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Kilmarnock - Population 25,000?
10/6/2008 - David Mower

“Subdivision largest yet to get approval” says the Northern Neck News front page headline.  Sure enough, a 600-home development on Kilmarnock’s Blackstump Road was approved for development by the Lancaster County Board of Supervisors at their September meeting.  I marvel at the optimism on display with all the developers, developments and big box merchants moving into the Kilmarnock area.  Surely Wal-Mart, CVS, and Walgreens investments signified collective corporate America studied faith that this area is soon to be a high growth area.  The question that comes to mind is just how soon and how expansive this growth is projected to be?




If we assume that the investors of the many developments underway are not just merely trying to reshuffle the current population from their turn-of-the-century homesteads into new residences, then the target population for expansion must be everyone else east of the Mississippi.

Currently the population of Kilmarnock is somewhere around 1,200 and that of Lancaster County is about 12,500. 

Grace Hilldevelopment on the south side of Kilmarnock off Harris Road, is sited for 66-120 homes. 

"Grace Hill is a 42-acre planned community for 66 single-family traditionally designed residences. It is situated near the intersection of Route 3 and Harris Road, within the Town of Kilmarnock and offers conveniences of urban living and the privacy and peacefulness of a rural village. It provides a comprehensive landscape maintenance program, town sewer and water, tree-lined streetscapes with sidewalks, alleyways, a community garden house & swimming pool and walking trail."

"King's Charter" a 600 unit, 740 acre development, located in a triangle of land between Irvington Road, Blackstump Road and Lumberlost Road, across from Hill's Quarters,  the parcel was historically used for timbering and is being considered for rezoning from primarily agricultural to all residential.  It had been owned by the Chesapeake Corporation, but has been left idle for the last decade.
Fleetes Harbor at Windmill Pointoffers 200 condos on the Chesapeake Bay east of White Stone.  Fleete’s Harbor located on 52 pristine acres where the Rappahannock River meets the Chesapeake Bay.  Condominiums encompass from two to four bedrooms, with luxurious features and abundant windows offering breathtaking views of the new, 150-slip marina and the middle Chesapeake Bay.  Units starting at mid-$400,000.

Watermen's Wharf on Windmill Point Road east of White Stone. 

"An opportunity to live and enjoy this authentic, coastal lifestyle can be found at Waterman's Wharf, a small waterfront enclave on Antipoison Creek at the Chesapeake Bay. Here, you will find waterfront homesites with exquisite views and deep-water protected harbors, as well as inland sites with deeded water access." Waterfront sites from $499,000; inland sites from $199,000.

Millburn” across Route 3 from Grace Hill Virginia is about 28 residential lots.  Two lots have been sold and homes are under construction.   Lot acreage range between 0.4 and 2.0 acres and are priced from $46,500 to $119,500.

Retreat at Indian Creek” a proposed a 288-unit cluster development on 177 acres that was derailed in 2007 by the Northumberland County Board of Supervisors, but certainly hasn’t gone away.

"The Retreat at Indian Creek is a mixed used residential development is located just north of Kilmarnock along Indian Creek incorporating large amounts of open space buffering it from Bluff Point road while still providing neighborhood walkability, community greens and clubhouse amenities to create a Neotraditional design."(Great arial photos of Kilmarnock and immediate area on this site.)

“Bluff Point” is waiting in the wings as a Charlottesville's developer has bought about 1,000 acres of the area known as Bluff Point with the potential to put up over 700 units.  Currently wetland studies are being conducted.
"New Tides", a 66-unit condo to be built adjacent to the Tides Inn. 

These combined developments potentially bring 1,700 new homes and condos to the Kilmarnock area.  Assuming a very conservative two members per household that represents a 300% population increase for the city; 25% for Lancaster County (true, Bluff Point and "North Kilmarnock are technically in Northumberland County).  Ground has already been broken on several of the developments.

That's a lot of new construction being planned.  Makes one wonder why Urbanna Lumber pulled out of Kilmarnock recently and consolidated operations south of the river.  The economics are fairly mind-boggling. 

  • If the typical lot sells for $100,000 x 1,700 = $170,000,000 in real estate sales
  • If the typical house construction costs $350,000 x 1,700 =  $510,000,000 in labor and materials
  • If the typical family has income of $55,000 x1,700 = $93,500,000 of new cash brought in

A long time ago when I was in the military installation management business we determined that for every dollar in wages paid to our military and civilian employees, it generated $8-11 in economic impact in the local economy.  1,700 new homes potentially represent about $1Billion to the area's economy.  And that may be what the early big box boys see as the Northern Neck's potential . 

Now all that is needed is for the financial institution mess to stablize, the housing market to return, and all those Boomers east of the Mississippi complating retirement at the waters edge to regain confidence that now is a good time to move to that dream home in a piece of Heaven.  Its a plan, but will it come together anytime soon?

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