Dubbed “Gateway to Charlottesville”, “Gateway to Northern Virginia”, “Gateway to the state capital” and “Gateway to the Blue Ridge” by the Greene County Economic Development Authority, Greene County, Virginia really is all four.
Centered at the crossroads between US 29 and US 33, Greene County is 100 miles south of Washington DC, 20 miles north of downtown Charlottesville, 78 miles northwest of Richmond, about 15 miles from Shenandoah National Park, and close to both US 64 and US 81.
It is a land of opportunity, with new commercial development erupting like a volcano along 29, the primary corridor between Washington DC and Charlottesville – and elsewhere.
The Gateway Market Center, anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter and a Lowe’s home improvement center, sits at the crossroads of 29 and 33, the county’s gateway to the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah National Park. Both retail giants arrived within the last few years and now McDonald’s, Verizon, Subway, Hair Cuttery, Asian East Gourmet, a branch of Pioneer Bank, and the county’s only Virginia ABC store have joined them there.
The Greene House Shops Antique Mall, home to more than 50 dealers of antiques, unique gifts and collectibles, is on the corner fronting the Center, and CVS, Burger King, and a Meadows Farms Garden Center are across the road.
A hop skip and a jump away south on 29, just past Sheetz and Food Lion, construction is set to begin on the Rapidan Center, a planned mixed-use commercial project approved for 500,000 square feet of retail and office space.
The first phase of the county’s first garden apartment community — Terrace Greene – has been completed adjacent to the Rapidan Center property and townhouse condominiums and single-family homes are slated to be constructed nearby.
Just south of the Rapidan Center and about four miles north of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport, is Tierney Plaza, anchored by the 122-room BEST WESTERN PLUS Charlottesville Airport Inn & Suites, winner of multiple top awards in the hospitality industry and recipient of a three diamond-rating by AAA. Fronting the hotel are Dunkin’ Donuts, Lord Hardwicke’s restaurant, Roy Wheeler Realty, the Anytime Fitness Center and more.
But that’s just along the 29 corridor.
Turn onto 33 toward the entrance to Shenandoah National Park and you’ll see why Greene County, Virginia has been declared one of Money magazine’s “100 Best Places to Live.”
Designer residential developments filled with homes priced below those in neighboring Albemarle County have popped up – and are popping up – along the road that leads to the beef, horse and alpaca farms that sprinkle the county, and to the welcoming country inns and select wineries that make Greene the destination for tourists that it has become.
US33 Business leads to Stanardsville, the county’s seat since 1838, and its historic hub of social and economic activity. Currently undergoing a revitalization based largely on the nationally-recognized Main Street program, the Town is home to the majority of Greene’s public schools, its branches of the Jefferson Madison Regional Library and Jefferson Area Board for Aging, Piedmont Virginia Community College’s new Eugene Giuseppe Center, fine restaurants, art galleries, a florist, and other small businesses.
These two faces of Greene County did not evolve accidently. the county’s comprehensive plan, updated just two years ago with an eye toward developing tourism as an industry, protects rural areas from more intrusive uses by designating major areas of commercial and business growth in the county along the 29N corridor between Ruckersville and Albemarle County, and the 33W corridor between Ruckersville and Stanardsville.
Eye on Greene keeps watch over this small, historic county that was “discovered” in the mid-1970s by workers in Albemarle County who found the short trip up 29 to a less crowded, less expensive area worthwhile, and retirees who found it a refuge from busy city life and high taxes.
Greene County, Virginia is a county in transition, filled with a patchwork of people from all walks of life who, though not always in immediate agreement, work together to make it the homeplace we all want it to be.
Eye on Greene introduces its readers to Greene’s governors and planners, reports the issues they deal with, and features stories on local businesses and entrepreneurs, community events and activities.
In a nutshell, we let you know what’s happening — as well as what already has.
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NEWS: Issues that may affect business in Greene County, Virginia
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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY: About the county’s economic advisors
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TRANSITIONS: Those who have recently passed on
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