First of eight Luter-owned lots at Washington and James streets sold

Published 5:49 pm Friday, July 5, 2024

The first of eight new residential lots at Washington, James and Clay streets created from the 2021 sale of town-owned land to developer Joseph Luter IV has found a buyer.

According to Isle of Wight County land transfer records from June, Luter’s holding company, JWL34 LLC, sold a 0.14-acre lot fronting Washington last month to JVC LLC, a holding company owned by Vincent Carollo, for $110,000.

Carollo, who declined to comment on his plans for the undeveloped Washington Street parcel or whether he planned to purchase any of the other seven tracts, owns multiple properties throughout Smithfield and Isle of Wight County, including Anna’s Restaurant, the Smithfield Commons shopping center next to the McDonald’s on South Church Street, the former James River Christian Academy campus on Benns Church Boulevard that now houses Hampton Roads Classical, and at least two houses – one in the town limits and one in the county.

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Luter IV, on June 28, told the Times there was no concrete timeline yet for breaking ground on any of the houses at Washington, James or Clay streets.

Smithfield’s Town Council approved the $225,000 sale of 1.5 acres at Washington and James to Luter three years ago, excluding buildings the town leases to Smithfield’s Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter and to The Children’s Center. Luter’s submitted site plans from that year called for four detached homes and four duplex units, which as of 2022 were projected to sell for $450,000 to $550,000.

The parcel sold to Carollo is one of the single-family lots.

Luter’s site plans from 2021 for what was at the time dubbed the “Luter Acres” development called for the extension of the formerly dead-end Clay Street off Washington to connect to James, the extension of water and sewer mains to serve the new lots, and a now-built 13-space parking lot for the VFW.

The Town Council voted on July 1 to accept the completed extension of Clay Street as a town-maintained road, the first step in qualifying the new street for inclusion in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s municipal assistance payment program, which provides the town with state funding to maintain its roads.

Luter IV is also developing a larger, 267-home mixed-use development at the western edge of the town’s historic district, dubbed the Grange at 10Main for its location at Main Street and Route 10. Luter received rezoning approval for the Grange in December of last year, but hasn’t broken ground on the project. As of a mid-May meeting between Luter’s development team and county and town officials, the Grange was on track to break ground in August 2025.