You asked: Construction will constrict traffic flow

Published 1:03 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Why is the town closing one lane of West Third Street for so many months?

A westbound lane of West Third Street in downtown Farmville will be closed for about three months as construction crews renovate the old Southern States-Farmer’s Cooperative building between Randolph and St. George streets.

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One lane of westbound traffic will remain open from Thursday until about Sept. 1, according to the town.

The work comes as Walk2Campus transforms the building into about 36 apartments targeted mostly at professionals.

“They’ll be working on all the brick and the windows on that side,” said Town Manager Gerald Spates. “There’s not enough room there between the sidewalk and the street to do it. They need to close one lane of traffic for safety.”

Signage will direct traffic into the appropriate lane, he said.

“We did it when … Farmville Wholesale Electric (worked on) their building. We’ve done it before, and it works out pretty well … There’ll be construction signs going both ways (on Third Street).”

In addition to the building, Walk2Campus owns two adjoining properties.

The building is 30,000 square feet.

The project will include apartments on the top three floors, mostly one-bedroom and loft apartments that will take full advantage of the building’s 14-foot ceilings.

“It lends itself to what you think of when you think of a loft apartment,” Walk2Campus owner Matt King said in a previous interview with The Herald. “And I think the spaces, in terms of living spaces that will be created out of the building, are going to be very cool.”

The ground floor will house Walk2Campus’s property management office and amenity space for tenants, such as a workout room, business center and a larger gathering area.

Constructed about 114 years ago as the Cunningham & Co. Tobacco Prizery, the structure had dormers and a standing metal seam roof.

Last year, Walk2Campus purchased property from Buffalo Shook Co. and W. C. Newman Co. Inc., giving it a significant slice of Farmville real estate between West Third Street and the Appomattox River.

“I think it’s a different type of project for us. Traditionally, we get a lot of undergrads. I think we’ll get some undergrads here,” King said, “but I also think we’ll get faculty, staff, professionals, folks affiliated with the hospital, anybody who wants to live and work in Farmville and live downtown and live in a place they can walk to all the local merchants. …”

That portion of West Third Street sees about 6,900 vehicles per day, according to VDOT reports.