More High Street apartments approved by city boards

Staff writer

A new luxury apartment complex could be coming to High Street in Williamsburg next year.

Site plans for a 223-unit apartment complex were unanimously approved by the city’s Planning Commission at its regular meeting Wednesday. The developer, Commonwealth Properties, still must obtain building permits from the city before construction can begin, but if approved, the company’s Director of Development Jack Middleton said work could begin by next spring. The company could begin leasing the apartments by the end of 2019.

The 223 units would be combined with eight townhome-style apartment buildings already in construction to form one large luxury complex complete with a swimming pool, club houses, a library, fitness center and other amenities. The eight buildings already under construction are next to Sterling Manor Drive off Treyburn Drive and Middle Street; they will contain 96 apartments once completed. Middleton hopes to begin leasing the townhome-style apartments next spring.

“All of that will be top of the line and will set a new standard for luxury living in the Williamsburg area, and quite honestly, for the Tidewater area in general,” Middleton said. “These will be incredibly nice apartments with incredibly nice amenity areas and we’re extremely excited to have something built out there to show people.”

The first phase of the complex is roughly 4.75 acres and the second, larger phase will be built on a 6-acre field along Kings Manor Drive, Middleton said.

The larger, 223-unit complex will be a four- or five-story apartment building totaling 365,904 square feet, with 84 one-bedroom units, 108 two-bedroom units and 31 three-bedroom units, according to the site plan.

The complex would also have 379 parking spaces, with a two-level parking garage containing 236 parking spaces and 143 spaces being provided behind the apartment buildings, according to a memorandum prepared by city staff.

Middleton said the High Street apartment complex will target primarily retirees and professionals, rather than students.

“The price point tends to push students in a different direction or towards another product, we really try to target those retirees, empty-nesters and young professionals or older professionals, professionals in general,” he said. “They tend to be some of the older folks who rent for the lifestyle.”

Although the project is still in too early development to narrow down a price point for the apartments, Middleton said they would be targeted toward the higher end of the existing market.

Photography studio PHILIP D opened the doors to its new commercial photography studio in James City County last week with a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony, according to a news release from the county’s Department of Economic Development.

The new 3,600 studio space on Tewning Road sports a 20-foot ceiling and large roll-up doors that allow its photographers to shoot cars and motorcycles, according to the release. The space is more than four times larger than PHILIP D’s previous location in New Town.

The studio is owned by Philip Sydow, who has worked as a commercial photographer in the area since 2011. Since opening his studio in 2013, Sydow has worked with clients to create images that blend photography with digital painting and CGI, according to the release.

“We are thrilled with the flexibility our new space provides us to meet the needs of our clients and shoot larger scenes and subjects in studio,” said Sydow. “We look forward to expanding our business with these new capabilities.”

PHILIP D Studio will hold an open house at its new location from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 12, according to the release. For more information, visit

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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