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Charlottesvillians soon may be on the market for an array of foods in Dairy Central.

Dairy Market, a food hall within the Dairy Central development, aims to open by the middle of the month, barring changes to Gov. Ralph Northam’s restrictions due to COVID-19.

According to Jodi Mills, director of marketing and public relations with Stony Point Development Group, the team has been “very mindful” of the pandemic as it puts finishing touches on the food hall project. Within the more than 35,000 square foot food hall, Dairy Market is holding off on leasing retail space in order to further accommodate socially distant dining, and set to set up carry out operations.

Motion-sensor hand sanitizing dispensers frequent the venue which will house eateries that include Moo Thru, Angelic’s Kitchen, GRN Burger, Dinos Pizza & Rotisserie Chicken, Maizcal, Manilla Street, Milkman’s Bar, Chim St., Bee Conscious Baking Co. and Take It Away Sandwich Shop, among others.

The weather may be getting colder, but Dairy Market also features a 7,500 square foot patio of outdoor space.

In the hallway heading towards the public restrooms, Mills pointed to a collage-like mural featuring images of Monticello Dairy from years past. Over the summer, Stony Point began crowdsourcing relics of the building’s former purpose and received input from locals. Mills said she expects the mural will grow.

Overall, the mixed-use project redevelops and repurposes what was formerly Monticello Dairy at the confluence of 10th Street Northwest and Preston and Grady avenues. Several offices have taken up residence and are already operational within the development at the edge of the 10th and Page neighborhood, while apartments are still under construction and set for a tentative fall 2021 opening.

Construction has entailed companies like Martin Horn, KBS Construction and Hourigan Construction, while Cunningham Quill has served as architects.

About 50,000 square feet of office space connect to Dairy Market with law firm Allen, Allen, Allen, & Allen, along with CoStar, Type Zero and Virginia Humanities, having taken up or planning to take up residence within.

An event space is also planned on a site called the Brick Cellar. Starr Hill Brewery, as well as a yet-to-be announced restaurant, set to anchor other portions of the structure.

Dubbed 10th & Dairy, the apartments, once completed, will include a dog park, outdoor pool and gym.

Overall architecture throughout the development merges old with new as Stony Point worked to preserve original bricks and window design, as well as pay homage to the original black-and-white tiled flooring of the former dairy factory.

Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer is handling leasing within Dairy Central while Retro Hospitality will manage Dairy Market overall.

  • Address: 946 Grady Ave.
  • Amenities: Outdoor plaza space, food and beverage, event space

3Twenty3 continues leasing office space as building nears completion

3Twenty3 — named for its address in downtown Charlottesville — has been gradually growing throughout the course of the year. When the pandemic hit, the intended opening dates for the mixed-use development were pushed back. Now, in the final month of the year, its lobby and some of its office spaces are open while Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer agents work to wrap up leasing additional units.

“We've got a pretty good interest given the environment right now, but, obviously, it's harder with COVID,” Thalhimer Senior Vice President John Pritzlaff said. “We've done a lot of COVID-positive things with no-touch. … Basically, you can get from your car into office space and go to the bathroom without touching anything.”

He also emphasized the building’s filtration system in its heating and cooling system.

Overall, the building contains five floors of office space atop four floors of parking, with retail space on the ground floor. Amenities include indoor bike racks and electric vehicle charging stations, as well as a rooftop event space and deck. The rooftop space is expected to be called “Level Ten” with an opening date to be determined.

“You should have unencumbered 360 degree views up there,” Pritzlaff said.

With about 48,000 square feet of space left to lease, Pritzlaff said his team is “in talks” with prospective tenants.

“The building is more or less complete in the common areas,” said Jenny Stoner, an associate with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. “Obviously, tenants are in the process of build outs and finishing touches going on, but the building is largely done.”

  • Address: 323 Second St. SE
  • Amenities: rooftop space, car charging stations, bike racks

Fermata Energy partners with NC utility in electric vehicle-to-grid program

Nissan LEAFs are among several electric vehicle options. Credit: Credit: Charlotte Rene Woods / Dexter Auction

This week, Charlottesville-based Fermata Energy announced an electric vehicle-to-grid pilot program partnership in Roanoke, NC with the Roanoke Electric Cooperative.

The program will determine additional financial value of tapping into EV battery storage while the car is parked and charging. Fermata founder and CEO David Slutzsky surmises that the program with Roanoke Electric Cooperative can demonstrate a potential revenue stream for the co-op’s member-owners, making the option to go electric more affordable and helping the utility use its grid more effectively.

“They provide energy to a low-income, rural part of North Carolina,” Slutzsky said. “That co-op wants to poorer people to have access to electric technologies too — I call it ‘energy equity.’”

Using Fermata’s technology and Nissan LEAF EVs, the program will demonstrate additional financial value of tapping into EV battery storage while one is parked and charging. Slutzsky surmises that the program with Roanoke’s Electric Cooperative can provide a revenue stream for the co-op’s member-owners, making the option to go electric more affordable and helping the utility use its grid more effectively.

“Think of an electric vehicle as a reservoir of uses,” Slutzsky explained. “Vehicle-to-grid technology liberates those different value streams or uses and makes them available for different customers who want access to them.”

For example, when utility companies are billing customers, prices are based on kilowatt usage along with a demand charge contingent upon the highest 15-minute average load.

“If the building could get electricity from somewhere else like [Nissan] LEAFs in the parking lot to satisfy the appetite for electricity, then the building doesn’t need to draw from utility,” he said. “If you are able to shave those peaks by thoughtful effective vehicle-to-grid technology, you can shave however many kilowatts from what you’re charged.”

For utilities, Slutzky said they can also tap into idle, connected EVs when customers hit a high demand instead of outsourcing power from other companies on the grid-saving themselves money as well.

“Electric vehicles have a whole bunch of value streams that can be extracted from them,” he said. “Value streams that benefit not the driver directly, but the building where the car is parked, the utility and the grid.”

A self-professed “electric vehicle geek,” Slutzsky created his company to accelerate the adoption of EVs and help with the transition of renewable energy on the grid.

March 2020 was the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s also when Fermata Energy’s bidirectional electric vehicle charger became the first in the world to be certified in a new safety standard through Underwriter’s Laboratories.

Slutzsky, a former Albemarle County supervisor, said that prior to the pandemic, there had been interest from Albemarle and the city of Charlottesville to install Fermata charging stations for use with municipal fleets. However, the pandemic has caused both localities to adjust their budgets and priorities. As each locality processes its climate action plans, Slotzky expects to be doing business with the two local governments in the future.

“They both have signaled strong intentions,” he said. “I think things are understandably on pause.”

  • Address: Charlottesville-based company
  • Amenities: vehicle-to-grid technology

I was Dexter Auction’s government reporter from 2019 to 2022. Thanks for letting me be your resident nerd on how local and state governments serve us. Keep up with me @charlottewords on Twitter. If you haven’t yet, consider subscribing to Dexter Auction’s FREE newsletter to get updates from the newsroom on the things you want to know.