The University of Mary Washington Foundation was one of three finalists for the Virginia Torchbearer Award in the 1st Congressional District. The recognition for transforming the former Park & Shop retail center into the Eagle Village mixed-use development was announced Thursday, Dec. 2 by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce at the annual Virginia Economic Summit in Williamsburg. The Newport News Economic Development Authority received the top award for the district.
The annual honors recognize companies, agencies and institutions responsible for creative and major contributions to Virginia’s economy through new business attraction, job creation, business retention and expansion, foreign investment and revitalization projects. A panel of business and government leaders selected the winners.
“It is an honor to be named a finalist, just as it is an honor to be able to serve the Fredericksburg region with projects like Eagle Village,” said Jeff Rountree, CEO of the UMW Foundation and president of Eagle Property Holdings, LLC. “President Hurley and the Board of Visitors have made regional engagement a major theme in this new administration and we at the UMW Foundation are proud to be partners with the university in meeting this critical goal.”
The UMW Foundation bought the 1960s-era Park & Shop center on U.S. 1, and last summer the private, nonprofit foundation completed the first, $115 million phase of the 23-acre property’s redevelopment into Eagle Village. In August, UMW students moved into the newly completed Eagle Landing, a premium, 156-unit apartment complex connected to the university’s Fredericksburg campus by a new, covered pedestrian bridge over busy U.S. 1. Adjacent to the housing complex is a new building featuring restaurants, shops, offices and a multilevel parking garage.
“Eagle Village is a powerful redevelopment example,” said Karen W. Hedelt, director of the city of Fredericksburg’s department of economic development and tourism. “As a mixed-use project that ties the university and its students even more closely to our community, it brings employment and significant tax revenue to the City plus it is leading the way for a revitalization of the U.S. 1 corridor. Eagle Village is a point of pride for the City of Fredericksburg and we are pleased to have nominated the project for a Torchbearer Award.”