Crozet residents are aware that big things are happening in their town. Foremost among these has been Perrone Robotics Inc.’s move to invest in the construction of a new multimillion-dollar downtown complex. While the logistics of the project are still being hashed out—for instance, an estimated $3.15 million in funding for Crozet Plaza, a central park and greenspace, has yet to be secured—in December 2016, PRI struck a deal with developer Milestone Partners and, in early July, cut the red ribbon on a temporary 5,000-square-foot office and testing facility located on the site of the proposed construction. Once the plaza goes in, and surrounding offices, residential apartments and restaurants are installed, Perrone plans to build a permanent office and testing facility.
What’s significant about this move? PRI is bringing top-tier Silicone Valley innovation to the Charlottesville area.
Positioned at the forefront of the autonomous car revolution, PRI is seeking to play a key role nationally and globally in its development and implementation. “It’s not often that you get the opportunity to go to work for a company that’s doing things this exciting, and is located in an area that’s this beautiful,” says Chief Operating Officer Greg Scharer.
For PRI founder Paul Perrone, that’s exactly the point. Contrary to the volatility of the Silicon Valley workplace—where talented employees are constantly jumping ship, chasing the highest bidder—Perrone has built a company culture devoted to long-term stability and family values. “The people that come to work for us are some of the best and brightest in the world,” he says. “We want them to be invested in the company’s future, love where they live and feel confident they can raise their families in this community.” With its proximity to the mountains and Charlottesville, Perrone says Crozet is a perfect fit.
A new report, which was prepared by Municap, Inc., proposes the developer and county split the costs of public improvements for the property, with the developer paying approximately $4.45 million and the county paying $4.72 million. The county’s costs would specifically go towards constructing a civic plaza space and a road that connects downtown to nearby Parkside Village.
The Parkside Village connector is estimated to cost $1.57 million and the Crozet Plaza $3.15 million. The report projects that the various forms of tax revenue resulting from redevelopment of the property — including real property, sales, meals, transient and personal property taxes — would leave the county with a net surplus of $18.15 million in tax revenue after the bondholders are repaid.
He’s aiming for October/November 2016. The plan is to be in the building for 2 years, establish himself in the community, and go/grow from there.
A goal is to be part of the community, get involved with the people, the riders, races …
In the lumberyard. That yellowish building just beyond The Square? Right there.
He is going to sell bikes – a full lineup, including bikes for adults, junior bikes, bikes made for kids, light and simple, as well as bicycling gear and apparel, but the focus of the shop is going to be servicing bikes. I ran into someone this morning who had heard about the shop and who echoed what I’ve heard from many – she’s hoping for classes on basic bike maintenance – changing tires, chains, adding lube … “
Cor is following his passion – he has always ridden and worked on his bicycles. Crozet needs a bike shop. He loves working on bicycles – simply, they are machines that, given the right time and attention, can be made to work. He is a perfectionist. Bicycles are equally simple, complex – and solvable.
Starting – and running/operating – a bike shop in this environment and economy is a huge risk, and must be done in part by passion and love of bicycles and community. I’m looking forward to seeing the shop grow.