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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.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Film industry training program planned for this weekend

The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

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