In 1999, The City of Charlottesville commissioned Torti Gallas + Partners to study fifteen commercial corridors within this city of 40,000 residents.
As a regional center for the Virginia Piedmont, a growing technology driven commercial and industrial base, the city planners desired to create growth in a manner which promotes livability and fosters a greater sense of community. Beginning with corridor-wide condition assessments, the team evaluated the condition of the surrounding properties to present the existing assets and liabilities of each. Subsequently, they surveyed the potential for development and redevelopment along each of the corridors. To initiate the master plan, the team implemented a series of “charrettes,” meeting with stakeholders, property and business owners, and residents of the corridor areas. These intense intervals promoted the opportunity for concentrated study responding to stakeholder’s input. Corridor “themes” were developed which formed the base for flexible design strategies ensuring a vision with relevance for decades in the future while maintaining a sense of the city’s historical legacy. The team investigated parking issues and methods for alternative transportation, and methods for providing a range of housing types for a mix of incomes. Once the team created a feasible master plan, they provided recommendations to the city for the management and implementation of the master plans and a projected economic impact report. The master plan, recommendations and report all became part of the City's 2001 Comprehensive Plan.
Nearly 20 years later, Torti Gallas' findings and recommendations are still impacting downtown development in the City of Charlottesville.