Woolen Mills (factory)

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The Woolen Mills factory began in 1830 as a combination wool, cotton, flour and lumber mill until it closed in 1962. [1]

The site will be the new home of WillowTree when renovations are completed in the middle of 2020. [2] [3]

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Woolen Mils
1896 insurance map of Woolen Mill complex



Developer Brian Roy crafted and implemented plans to convert the site into a mixed-use development. To do so, he needed a rezoning from the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors as well an amendment of the County's Comprehensive Plan. [5]

Supervisors granted preliminary approval, but Roy needed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to agree to a revision of the flood map to allow the project to proceed. [6]

The Albemarle Planning Commission endorsed a rezoning and a steep slopes waiver in March 2017. [7] The Board of Supervisors approved the rezoning on May 10, 2017. [8] [9]

As part of the rezoning, Roy agreed to seven proffered conditions including the granting of space for a pedestrian bridge across Moores Creek, a plan to educate the public about the cultural resources of the Woolen Mills, to limit parking on the East Market Street side to 28 spaces, and a $10,000 contribution to the city of Charlottesville for "intersection striping or other improvements to roads and intersections within the Woolen Mills neighborhood." [10]

New tenants

Governor Ralph Northam announced the investment of $12.3 million to create new jobs at the site. That includes a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund and $1.5 million from a Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant. Another incentive involves the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. [2]

Woolen Mills

The project will also include a 12,000 square foot event space, brewery and restaurant. [11]

Construction began in February 2019 and was being to wrap up as COVID-19 Emergency hit. The Board of Supervisors voted on May 20, 2020 to extend a deadline by which certain public infrastructure is to be provided from June 30 to September 30. [12]


  1. Print: Woolen Mills closing left a huge void in the town, David A. Maurer, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises 28 Aug 2011, Page .
  2. 2.0 2.1 Web. Governor Northam Announces 200 New Jobs in Albemarle County, Albemarle County, Albemarle County, August 27, 2018, retrieved August 28, 2018.
  3. Web. Developer hopes to complete construction of Woolen Mills project by April, Annie Schroeder, News Article, NBC29, February 18, 2020, retrieved February 25, 2020.
  4. Web. Dickinson New Mill Manager; Reopening Near, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, September 16, 1959, retrieved September 15, 2022. Print. September 16, 1959 page 5.
  5. Web. Albemarle supervisors ponder jobs versus homes in Woolen Mills project, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, retrieved February 12, 2015.
  6. Web. Couple launching business to get people and community onto Rivanna River, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 2, 2016, retrieved May 18, 2016.
  7. Web. Woolen Mills redevelopment endorsed by Albemarle panel, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 25, 2017, retrieved December 28, 2017.
  8. Web. Woolen Mills revival project takes big step forward, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 11, 2017, retrieved December 29, 2017.
  9. Web. County of Albemarle, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Minutes, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, Albemarle County, May 10, 2017, retrieved August 24, 2020.
  10. Web. Proffer Statement ZMA-2016-16, Brian Roy, Proffer Statement, April 27, 2017, retrieved August 24, 2020.
  11. Web. Brewery, event space, restaurant planned for Woolen Mills, Allison Wrabel, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, April 28, 2019, retrieved April 29, 2019.
  12. Web. Woolen Mills project nears completion; Albemarle board agrees to another extension of agreement, Allison Wrabel, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, May 21, 2020, retrieved May 24, 2020.

Coordinates:Erioll world.svg.png 38°01′10″N 78°27′22″W / 38.0195°N 78.4562°W / 38.0195; -78.4562