HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico County officials are studying and working to transform the Westwood area into the “Scott’s Addition” of the county.
The area, located from Westwood Avenue to Staples Mill Road, has seen new developments and even re-use of old development over the last decade. And, according to officials, developers have their eye on the area now too.
The widely industrial area is starting to see businesses pop up like Strangeways Brewery - it’s just the beginning of a total transformation the county sees.
Joe Emerson is the Director of Planning for Henrico. He and the planning commission have been studying the area for the last year and are looking at updating zoning and infrastructure.
“From a zoning standpoint, we don’t anticipate changing any of the existing uses, what we’re looking at doing is adding an overlay,” Emerson said. “And allow us a little more flexibility in examining parking but also adding some additional uses such as residential.”
Emerson says the county’s parking rules would have to be revised to allow for the possibility of shared parking. The overlay would allow for residential development in this area which is zoned for mostly industrial and business ventures.
“It would become more of a 24-hour kind of atmosphere, where people could work and live” Emerson said. “It’s very close to the central business' district, rapid transit on top of Willow Lawn.”
The area, which is over 500 acres - double the size of Scott’s Addition - has already seen a lot of new developments pop up including a new grocery store, office building and Topgolf.
In September, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors encouraged county planners to continue studying the area. Emerson believes proposed changes will be ready for the board to see by February.
Bobby Ukrop, the chairman and CEO of Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods that has been located on Maywill Street in Henrico for the last 22 years has watched the area transform.
“It’s kind of come back in a different way than what it was, back when we came here first,” Ukrop said. “Really, what it might look 22 years from now, I have no clue.”