Spotsylvania purchases building for county offices; board approves 55-and-older development

by | Jul 11, 2024 | ALLFFP, Government, Spotsylvania, Uncategorized

When early voting for the November election begins in two months, Spotsylvania County residents will venture to a new location. 

On Tuesday, the board of supervisors approved the $17.5 million purchase of one of the former Capital One buildings at 10300 Spotsylvania Avenue with plans to transform it into county office space. 

County Administrator Ed Petrovich was not prepared to announce all the county offices that will eventually move into the building, but he did say that early voting will take place there, pending approval from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office. 

Early voting formerly took place at 4708 Southpoint Parkway. 

The balance left over from a 2014 bond issuance will be used to fund the purchase of the building, not to exceed $46 million. 

Funds will also be needed to rehabilitate the existing county building at Merchant Square on Old Battlefield Boulevard, and to renovate the newly purchased building. 

County staff noted that there will be no debt service on the new building in the current fiscal year because rent paid by current tenants will offset it. In fiscal year 2026, debt service is expected to be in the $200,000 to $400,000 range. 

Board Chair Jacob Lane lauded the county staff for creating extra office space in a less costly manner. 

The building is 157,819 square feet. Lane noted that a new 45,000-square foot building would cost approximately $20 million. 

“This is by far the most cost-effective way to address our space needs for the next 15 years at least,” Lane said. 

Petrovich noted that only 33% of the building is currently available for county use, and he hopes the tenants remain there as long as possible to assist with costs. Once some of their leases expire, more county offices will make the transition. 

In other business, the board voted 5-2 to approve the rezoning of 5.4 acres from residential to planned development housing for the development of 80 age-restricted multi-family units at 6425 Harrison Road. 

Supervisors Kevin Marshall of the Berkley District and Chris Yakabouski of the Battlefield District voted against the project. 

Yakabouski expressed concerns about traffic as the project shifted from a previous iteration that garnered two special use permits as an assisted living facility to independent living for residents 55-and-older. 

The planning commission recommended approval by a 3-2 vote. Staff also recommended approval with proffers, including sidewalk installation. 

Robin Allen, a resident of the nearby Timbers subdivision, said traffic is already heavy in the area, especially during school drop-off and pickup hours as an elementary, middle and high school are all on Harrison Road. 

Allen said accidents are a regular occurrence at the intersection of Harrison and Cherry roads. She also said sidewalks are pointless because there is nowhere for the seniors to walk. 

“It started out as 60-bed assisted living,” Allen said. “An 80-unit building that may have more than one person living there could be as many as 160 cars coming out of that intersection. They can put a sidewalk in, which is fine, but it doesn’t go anywhere. There is nothing walkable in that area except three schools. 7-11 is a mile and a half away, seniors aren’t going to be walking there. Harrison’s Crossing crosses major intersections, and again, there are no sidewalks to get there.” 

In the end, the supervisors voted for the project to help fill the need for senior living. There is no requirement for the units to be affordable, but the applicant, Sandra Baxter of AgeWise Virginia, stated that several developers who can provide low-income housing have expressed interest in partnering for the project. 

Lee Hill District Supervisor Lori Hayes said she realized the need for senior living in Spotsylvania when she visited an apartment complex in the county and talked with an elderly resident. 

“They were in this apartment building that was full of younger people and the lifestyle that they were accustomed to, meaning they’re not out partying and carrying on, they were subject to having to be a part of that when there was nowhere else for this person to go,” Hayes said. “I think … this gives them an option.” 


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