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Builder's plan could aid Germanna
Apartment deal to lead to Germanna campus in Stafford?

Date published: 9/15/2012


Blacksburg-based developer HHHunt wants to build an apartment community just south of Stafford Hospital, and the project could include a donation of adjacent land to Germanna Community College for the school's long-planned Stafford campus.

HHHunt has applied for a rezoning on about 23 acres near the southeast corner of U.S. 1 and Hospital Center Boulevard. The company wants to build about 300 Class A apartments, which would be their first in the Fredericksburg region. HHHunt is now building a Spring Arbor assisted-living facility near the intersection of Bragg and River roads in Spotsylvania County.

In exchange for the rezoning, HHHunt has offered to buy about 25 acres directly to the south of its apartment community and give the land to the county to be used for a Germanna campus in Stafford. Additional land could be added to the Germanna campus in the future.

HHHunt would buy the land for the apartments from an investment partnership led by Virginia Properties Inc. principal Donn Hart. That group is planning a mixed-use development that would also include retail and offices geared toward government contractors and physicians.

A road named South Campus Boulevard would be built off U.S. 1 into the development; the road could extend all the way to Hospital Center Boulevard.

Germanna has been looking for a site for a permanent Stafford campus for some time and has focused its efforts on the courthouse and hospital areas. The college currently rents about 5,000 square feet at the Aquia Park complex off U.S. 1 in Stafford. It also has permanent campuses in Spotsylvania, Orange and Culpeper counties.

Germanna President David Sam said the land to the south of the proposed HHHunt community is a "strong possibility," but he said it's not a done deal and depends on how the county wishes to proceed.

Last year Stafford's Economic Development Authority pledged $1 million toward the creation of Germanna's permanent campus in the county. The EDA will match donations made to Germanna by area businesses up to $1 million. The EDA could get the money from selling its 104 acres next to Stafford Regional Airport beyond the runway on the other side of Interstate 95.

Germanna can't use state funds to purchase land for a campus, so it must rely on donations. Sam said a land donation and $2 million would go a long way toward the initial development of a Stafford campus.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com