Downtown Mall’s Changing Landscape

Charlottesville’s downtown mall is gaining a new addition to the west end. The ice rink, now being constructed on 29 north, is being replaced by The CODE Building. The Center for Developing Entrepreneurs will be host to tech start ups, established businesses, tenants and retail spaces. The initial designs include a Charlottesville-esque feel to a new age sustainable build. The Hourigan Construction/Development Firm is using the LEED Gold certification standards to construct the building. LEED certifications are based off of a points system. Some categories for these points include water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and energy and atmosphere as well as many others. The more visible features of sustainability will be the green roof terraces where co-workers and tenants alike can come to gather. There will also be bicycle parking and electric car charging stations. This unique design also includes a walking underpass and public courtyard area where patrons can walk from the downtown mall underneath the building to Water Street. This connectivity also translates inside the building.

The local Cville paper reported that CSH president Andrew Boninti said, “It’s designed for the collision of people, which allows for networking.” Co-working spaces, open floor plans and food and beverage sites within the building will even further enhance this fluidity. The design also includes an auditorium which will hold 225 people for events and conferences. Podcast recording studios will encourage local talent to host recording sessions. As great as all this sounds, the never-ending parking struggle has concerned some local residents and existing businesses. The CODE Building has already leased out 60% of it’s spaces and is set to hold a maximum of 700 people but there are only 74 parking spaces planned. No word yet on which businesses have already leased the spaces.

Despite parking concerns, this could bring new jobs to the area and new technology to Charlottesville. The project is set to be completed in the spring of 2021.