History of New Town

New Town was created from farm land owned by the Carl Casey Family (along with some tracts from the Tillage and Roper families.) The acreage held apple orchards, grain fields, and mixed hardwood forests for lumber. In its 1991 Comprehensive Plan, James City County designated the land east of Route 199 as a future mixed use area. Two creeks flowing from the edges of the site were preserved as conservation areas; they are branches of Powhatan Creek and run south toward the James River. (Habitats for an endangered vegetation called Small Whorled Pogonia are also included in this area.)
 
In the mid-1990’s with VDOT’s development of Route 199 and extension of Monticello Avenue, the Casey family worked with the City of Williamsburg and James City County, as well as the College of William and Mary, on the idea of creating a new residential and business center to accompany the planned new municipal courthouse. This new community “should become a landmark development and a national model of the highest quality of the visual, social and economic aspects of town planning.” 
New Town Site in 1996

 
1995    
Design competition sponsored by the Caseys with cash prizes is held for “a new town plan” to be developed on 600 acres bounded by Ironbound Road and extending on both sides of what is now Route 199. 99 designs were submitted, and four finalists were selected.
 
1996
After refinements and public comment, Cooper Robertson and Partners’ entry was chosen as the winning design. 

Winning design for New Town residential area
 
1997
A Master Plan for a “new urbanism” community was adopted by James City County. The land was divided into 13 sections for the purpose of phased rezoning from agriculture (R-8) to other uses. 
 
27.5 acres are rezoned to mixed use for the Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse and New Town United Methodist Church (Section 1).  
1997-2001
Period of finding investors, securing public investment, discussions with VDOT, completion of Route 199, and creation of a Design Review Board to review all proposals by developers.
[Note:  VDOT’s decision not to permit an overpass on Route 199 reduced the area for development to about 300 acres. The Windsor Meade Marketplace and communities were eventually built west of Route 199 in Sections 12 and 13 but are not commonly referred to as part of New Town.]
 
2001
James City County approves rezoning for the commercial district of New Town (Sections 2-4 which now include the Bennington, Foundation Square, Abbey Commons, and Savannah Square neighborhoods).
 
2002
New Town Associates LLC is formed as the “Developer” for New Town.
Ceremonial groundbreaking for first homes in the area.
 
2003
Construction of the first two streets: Courthouse Street and New Town Avenue. 
 
2004
The New Town Residential Association (NTRA) is officially incorporated. First townhouses are built in Abbey Commons. The first business, The Corner Pocket, opens in New Town.
Master Plan is amended for Sections 3 and 6.
 
2005
First residents move into residential homes in Abbey Commons (Claude Frederick, 4225 New Town Avenue, first in and still here!) 
 
2006
Most of the Main Street shopping area is complete, including the theater. 

New Town 2006
 
2008
Foundation Square and the apartments on the northern edge of the area are completed (currently The Pointe at New Town-Section 3). Development of medical centers/office buildings along Discovery Park Boulevard (Section 6) is underway.
 
2009
Housing recession slows construction and there is foreclosure of AIG Baker, the developer of Settlers Market shopping area. 
 
2010
NTRA Board of Directors establishes Residential Advisory Board to provide a communications conduit between the Board and homeowners.
 
2011
Building of detached homes in Charlotte Park (Section 7) begins. Settlers Market commercial development (Section 9) transfers ownership. 
 
2012
New Town Community pool opens.
 
2013
Chelsea Green is completed.
 
2014
Developer purchases the last undeveloped section of the New Town community (Section 8). Construction of Village Walk (Section 10) begins. 

New Town 2014
 
2015
The area around Roper Park-Federal Point and Park’s Edge townhomes-is under construction.
 
2017
Plan for the last area of New Town, Section 8 (Shirley Park) is approved by James City County. 
 
2018
Groundbreaking for homes in Shirley Park.
 
2020
Planned date for turnover of NTRA control from the developer, New Town Associates LLC, to the homeowners.