Waynesboro Downtown Brownfields Redevelopment Plan
The City of Waynesboro, VA is located in the southern portion of the historic Shenandoah Valley, along the South River. It is just 90 miles northwest of the state capital of Richmond and 125 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. While a relatively small city (population of 21,006 and 15 square miles in area), its centralized location on the Eastern Seaboard, major intersecting railroad lines, the nexus of the I-81 and I-64 highway corridors, and abundant spring water all helped the city become a major center for the chemical, telecom, and textile industries starting in the late 1800s. One signifier of the city’s historic industrial legacy is the former DuPont plant and its famous Benger Laboratory, where Lycra (Spandex) was invented.
SGA was retained as the lead planning and landscape architecture firm to develop a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funded downtown and riverfront master plan which focuses on rebuilding public parks, trails, streets and green infrastructure systems along the South River. SGA oversaw a week-long community design workshop which included topic specific engagement and technical sessions ranging from local real estate market economics, flood management, blue/green infrastructure, complete streets and urban design. SGA development plan includes a comprehensive flood management strategy which addresses the remediation of numerous riverfront brownfields and create an extensive new riverfront park and event space. A highlight of the plan is an incremental approach to developing new flood-resilient private development in the downtown. The effort also included a site feasibility evaluation of the proposed Virginian Museum of Natural History on a former mill site, adjacent to the proposed park, at the terminus of the Main Street commercial district. The project documented more than 30 known or potential brownfields properties within the downtown redevelopment zone.