Rotunda at dusk
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Open Grounds: The Future of the Emmet Ivy Corridor

The parcel of land at the juncture of Emmet Street and Ivy Road in Charlottesville is a significant entry point to the University of Virginia and a critical link between North Grounds, Arts Grounds, and Central Grounds. Alice Raucher, architect for the University in the Office of the Architect, presented the long-term strategy for redevelopment of this area during a June 9 virtual presentation hosted by Lifetime Learning: “Open Grounds: The Emmet Ivy Corridor District Planning Discussion.”

In this post, Ms. Raucher answers a few audience questions submitted during the presentation and shares renderings of the Emmet Ivy Corridor district planning. Click on the images to view on a larger scale. 

If you missed the “Open Grounds” presentation on June 9, we invite you to view it here. You can also take a virtual tour of the proposed School of Data Science!


Q: Do you consider the Emmet Ivy Corridor a gateway to the University and to the City of Charlottesville?
The Emmet Ivy Corridor is recognized in the City’s Comprehensive Plan as an official entrance corridor. We have recognized the strategic importance of this area to the City and have presented our plans to Planning Commission to ensure that we are meeting all the special conditions required of development within a designated entrance corridor.

The corner of Emmet Street and Ivy Road, where the Cavalier Inn once stood. Foreground: future building for the School of Data Science (take a virtual tour!). Background: future hotel and conference center.

Q: When do you anticipate the full corridor being vacated and rebuilt?
The crystal ball is cloudy on the timing of the full buildout. The timetable depends on program needs and funding, for which we currently do not have information.

Q: Will the Emmet Ivy Corridor have a direct path to North Grounds?
The most direct path would be via the future bridges over the railroad tracks shown in the master plan, which are currently unfunded.

Q: On the drawings of the green space, there appear to be sycamore trees. Will “messy” sycamore trees be planted? What other type of tree might be used?
The tree species in the stream is River Birch, which has the same attractive bark than the sycamore but with smaller leaves and lower height.

Proposed view of stream corridor landscape (late summer).

Q: Do the plans account for the potential for mosquitos or bugs in the stream/water feature? It gets pretty buggy in low-lying Charlottesville in the summer months.
As at the Dell stream and pond on Grounds, we have designed a system where the water is moving and will not be a stagnant pool where mosquitoes can breed.

Proposed dusk view of the portico of the Data Science building looking southwest.

Q: I work in a department that may eventually be moved to one of the new buildings in this corridor. What considerations are being made for parking (which is already expensive and competitive on Grounds), bus routes, dining, etc?
Staff and faculty working in buildings on Emmet Ivy Corridor will purchase parking permits. UVA Parking and Transportation will provide a range of parking options that vary by proximity and price, like everywhere else on Grounds.

Q: How will the development of the Emmet Ivy Corridor impact the Lewis Mountain neighborhood in Charlottesville?
Hopefully, the impact will be positive: less parking, fewer curb cuts, attractive public green space, and public amenities such as a café and restaurant. We have been communicating with the Lewis Mountain Neighborhood Association throughout the planning process and responding to their concerns.

Topography and hydrology systems. (The Lewis Mountain neighborhood is to the the upper right and right of Lewis Mountain.)

Q: Where on or near Grounds do you plan to construct additional student housing?
Current plans are for additional student housing to be built on Brandon Avenue across from the Student Health and Wellness center, presently under construction. We have not yet restarted an overarching student housing study, but it remains a priority.

Q: Will UVA develop the area near Copeley Road? What would you say to people who are worried about UVA expanding up Ivy Road and pushing small businesses and houses out of the area?
There are no plans to acquire property west of Copeley Road affecting existing businesses. We hope the Emmet Ivy Corridor development will provide new opportunities for small retail businesses on the site.

If you missed watching Open Grounds: The Emmet Ivy Corridor District Planning Discussion” hosted by Lifetime Learning on June 9, we invite you to view the presentation here. You can also take a virtual tour of the proposed School of Data Science.


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The Thoughts From the Lawn (TFTL) blog is published by Lifetime Learning at the University of Virginia’s (UVA) Office of Engagement. This platform features UVA faculty and staff articles for the benefit of UVA’s alumni, parents, and friends. The views expressed in TFTL blog posts reflect the views of the authors and not those of Lifetime Learning. Lifetime Learning reviews the content and links in each article before publication; however, we take no responsibility for inaccurate information and/or links that lead to post-publication, unintended sites. Lifetime Learning is not responsible and will not be held liable for blog comments and reserves the right to remove malicious or mean-spirited responses.

Thoughts on “Open Grounds: The Future of the Emmet Ivy Corridor

    In the image “Corner Open Space Looking Towards the Rotunda”, I no longer see Snyder tennis courts. Is there a plan to build new tennis courts for UVA student/staff/intramural use?


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