Iron Mill construction continues despite developer woes

After a contentious zoning process in 2005, work on what was known as the Copley tract and later named Iron Mill is now proceeding. The 125-acre site was transferred to Wilton Family Investments from Wilton Development and Hank Wilton, who is dealing with problems in other parts of the country.

Iron Mill, located just west of the village of Chester between Iron Bridge Road and Ecoff Avenue, is a townhouse and patio home development that will contain about 240 units.
Steamboat Today, of Steamboat Springs in Colorado, reported that a 354-acre residential development west of Steamboat Springs is on the market for $3.99 million, an amount that is less than what is owed on the original land purchase of $6.74 million. recently reported that, “An unhappy investor is taking Hank Wilton to court over a failed development in a Colorado resort town.” The article stated that Wilton has also been accosted by a lawsuit seeking repayment on lines of credit for developments in Henrico County that are now in foreclosure.

Earlier this year, at least two out parcels at the Iron Mill site were listed as up for auction.

The townhouse portion of the project at Iron Mill is still moving, as are the earthmovers reshaping the property, which is a challenge because of several pipelines that crisscross the site. But according to BizSense, Wilton says he is confident that the project will work because the “townhouse market continues to be price sensitive and it seems to be what’s moving.” Ryan Homes will be building the homes in the Iron Mill development.

While Wilton has several properties facing foreclosure in Virginia and Colorado, a stable of shopping centers and apartment complexes owned by Wilton Companies will keep Wilton afloat, according to reports.

Wilton Development received a zoning change on a 73-acre property off Centralia Road, adjacent to the CSX Railroad tracks. The rezoning was another case riddled with contention and potential lawsuits, as Wilton sought and attained an access, although emergency only, through the Wellington Farms neighborhood. Wilton has yet to file a subdivision plan for the development known as Centralia Station.


Iron Mill

Is it just me, or does anyone else think Iron Mill is a bad idea? The project just next door, Magnolia, and a little more down the road, Stonebridge Gardens behind Iron Bridge Shopping Plaza, appear to be flops. Magnolia is an eyesore as far as I'm concerned; raw, red earth where beautiful, green open land used to be. Why do we continue to build housing in Chester, particulary multi family housing? Is our goal to maintain the "village" feel of Chester, or are we looking towards Dale City as our model of a community? Where would the children coming out of Iron Mill attend school - Carver or Davis Middle - afterall, we all know Chester Middle, the obvious choice, is no more. What is wrong with our community leaders, who continue to turn a blind eye towards school overcrowding, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of business to support all of these housing communities? Again, is it just me?

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