West Main Street

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West Main Street is the signed portion of Business Route 250 through Charlottesville connecting the University of Virginia to Downtown.



West Main Street has historically been a major corridor throughout Charlottesville and was part of the Three Notch'd Road. The road was first macadamized in 1895. [1]

James Dinsmore, Thomas Jefferson's building manager, built several brick townhomes on the street in the early 19th century. The road's economic development fortunes took a turn for the positive when the Virginia Central Railroad built tracks alongside. [2]

The road became a core of Charlottesville's African-American community and several important churches as well as the Jefferson School. In the 1930's, automobile dealers opened showrooms on the road, all of which were gone by the end of the 20th century. [2]

West Main is home to the city's Starr Hill neighborhood.

21st Century Redevelopment

When the city adopted a new zoning ordinance in 2003, parcels of land along the corridor were upzoned in order to allow for more density and taller buildings.

A design plan by the firm Wallace Roberts & Todd serves as the blueprint to guide development on West Main.

The area is sometimes referred to by residents and businesses as Midtown. The Midtown Association holds an annual street fair. [3]

Buildings along the road are subject to the West Main Street Architectural Design Control District. [2]

Route 250 continues west on Ivy Road and east on Ridge Street.

The street has a high walkability score. [4]

There have been many discussions over the years of creating a new a streetcar line to the corridor. [5]

In June 2012 the Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review granted partial approval to a new hotel to be built on the corner of West Main Street and Ridge-McIntire. The hotel, which would be a Marriott Residence Inn, requires only site plan approval from the BAR in order to move forward with the project. The developers hope to have a building permit by March 1, 2013.[6]

In the summer of 2013, construction began on a new 595 bedroom residential complex the Flats at West Village.

Businesses and organizations


  1. Web. Charlottesville Urban Design and Affordable Housing, Kenneth A. Schwarz, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, retrieved November 29, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Web. West Main Street ADC District, City of Charlottesville, retrieved March 29, 2012.
  3. Web. Street cred: West Main relaxes, David McNair, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, September 10, 2011, retrieved March 29, 2012. Print. September 15, 2011 , 1037, .
  4. Web. [1], Walk Score, retrieved March 29, 2012.
  5. Web. A streetcar for West Main, Sean Tubbs & Kendall Singleton, Charlottesville Tomorrow, January 31, 2008, retrieved March 12, 2012.
  6. Web. New West Main hotel gets partial approval from BAR, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, June 25, 2012, retrieved June 25, 2012.


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