3/20/2012 UMW, MWH driving growth along U.S. 1 in city

UMW, MWH driving growth along U.S. 1 in city
Eagle Village Drive
Two of Fredericksburg’s largest forces for economic development are
driving changes along the U.S. 1 corridor.
Mary Washington Healthcare and the University of Mary
Washington, as well as UMW’s private foundation, have developed
significant projects of late in the city, including a regional cancer
center and the first phase of the Eagle Village mixed-use
development.
On Tuesday executives from the organizations — MWHC Vice
President Marie Fredrick and UMW Foundation CEO Jeff Rountree
— updated business owners along the U.S. 1 corridor about what is
coming next.
The winding Eagle Village Drive between Eagle Village and Mary
Washington Hospital is expected to open as soon as this weekend.
Officials from both organizations expect that to boost business at
Eagle Village and make it easier for guests at the planned Hyatt
Place hotel to access the hospital campus.
Some concern was raised at Tuesday’s meeting, which was organized
by city economic development staff and held at the Fredericksburg
Regional Chamber of Commerce, about the drive leading to traffic
buildups at the main exit from Eagle Village onto U.S. 1. Fredrick
and Rountree said traffic will be closely monitored but said the
drive’s curving nature, low speed limits and road humps should limit
the vehicle numbers. The stoplight at U.S. 1 might be adjusted.
Construction on the 93-room Hyatt Place is expected to start in a
couple of months and last about 14 months. The 66,500-square-foot
facility will be between the Giant food store and the main road
running through Eagle Village. The vacant retail space there now
will be demolished.
Among the other Eagle Village updates Rountree gave Tuesday were
that Sweet Frog frozen yogurt intends to open Friday, the secondannual
concert series at the complex is planned this summer,
Country Cookin will do a major renovation later this year and the
new office space is almost full.
Fredrick said the hospital’s new digital entrance signs will be up in a
few weeks and should help with navigation. One will be at the
intersection of U.S. 1 and Mary Washington Boulevard, a road that
in a few years will be extended to a widened Fall Hill Avenue. The
other sign will be on Cowan Boulevard. The new U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic near the CVS store on Mary
Washington Boulevard should be ready soon.
Rountree also gave updates on two major projects planned for the
next couple of years on UMW’s campus.
The first is a roughly $40 million, 76,700-square-foot information
and technology convergence center scheduled to start in a couple of
months and be ready by the fall of 2014. The facility — which will
include a data center and high-tech classroom, auditorium and
conference space — will be between the Simpson Library and Alvey
Hall along Campus Walk.
The other is an about 110,000-square-foot student center fronting
College Avenue that is expected to cost about $55 million. The 83-
year-old Chandler Hall will be razed for the project, which the UMW
Foundation will develop and sell to the university to accelerate the
process. Construction is expected to start in May 2013 and open for
the start of the 2015-16 academic year.
Rountree said the student center will have a “beautiful edifice” on
College Avenue that will “speak to the community” and “stand the
test of time.”
By Bill Freehling on March 20th, 2012 9:40 am
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