woman behind us last weekend said they were going out of business and my parents didnt know why so many people were there untill that woman told us that they were going out of business. Ill miss it. I always liked driving out to the east end going through downtown to get to the east end. I can still go out that way to eat at Unos Chicago Bar.

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I was in Barnes & Noble last night and a book caught my eye, it was a mid-atlantic guide to the hiking trails made out of old railroads. I thought to myself, "self, that's an awesome concept! That could be done here." Because I noted that in VA most of the rails-to-trails were in the western part of the state, granted the more scenic trails are.

Anyway, I don't see why that mind set couldn't be applied here, there are a couple of old and abandoned railroads. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad going through Chesterfield is what first popped in my head. You can look at an aerial map and see where it ran (I think the tracks have been taken up years ago).

Then there are the old streetcar lines that ran out into the counties. I noticed the railbed for the Richmond-Ashland line behind St. Joseph's Villa over the weekend and went home and found it in an aerial map and followed it up into Ashland.

The question is, if one day in the future such a project generated interest, are these abandoned lines still right-of-ways to the companies, i.e. CSX? Or were the rights given up? Or how does that even work. I know for the streetcar lines, Virginia Power owns the right-of-ways and runs power lines down the railbeds. But for the ACL in Chesterfield, does CSX still own the land? Did they ever own the land?

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That's a good idea lch4. I don't know if you've ever spent much time in Northern Virginia/DC, but the old W&OD line is a hugely popular network of hiking trails stretching from Alexandria to almost Leesburg. On the weekend, it's almost difficult to ride a bike on the trail because it is absolutely packed with people.

My hope is that the Capital-to-Capital trail will be like that someday, but there is no reason the existing railroad lines couldn't be repurposed.

There are some incredibly swanky houses off the W&OD whose owners are none to happy about the popularity of the trail (Daniel Snyder being one), but they haven't been able to limit its use.

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I was in Barnes & Noble last night and a book caught my eye, it was a mid-atlantic guide to the hiking trails made out of old railroads. I thought to myself, "self, that's an awesome concept! That could be done here." Because I noted that in VA most of the rails-to-trails were in the western part of the state, granted the more scenic trails are.

Anyway, I don't see why that mind set couldn't be applied here, there are a couple of old and abandoned railroads. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad going through Chesterfield is what first popped in my head. You can look at an aerial map and see where it ran (I think the tracks have been taken up years ago).

Then there are the old streetcar lines that ran out into the counties. I noticed the railbed for the Richmond-Ashland line behind St. Joseph's Villa over the weekend and went home and found it in an aerial map and followed it up into Ashland.

The question is, if one day in the future such a project generated interest, are these abandoned lines still right-of-ways to the companies, i.e. CSX? Or were the rights given up? Or how does that even work. I know for the streetcar lines, Virginia Power owns the right-of-ways and runs power lines down the railbeds. But for the ACL in Chesterfield, does CSX still own the land? Did they ever own the land?

I also agree with your suggestion. I have also followed the Ashland line and I'm glad Burt helped with that. I also would suggest the Richmond Rappahannock Railroad's old bed which exists from east of Mechanicsville Ave through near Cold Harbour nearly uninterrupted.

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I was in Barnes & Noble last night and a book caught my eye, it was a mid-atlantic guide to the hiking trails made out of old railroads. I thought to myself, "self, that's an awesome concept! That could be done here." Because I noted that in VA most of the rails-to-trails were in the western part of the state, granted the more scenic trails are.

Anyway, I don't see why that mind set couldn't be applied here, there are a couple of old and abandoned railroads. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad going through Chesterfield is what first popped in my head. You can look at an aerial map and see where it ran (I think the tracks have been taken up years ago).

Then there are the old streetcar lines that ran out into the counties. I noticed the railbed for the Richmond-Ashland line behind St. Joseph's Villa over the weekend and went home and found it in an aerial map and followed it up into Ashland.

The question is, if one day in the future such a project generated interest, are these abandoned lines still right-of-ways to the companies, i.e. CSX? Or were the rights given up? Or how does that even work. I know for the streetcar lines, Virginia Power owns the right-of-ways and runs power lines down the railbeds. But for the ACL in Chesterfield, does CSX still own the land? Did they ever own the land?

Did just want to correct one thing I said.....

It's not the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad that was abandoned, it was the Seaboard Railroad line through Chesterfield. I went back and checked an old map I have to make sure.

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Thanks, lch4. The name of the Seaboard originally was Seaboard Airline Railway then renamed itself Seaboard Coast Line, then was gobbled up by Atlantic Coast Line Railway which became CSX.

The SAL and the ACL each had a set of tracks between Richmond and Petersburg almost paralleling one another. From Petersburg south, they veered off on separate routes to Florida -- The SAL via Raleigh and Columbia and the ACL via Rocky Mount, Fayetteville and Charleston (still considered the Main Line.)

If and when Southeast High Speed Rail develops, passenger trains would use the old and existing SAL right of way from Acca Yards via Main Street Station, cross the James and connect with the ACL (CSX) RoW near Bellwood Quartermaster Depot in Chesterfield. From that point south, the SAL trackage has been abandoned, I believe. Is that the portion you believe could be converted to a bicycle/walking trail?

The high speed corridor plan is to rebuild the old abandoned SAL track between Petersburg and Raleigh to accommodate trains running at 110 mph.

There is (or was until recent years) an ACL spur northward from the Bellwood connection that pretty much paralleled US 1, went under bridges at Semmes and Cowardin Avenues and ended at the south bank of the James across from Downtown Richmond.

Edited by burt

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Thanks, lch4. The name of the Seaboard originally was Seaboard Airline Railway then renamed itself Seaboard Coast Line, then was gobbled up by Atlantic Coast Line Railway which became CSX.

The SAL and the ACL each had a set of tracks between Richmond and Petersburg almost paralleling one another. From Petersburg south, they veered off on separate routes to Florida -- The SAL via Raleigh and Columbia and the ACL via Rocky Mount, Fayetteville and Charleston (still considered the Main Line.)

If and when Southeast High Speed Rail develops, passenger trains would use the old and existing SAL right of way from Acca Yards via Main Street Station, cross the James and connect with the ACL (CSX) RoW near Bellwood Quartermaster Depot in Chesterfield. From that point south, the SAL trackage has been abandoned, I believe. Is that the portion you believe could be converted to a bicycle/walking trail?

The high speed corridor plan is to rebuild the old abandoned SAL track between Petersburg and Raleigh to accommodate trains running at 110 mph.

There is (or was until recent years) an ACL spur northward from the Bellwood connection that pretty much paralleled US 1, went under bridges at Semmes and Cowardin Avenues and ended at the south bank of the James across from Downtown Richmond.

Thanks for the info!

I'm strictly focusing on that section that veers off the main line just north of Centralia heading south to where it crossed the Appomattox (I'm sure you've seen the old bridge supports over at VSU). A roughly 13.5 mile stretch according to my line painting on maps.live.com. Which I can't seem to get a link to on here, but anyway. A link is on my blog, if interested. (it also marks the old Richmond-Ashland Line and the Richmond & Rapphannock River Rwy)

I haven't visually seen the railbed, but looking at it online, it seems like it could be developed into a walking/bike trail. That area of Chesterfield hasn't developed like other areas of the county. Chester Linear Park in Chester is an old portion of the railbed from VA 10 northeast across Ecoff Ave. I read that the Seaboard tracks had an at-grade crossing with Route 10. I don't know how the ownership of the right of way is handled. When the line was abandoned, who did ownership go to? Or did it revert to the adjacent landowners?

I find the concept very intriguing and I believe people are always looking for new (and relatively safe) places to hike/bike. This seems like a possiblity. Though right now, the concept is purely academic...but maybe one day.

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The concept of a bike/walking trail along abandoned right of way is indeed intriguing ,lch4.

I suspect the row is owned by CSX.

Thanks for the very interesting link.

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Thanks for the info!

I'm strictly focusing on that section that veers off the main line just north of Centralia heading south to where it crossed the Appomattox (I'm sure you've seen the old bridge supports over at VSU). A roughly 13.5 mile stretch according to my line painting on maps.live.com. Which I can't seem to get a link to on here, but anyway. A link is on my blog, if interested. (it also marks the old Richmond-Ashland Line and the Richmond & Rapphannock River Rwy)

I haven't visually seen the railbed, but looking at it online, it seems like it could be developed into a walking/bike trail. That area of Chesterfield hasn't developed like other areas of the county. Chester Linear Park in Chester is an old portion of the railbed from VA 10 northeast across Ecoff Ave. I read that the Seaboard tracks had an at-grade crossing with Route 10. I don't know how the ownership of the right of way is handled. When the line was abandoned, who did ownership go to? Or did it revert to the adjacent landowners?

I find the concept very intriguing and I believe people are always looking for new (and relatively safe) places to hike/bike. This seems like a possiblity. Though right now, the concept is purely academic...but maybe one day.

I

Edited by mclawsdrive

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Wow, you are really knowledgable about the old tracks in Chesterfield, McLaw.

There is a stretch of Norfolk Southern track that has been abandoned and is being developed as a trail. It, generally, is between Burkeville and Pamplin, Va and ran thru the town of Farmville. In that stretch, it traversed a very high railroad trestle.

If the once hyped Trans Dominion Express between Richmond and Bristol were ever to be approved, the above closure would add a number of miles via a more southern route that completely avoids Farmville.

Edited by burt

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Wow, you are really knowledgable about the old tracks in Chesterfield, McLaw.

There is a stretch of Norfolk Southern track that has been abandoned and is being developed as a trail. It, generally, is between Burkeville and Pamplin, Va and ran thru the town of Farmville. In that stretch, it traversed a very high railroad trestle.

If the once hyped Trans Dominion Express between Richmond and Bristol were ever to be approved, the above closure would add a number of miles via a more southern route that completely avoids Farmville.

Did you once travel on that stretch of NS track, Burt? High railroad trestles are impressive. The Virginia Creeper Trail between Whitetop Station and Abingdon is an old rail line with some very high trestles. I wonder why we don't just call them bridges? :P

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I'll offer my knowledge based on information I have available as someone who updates map info for Chesterfield County.

From Iron Bridge Rd north to Chester Rd, the county owns the corridor. Much if not all of this stretch is part of the Chester Linear Park. I'm not familiar with the park so I don't know exactly how far it stretches, but it would be very easy for it to extend to Chester Rd. if it doesn't already.

North of Chester Rd, the corridor is divided between several private owners. Then Northeast of Old Centralia Rd, Seaboard Coast Line owns it once again. North of Centralia, it crosses through a future subdivision called Brooks Chapel (which is being built off an extension of Hamlin Creek Parkway. Then crosses more private property, rt 288 and then reverts again to Seaboard before merging with the "Hopewell line"

In my opinion, a trail conversion would be somewhat difficult north of Chester Rd and nearly impossible much farther north than the corner of Centralia and Old Centralia due to the Brooks Chapel subdivision.

To the South:

The right of way is owned by Chesterfield County south from Iron Bridge Rd to Branders Bridge Rd. South of there, the land is privately owned by an LLC and I don't see any easements covering the tracks. South of the Thomas Company's land, the right of way is owned by Seaboard Coast line. Then just before the line crosses Branders Bridge again, the corridor falls under multiple private owners and a house is built right in the middle of where the tracks once were. Southeast of Brander's Bridge, The City of Colonial Heights owns the land in Chesterfield before it actually enters the city limits. The line then leaves but parallels the city limits and is owned by Colonial Heights. There are some cul-de sacs sticking into the right of way in this area, but no actual buildings.

Starting about 500 feet south of E River Rd, the land is owned by VSU until the Appomattox River.

It seems to me that most of this corridor wouldn't be difficult (legally or physically) to convert into a trail. The most difficult area would be where it crosses the 17300 Block of Branders Bridge. The only other private landowner south of Iron Bridge Rd is an LLC, who could likely be persuaded to grant an easement along the corridor.

Thanks for the info! That's very interesting that the county & city own some of the ROW. In your opinion, and anyone else chime in also, how perceptive do you think Chesterfield & Colonial Heights governments would be to such an idea? Also, mclawsdrive, when you say the ROW is owned by Seaboard Coast Line, do you mean CSX? Or is there a seperate Seaboard today (wikipedia tells me that Seaboard is today CSX).

This is extremely interesting, even if some of this path could be used for a trail, that'd be pretty cool.

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Did you once travel on that stretch of NS track, Burt? High railroad trestles are impressive. The Virginia Creeper Trail between Whitetop Station and Abingdon is an old rail line with some very high trestles. I wonder why we don't just call them bridges? :P

Yes, McLaw. Back in the early '70's, Amtrak ran a train from Richmond via Petersburg to Roanoke and it crossed the high trestle. I remember taking the train both ways. I stayed overnight at the beautiful Roanoke Hotel (before it was re-done) and had dinner in the Regency Room.

The train arrived and departed from a temporary station that was near, but not in, the old N&W depot in Roanoke.

Apparently, after a year or so Amtrak decided the train was not profitable and shut it down. I recall that the ride was about 4 hours in each direction.

The Trans Dominion Express, connecting Richmond, Lynchburg, Roanoke and Bristol would use N/S tracks all the way (except for a short tie-in on CSX from south of the James to Main Street Station.) There would be two trains in each direction on the Richmond/Bristol run and two a day in each direction on the Washington, Charlottesville, L'burg, Roanoke/Bristol route -- a total of eight trains stopping daily in Lynchburg, Roanoke and points west. New up-to-date equipment would be used and the Richmond/Roanoke run would take 3 hours.

At least, all of this was the plan. Whether or not it is still being studied I cannot say.

Edited by burt

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Thanks for the info! That's very interesting that the county & city own some of the ROW. In your opinion, and anyone else chime in also, how perceptive do you think Chesterfield & Colonial Heights governments would be to such an idea? Also, mclawsdrive, when you say the ROW is owned by Seaboard Coast Line, do you mean CSX? Or is there a seperate Seaboard today (wikipedia tells me that Seaboard is today CSX).

This is extremely interesting, even if some of this path could be used for a trail, that'd be pretty cool.

Seaboard Coast Line is simply the name on the deed, so I'm assuming that these are original deeds and that CSX now owns them.

I would guess that the segments owned by Chesterfield and Colonial Heights were obtained for creating buffers or possibly for future road use in Chesterfield's case. I definitely think it could be (relatively) easy to convince Chesterfield county to expand the Chester Linear park as far as the county owns the line. Beyond that would require some more initiative.

A multi-jurisdictional trail connecting Chester to Colonial Heights and VSU would be a very nice amenity. Maybe a chat with someone at Chesterfield Parks and Rec would help, because whoever established the Chester Linear Park should have a pretty good grasp on what would be needed to create this trail.

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There is a spur off of the main Amtrak (CSX) line in Colonial Heights that goes into the Old Town district of Petersburg where it connects with Norfolk Southern (the Rich/Roa train I spoke of above used it.) Anyway, it might be needed again if highspeed rail selects a southern route between Richmond and Norfolk. So, guys, please don't be too hasty in converting ALL track to trails.

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You know, I've really taken an interest in this rail-trail mind set. It's pretty cool.

In my hours of browsing the web, I've come across www.railtrails.org, an organization promoting this concept.

Well, apparently Hanover County has already designated a one mile stretch of the Richmond-Ashland Trolly Line as greenspace as a rail-trail. I'm going to have to go check it out.

Info on that specific trail is at http://www.traillink.com/ViewTrail.aspx?AcctID=6032320.

Also, the one mile section of the Seaboard Line mentioned in my earlier posts known as Chester Linear Park was financed under a grant from the National Recreational Trails Fund through the Federal Highway Administration and the VA Department of Conservation & Recreation.

Learning that and learning earlier that the county owns more of this old right-of-way, I wonder if there are further plans to expand this trail?

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Looks like theres gonna be a BJ's Wholesale store close to me. Thank god I wont have to fight costco anymore.

Look for BJ's Wholesale Club to open its second area store later this year.

The retailer should complete a deal this month to buy 12.5 acres of vacant land on Starling Drive across from Regency Square mall. It would be south of Disco Sports.

Heres the rest of the story.

http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news/busines...01-21-0039.html

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Chesterfield County approves re-zoning to allow commercial development along Courthouse Road from Lucks Lane to Midlothian Turnpike. Link to NBC12 article:

http://www.nbc12.com/news/state/15628122.html

My only question is, WHEN IS CHESTERFIELD GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE CART-PATHS THEY CALL ROADS? I wonder if this development go-ahead will include road improvements. I would hope that since the county has a whole new set of supervisors, that things would be a little bit different. Oh well, I never go over there any more anyway, so this fight is for the Chesterfieldians.

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My only question is, WHEN IS CHESTERFIELD GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE CART-PATHS THEY CALL ROADS? I wonder if this development go-ahead will include road improvements. I would hope that since the county has a whole new set of supervisors, that things would be a little bit different. Oh well, I never go over there any more anyway, so this fight is for the Chesterfieldians.

There are developments in western Chesterfield County in which the developers would be upgrading and improving these cart-path roads. I am not sure if it is mandatory for developers to upgrade these roads prior to development or if this a good jester to get there projects approved. At least it is happening to some extent.

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I like the cart paths around the Huguenot/Robious area. It keeps all of the folks from far-Southsiders from cutting through as a shortcut to the city.

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Does anyone know what is going on with the proposed Costco and the Woodlands commercial development near the Chesterfield Town Center (across Koger Ctr blvd, next to Lowe's)? Is there a timeline out there? Is Costco definitely going in there?

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