An “Adventure Outpost” in the First Floor of New Crozet Library

I’m really curious to learn who the “confidential” retail tenant will be.

Reading the PDF from the County (bolding mine)-

On October 3, 2012, the Board discussed guidelines and preliminary concepts for use of the Crozet Library first floor space. The first floor of the Library is comprised of approximately 4,796 gross square feet (gsf) of available space, and includes restrooms and a 700 net square feet (nsf) entrance/lobby area and windows fronting Crozet Avenue. The design has the lower level split into a larger tenant area of 1,697 nsf and smaller tenant space of 1,038 nsf. As was stressed during this discussion, the first floor space, with its visual connection to the street and its co-location with the Library in a prime area of downtown Crozet, is an important potential catalyst for activity and vitality in downtown Crozet.

Staff has met several times with a consortium of the major tourism partners in the western Albemarle County region,
including:

– Shenandoah National Park/Appalachian Trail/Skyline Drive;
– Artisans Center of Virginia;
– Monticello Wine Trail;
– Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau;
– Piedmont Council for the Arts; and
– Albemarle County Parks and Recreation.

All of these partners have expressed great interest in the concept of an “Adventure Outpost” headquartered at the Library that would serve as a gateway and promotional venue for the significant cluster of tourism assets in the area. The County does not have a focal point for our rich inventory of outdoor recreational and adventure-oriented options, and the partners felt that there was a niche for this type of “launching point” that would have a more active and engaging ambience than a traditional visitor center. While the space is small and would not involve staff from every attraction, the partners have all committed to supporting the “Adventure Outpost” with materials, programming and other services.

As mentioned in the October 3, 2012 executive summary, the agreement establishing the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB) mandates that CACVB operate and maintain “at least one visitor center within the City and at least one visitor center in the County.” Currently, there is not a visitor center in the County, and a location in the Crozet Library could satisfy that requirement while generating some yet to be determined level of rental income. The Department of Parks and Recreation has also expressed a willingness to provide some level of staffing support for the “Adventure Outpost” since it would strongly align with their mission.

Taken together, the potential private sector tenant and the “Adventure Outpost” would meet the guiding principles established for the space while generating income from a significant amount of the space and supporting the visibility and viability of the County’s tourism industry. The guiding principles are:

– Create foot traffic/pedestrian activity for downtown Crozet to maximize activity and revenues for other downtown businesses
– Create a lively street front presence for this important frontage on Crozet Avenue
– Generate revenue to help cover the County’s expense
– Ensure that all space usage would be compatible with the Library’s mission and operations
– Maintain flexibility in the space and operate under the understanding that at some point in the future
the space could convert to Library usage

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6 Replies to “An “Adventure Outpost” in the First Floor of New Crozet Library”

  1. The County is using taxpayer money to attract business to compete against the business owners that help pay the taxes. Does anybody see anything wrong with that?

    1. I don’t see it that way at all. I long for Crozet to have a little bit more to bring people downtown…and like it or not, there needs to be some new retail space. Claudius Place has stalled (again) and downtown is stuck in kind of this weird void…the library is going to be a great catalyst for new things to come and it makes perfect sense to add some businesses on the first floor (which was, by the way, built so that it wasn’t just wasted space – the building had to accommodate the slope of that hill, and why not put useful space downstairs! – the library just doesn’t need it now…). From my reading of the PDF, these businesses will pay rent at a fair market value…so how is that competing against other businesses? I’m guessing they are not going to allow another coffee shop and that they would be sensitive in putting in anything that would directly compete with another Crozet business (like another bookstore…).
      As I watched the 4th of July Parade…I thought of how much things have really improved around here – Jarman’s Gap road sidewalks were LOADED with families walking to/from the parade, the downtown streetscape is really going to make things safer and more pleasurable, and businesses will do better in this environment.
      For those who do not want Crozet to grow, perhaps this is bad, but for those of us who want controlled growth (growth is coming, like it or not)…well, so far so good!!

      1. “Safer and more pleasurable” ?? Crozet is not unsafe and
        considering the number of people moving here is really
        a worn out statement. Guessing about what type of business that will be attracted is interesting logic. I guess
        that they will jump at the first offer they get. If nothing else,
        to prove that they can actually accomplish something. It is time to face the facts, business is bypassing Crozet for the
        route 250 corridor. For those that want Crozet to look like Northern Virginia well, it’s getting there. As far as Controlled growth, is that where you build tract housing before the infrastructure is in place???

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