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Virginia Humanities to move to old Monticello Dairy building
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Virginia Humanities to move to old Monticello Dairy building

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Dairy Market construction

The original windows of the Monticello Dairy will be reconstructed for the Dairy Central project on Preston Avenue in Charlottesville.

Virginia Humanities will move its headquarters next year to the Dairy Central development on the grounds of the former Monticello Dairy building at Grady and Preston avenues, officials for the development and the organization say.

The nonprofit state humanities council is designing its new office to include spaces for public discussions, programs, exhibitions and education, officials said.

“We take pride in bringing people together — right now, virtually, and one day, hopefully soon, in person again — to talk about issues facing all Virginians, building resources that highlight inclusive histories, and documenting and sharing Virginia’s rich cultural heritage,” said Virginia Humanities’ executive director Matthew Gibson, in a statement.

Officials said the new office will make the organization easier to access for residents because it is more centrally located and is served by public transit. It currently has its offices at the University of Virginia.

The newly remodeled, multi-use development is managed by Stony Point Development Group and will also feature restaurants, retail, and residential apartment housing.

The organization offers grant-writing workshops, discussions and speakers and a paid internship program. Founded in 1974, Virginia Humanities is one of 56 similar organizations created by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The move was originally planned for early fall 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic and virus-related delays

Dairy Central is a mixed-use urban district within walking distance of downtown Charlottesville and UVa, located at the corner of 10th Street and Preston Avenue. The centerpiece of the multi-phase project is the redesigned, remodeled and rebuilt historic 1937 Monticello Dairy facility.

The center will include a food hall with unique local restaurants, national retailers, a craft brewery and 50,000 square feet of new class A office space.

Future phases include up to 300 residential apartments, additional retail and structured parking on site.

The project will serve as the new home of Washington, D.C.-based real estate firm CoStar Group and San Diego, California-based Dexcom, a provider of continuous glucose monitoring systems for use by people with diabetes. Both were announced earlier this year.

Dairy Central is one of three developments featuring class A office space on the horizon in Charlottesville. 3Twenty3 and the CODE building are also currently under construction and the three will add nearly a half-million square feet of top-notch office space in the next two years in downtown Charlottesville. As much as half of that space is already under lease, according to developers.

According to the Building Owners and Managers Association, an international trade association for commercial real estate professionals, office space is most often divided into three classes: A, B, and C.

Class C office space is designed for tenants requiring functional space at rents below the average for the area and Class B space competes for a wide range of users with rents in the average range for the area.

Class A office spaces are “prestigious buildings competing for premier office users with rents above average for the area.” The buildings “have high quality standard finishes, state of the art systems, exceptional accessibility and a definite market presence.”

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