Acacia’s closing its Carytown doors and looking for waterfront property, and, according to Style, “it’s not a secret that he’s one of at least three local chefs looking to Rocketts Landing as the next step in destination dining.”

Rocketts is building “a lively riverfront promenade with restaurants and shops right on the James…” according to the development’s website. It would be a great location for Acacia.

Rocketts is a promising project, which plans to mix residential and commercial development to promote a pedestrian-friendly environment.

“[S]tores and offices [will be] strategically intermixed with the neighborhood. People who live and work here will also enjoy conveniences such as dry cleaners, a pharmacy and grocery store all within walking distance.”

If you haven’t been out to the site of Rocketts Landing yet, I highly recommend a visit. They’ve worked an amazing transformation of the old industrial site with a mix of new construction and adaptive reuse of old warehouses. Pictures of their progress are available on their website.

I just hope its not as creepy as some other new urbanist developments. I recently visited “New Town” in Williamsburg which tries to create “a traditional town setting.” There’s Main St., lined with retail and apartments and surrounded by offices and housing. But if you peek behind Main St., there’s acres and acres of parking. It feels like the Truman show, one look behind the facade of the “traditional town” and you see that the “tradition” is purely manufactured. It does nothing to break the impact of our car dependence on town design.

Take a look at the site plan and you’ll see what I mean:


Hopefully, Rocketts will be able to avoid this fate as they build.

Here’s their site plan. It doesn’t look as bad as New Town, but there’s still a lot of room for cars (there’s parking decks that are unlabeled on the map as well as the surface lots):


At any rate, I wish success to any development that seeks to lessen our dependence on the automobile and I hope Acacia and Rocketts Landing can help each other succeed.