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Developer continues working on vision near Windmill Crossing

April 12, 2010|By RICHARD F. BELISLE
  • Christopher "Cricky" Shultz is a Jefferson County, W.Va., developer.
Photo by Richard F. Belisle,

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Near the turn of this century, Christopher "Cricky" Shultz had a developer's vision for a tract of land where four roads converge north of downtown Charles Town.

He was going to call it Windmill Crossing.

Shultz's development at the intersection of U.S. 340, Country Club Road, Somerset Boulevard and Marlowe Road, began to take shape mid-decade when he razed a century-old brick four-square farmhouse to make room for a 200-unit town home development.

Today off Marlowe Road, most of the homes in that project are built and lived in.

An Aldi grocery store anchors the corner of Somerset Boulevard and Marlowe Road. Less than a quarter of a mile south on Somerset Boulevard is Mountain View Professional Center. Opened Jan. 10, it houses four offices.

Running north on Somerset to its intersection with Marlowe Road are 14 commercial pads that Shultz hopes to one day fill with such ventures as a 35,000-square-foot, two-story office and retail center. That one is "approved and shovel-ready," Shultz said.

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Other plans for the strip, still in the proposal stage, are a fast-food restaurant, bank and small retail center, he said.

The biggest project under way today is a 6,000-square-foot Sheetz, which is going up on the northeast corner of the intersection across from Aldi.

"This store is Sheetz's newest prototype," Shultz said. "It's just like the one at Spring Mills (in northern Berkeley County). It will have the feel of a small restaurant or cafe rather than a convenience store," he said.

Behind the Sheetz on Marlowe Road, Shultz wants to build a 101-room hotel. He has final approval to buy the hotel, he said.

Behind it, if things go according to plan, he will build a 66-unit condominium development.

Shultz estimates the cost of construction for all Windmill Crossing projects will top $80 million. His property has been annexed by the City of Charles Town.

He picked the name of his development from a windmill that a "man named Baumgardner used to draw water for his farm," Shultz said.

He disassembled the windmill and rebuilt it at Wild Goose, his farm and housing development north of Shepherdstown.

Last month, in a report to the Jefferson County Commission, John Maxey, president of the Jefferson County Planning Commission, said the U.S. 340/Commercial Corridor Enhancement Study, a 12- to 15-month process, will be kicked off early next year.

Maxey, writing in planning documents, said "(It) needs collaborative process to build consensus on a vision that maximizes economic growth while protecting view sheds and sensitive resources."

Shultz seems to be ahead of the curve with his ambitious project already under way. That stretch of U.S. 340 "is zoned residential, commercial and light industrial," he said.

Shultz had his property annexed into Charles Town, he said: "The city is more business friendly. They give faster approval."

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