New developer buys, plans to expand stalled St. Luke’s Village

Published 4:20 pm Thursday, June 6, 2024

A developer’s plans to purchase and revive the stalled St. Luke’s Village housing development in Carrollton are moving forward.

Isle of Wight County Circuit Court records show the May 6 sale of 55.5 acres to St. Luke’s Devco LLC, a subsidiary of the Hampton Roads division of Charlottesville-based Greenwood Homes, for $3.5 million.

Kent Henry, director of land development for Greenwood, told The Smithfield Times in December his company was under contract to purchase the land from its former developer, Lewis McMurran of McCale Development.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

McMurran received rezoning approval from Isle of Wight County supervisors in 2005, at the time proposing 430 homes and up to 80,000 square feet of commercial space at the former Smithfield Downs golf course that shuttered in early 2006. But by 2007, foreclosures on high-risk or “subprime” mortgages had begun to spur a nationwide housing market crisis. The land, located less than a quarter-mile from its namesake 17th century St. Luke’s Church, has sat dormant since.

In 2008, the supervisors approved Sentara Health Systems’ application to build the Sentara St. Luke’s medical campus in lieu of 176 houses, reducing the proposed development’s density to 254 homes. In early 2014, supervisors approved another requested change by McMurran that further reduced St. Luke’s density to the current 179 approved residences, which at that time were proposed to consist of 135 single-family homes, 44 townhomes and just under 80,000 square feet of commercial space.

Greenwood submitted an application on Sept. 28, 2022, a year-and-a-half ahead of the sale date, requesting a zoning amendment to expand the development’s footprint into an adjacent 4.4-acre parcel and build 315 units, consisting of 83 townhouses, 42 single-family detached homes, 140 condominiums and a future residential phase with another 50 homes. The 4.4-acre parcel is still listed on the county’s GIS map as being owned by McMurran’s holding company, St. Luke’s Villages LLC.

Greenwood’s 2023-submitted site plans show roughly the same street layout McMurran had proposed, though Greenwood’s commercial phase now calls for up to 99,221 square feet.

Greenwood’s plans call for access to the development from Brewers Neck Boulevard via a new four-lane road dubbed “St. Luke’s Boulevard.” St. Luke’s Boulevard would connect to an extension of King James Court to provide secondary access via the existing Queen Anne’s Court subdivision. A roundabout would facilitate traffic movement between St. Luke’s residential and commercial phases.  

According to Amy Ring, community development director for Isle of Wight County, the roundabout would be built at the developer’s expense.

Greenwood must address outstanding comments from the Virginia Department of Transportation on its zoning application before the county can send it to the Planning Commission for a public hearing and vote, Ring said.

St. Luke’s is Greenwood’s second proposed expansion into Isle of Wight. The company previously submitted plans in August to the town of Smithfield’s zoning office for “The Promontory,” which would add 262 homes and five commercial parcels along Benns Church Boulevard at the site of a 133-acre sand mining operation, or “borrow pit.” The Promontory, which would be located just inside the town’s limits, also has yet to go before Smithfield’s Planning Commission or Town Council.