Henrico to build new Dumbarton Area Library at Staples Mill Centre

Henrico County plans to build a new Dumbarton Area Library on a parcel provided in Staples Mill Centre, a mixed-use community to be developed by Gumenick Properties between West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road near Libbie Avenue.

Under an agreement approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, the three-story library will be built beside a two-acre lake with a fountain, creating an attractive gathering place surrounded by residences and shops. The library, which will have 50,000 to 60,000 square feet of floor space, is expected to be under construction in spring 2014 with an opening slated for fall 2016.

“This agreement represents an exciting collaboration between the public and private sectors,” said Richard W. Glover, chairman of the Board of Supervisors and supervisor for the Brookland District. “The new library will be a tremendous resource for Henrico residents and will be a focal point for other activity in Staples Mill Centre, which in turn will generate jobs and economic activity for the area.”

Under the agreement, Henrico will receive the 3.3-acre library site at no cost. It will contribute $250,000 toward the construction of a lake plaza and other pedestrian features and will make a one-time payment of $150,000 in lieu of annual fees to a property owners association.

In exchange, Gumenick Properties will prepare the library site for construction. The company also will extend utilities and build roads and amenities, including the lake, plaza, walks, lighting and landscaping. Storm water runoff from the library will be managed offsite as part of the development of Staples Mill Centre.

Gumenick Properties estimates that when completed the cost of all buildings and improvements in Staples Mill Centre will be about $434 million.

“We’re proud to have the library in the neighborhood,” said Wayne A. Chasen, president and CEO of Gumenick Properties. “The facility complements our vision for Staples Mill Centre as a vibrant community, a regional destination and a pedestrian-friendly environment for people living near and in Staples Mill Centre.”

Before the library opens, Gumenick Properties will begin construction on the first of four private buildings that are planned along Staples Mill. The company will start construction of a second building before the first anniversary of the library’s opening.

The library is expected to cost about $30.5 million. Initially, only the building’s first and second floors will be finished. The facility will have 236 surface parking spaces.

Henrico voters approved funding in the 2005 bond referendum to replace the Dumbarton Area Library. The current Dumbarton Area Library, at 6800 Staples Mill, is about 1.5 miles west of the site for Staples Mill Centre. At 22,500 square feet, the library opened in 1976 following a renovation of what had been Dumbarton Elementary School.

The 80-acre Staples Mill Centre is planned in accordance with the land’s urban-mixed use zoning designation, which was approved in 2007. Upon completion, the community will have about 2,000 residential units, plus 100,000 square feet of retail space and 50,000 square feet of office space.

Based in Henrico, Gumenick Properties is a real-estate development and property management company with operations throughout the Southeast. Founded in the late-1940s, the company engages primarily in the development and operation of apartments and in homebuilding. Gumenick Properties is currently developing the Grayson Hill and Monument Square communities in Henrico.
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More than 1,000 high school students will converge on Deep Run High School to test their teamwork and ingenuity during the FIRST Chesapeake District Central Virginia Competition Mar. 25-26. This year’s game theme, FIRST Steamworks, invites two adventure clubs from an era in which technology relied on steam power to prepare their airships for the ultimate long distance race. Forty Robotics Competition teams from Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia will face off. This is one of seven district qualifying events hosted by FIRST Chesapeake. The competition is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Full text

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