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Planter’s Warehouse redesign unveiled

South Boston News
A rendering of the front façade of the redesigned Planter’s Warehouse redesign / December 30, 2020

After delays and difficult negotiations with financers, Dave McCormack of Waukeshaw Development, is now ready to move forward with plans to develop the site where Clarksville’s Planter’s Warehouse once stood.

The property, located in the town’s historic district at 610 Virginia Avenue, was home to one of the oldest buildings in Clarksville and one of the oldest structures associated with the tobacco business in Virginia.

Until it closed for business in the 1970s, it housed the oldest continuously existing tobacco market in Virginia and possibly in the United States.

What was left of the building collapsed in October 2018 from the high winds of Tropical Storm Michael.

Project Manager Zoe York said the development firm hopes to break ground in February on construction of 40 market rate, one-bedroom apartments and a commercial space, possibly a restaurant on the ground floor facing Virginia Avenue.

“We don’t yet have an operator [for the commercial space] but will be looking for that now that we are moving again,” York said.

York described the apartments as “market rate with very nice finishes.” She added, “We are going with a laid-back, lake vibe for the design. We don’t necessarily call them ‘luxury’ or ‘upscale’ but they will be very much in line with the other apartments we’ve built in the state, all of which are really nice, with wood floors, solid surface countertops, an open-plan feel, etc.”

In the past decade McCormack and Waukeshaw have developed market rate apartments in rundown buildings or locations in need of redevelopment, including 83 loft-style apartments in Vinton, 34 short-stay apartments and 25 lofts in Blackstone, and studio, one and two-bedroom apartments in the Mayton, Powell Manufacturing, Southern Express and Community Bank buildings in Petersburg, among others.

McCormack said he likes to find opportunity in quirky places, places other people aren’t paying that much attention to, but obviously have a lot of potential. That’s what first drew him to the Planter’s Warehouse in Clarksville.

The preliminary site plan submitted by Waukeshaw shows nine buildings interspersed with parking and green spaces on the lot that fronts on Virginia Avenue and also on a connected parcel that faces Sixth Street, where a cinder block garage now sits.

The cinder block garage will be demolished, but York said the company has no current plans for either the house at 116 Sixth Street (just south of the cinder block garage) or the Quonset hut at 118 Sixth Street that Waukeshaw also purchased.

“I don’t have plans for either yet, but our goal is to make something very quickly and fun from them, something that complements the overall development,” York said.

Clarksville Town Manager Jeff Jones confirmed news of the project and shared preliminary drawings but said the planning commission and Town Council must first approve a special exception permit.

The hearing is set for Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, 321 Virginia Avenue.

Under the town’s zoning ordinance, there must be two parking spaces allocated for each apartment. The site is not large enough to accommodate 80 spaces. McCormack is asking the planning commission and Council to approve an exception that would specify only one parking space per apartment.

Due to covid-related restrictions the meeting will be held electronically and livestreamed on YouTube at Anyone wishing to attend the meeting in person will need to socially distance and wear a face covering. No more than ten people will be allowed in the meeting room at one time.

Those wishing to submit comments regarding the project should contact Town Hall in advance at (434) 374-8177, by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or by U.S. Mail sent to P. O. Box 1147, Clarksville, VA 23927.

Waukeshaw Development describes the Planter’s Warehouse project as 14,000 square feet with a budget of $2.6 million. The timeline anticipates construction to be completed within 10 months.

“While we miss the Planter’s Warehouse and what it could have been, we are excited for the opportunity to create a new building from scratch and pay homage to the original warehouse,” noted McCormack.

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This is great news for Clarksville. I was afraid the project was dead after the collapse of the remaining Planter's Warehouse. Thanks to the developer for keeping it going.


Now if we could re tool the efficancy motel on the lake to maybe 3/4 star accomodations and ammenities we could draw
more tourism dollars sorely needed in the county. There are zero - really nice spots to stay on the lake mostly due to the ownership of the lake. Right moves mecklenburg could really turn the financial corner to prosper. Microsoft exspanding there is potential for support business in the service sector like hospitality, dinning & entertainment, housing, construction etc..

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