New mixed-used development proposed near Westchester Commons

Chesterfield County

This conceptual plan, presented to the Chesterfield County Planning Commission at its Tuesday meeting, shows how The Aire at Westchester could look once developed. (Photo: Chesterfield County)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Planning Commission voted unanimously at its Tuesday meeting to approve a rezoning and conditional use request that would allow for a new mixed-use development known as The Aire at Westchester.

Located adjacent to Westchester Commons, The Aire at Westchester will front Route 60.

The request was filed by Gray Westchester, LLC on behalf of HHHunt, which also developed planned communities Wyndam, Twin Hickory, Charter Colony and Rutland.

According to county documents, The Aire at Westchester would include commercial, single-family, townhouse and multifamily residential uses. Gray Westchester, LLC proposed to rezone 333.6 acres of undeveloped land from General Industrial (I-2) and Community Business (C-3) to Community Business (C-3) with conditional use planned development to permit exceptions to uses, ordinance requirements and development standards.

“Since its rezoning in 2006, much has changed,” Jeffrey Geiger, the agent on this case, said. “Our economy has changed, how we shop, how we live has changed. In addition, Westchester Commons has been developed and is finishing out and Watkins Center has started development and is looking for the type of corporate users, high-intensity, job creation users for Chesterfield County.”

As proposed, the mixed-use development will consist of approximately 200,000 square feet of commercial space, like restaurants and 2,215 residential units.

“Their goal was to not create a community that would compete with the existing commercial and office goals already present and built around the property,” Geiger said. “[HHHunt] wanted to protect the tax base, but expand it at the same time.”

The Aire at Westchester will consist of three land bays, designed around a centrally located greenway. The property also features a creek and three small waterfalls.

“We will be locating trails to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to connect through this greenway, in order to connect with the three different land bays,” Geiger said.

According to the presentation before the Planning Commission at its Tuesday meeting, Land Bay A will consist of approximately 108 acres. It will contain offices, townhouses, multifamily and duplex homes, outdoor vending and recreational uses, such as a hotel and hospital. Plans show that Land Bay A will serve as the primary entrance to the site from Midlothian Turnpike.

Land Bay B will consist of approximately 99 acres. In addition to office, residential and recreational uses, the parcel will have a promenade wall to enhance the site architecturally, highlighting a hill that exists on the property.

“It is actually the highest point in Chesterfield County, and we looked for a way to make that a seminal feature of this community, a defining entrance point for this community,” Geiger said. “We’d like to create a promenade there, so that the community and the people who are coming to visit Westchester Commons as consumers have an opportunity to come up and have the same views, looking over Chesterfield County.”

Land Bay B also serves as the primary entrance to the site from Watkins Centre Parkways and Westchester Commons.

According to plans for The Aire at Westchester, Land Bay C consists of approximately 125 acres. Land Bay C will be accessed from Land Bays A and B. It will also predominantly be a residential land bay, with mostly single-family homes.

A tentative community timeline lists 2023 as the start for the first phase of construction, with homeowners to first be welcomed in 2025. The timeline may be adjusted due to weather, construction restraints, economic impacts or other unforeseen circumstances.

“As we develop, the first section that we will be looking at is Land Bay B,” Geiger said. “We will start with the promenade.”

Geiger said that it will be the year 2027 before the community is built out fully.

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