Cavalier Inn demolition delayed due to weather

Vehicular and pedestrian traffic to be affected starting this week or next

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The Cavalier Inn is being demolished as part of the University's plans to redevelop the Ivy Corridor. 

Xiaoqi Li | Cavalier Daily

Demolition to the Cavalier Inn on the Emmet-Ivy intersection was originally scheduled to begin Monday, but has been delayed due to weather. Construction is now planned to begin sometime this week or next week, but road and sidewalk closures due to the construction in the area started Tuesday.

The demolition of the Cavalier Inn is part of a redevelopment process along the Ivy Corridor — the area between Emmet Street, Ivy Road and Copeley Road. The lot where the inn is currently located will be replaced with green space.

The sidewalk and one of the southbound lanes on Emmet Street will be closed for at least three weeks during construction. Signs announcing traffic changes were placed in the area Monday afternoon. 

“During the closure, the southbound vehicular lane on Emmet Street approaching Ivy Road will be combined with the southbound left turn lane from Emmet Street to University Avenue,” Deputy University Spokesperson Wesley Hester said in an email statement. “Pedestrians should cross to [the] sidewalk on the east side of Emmet Street at University Avenue or Massie Road.”

After 63 years of business, the Cavalier Inn closed in May in preparation for the redevelopment project. The U.Va. Foundation, which provides real estate management services for the University, bought the Cavalier Inn in 1998. The University has not decided where the Cavalier Inn will be rebuilt.

University President Jim Ryan recently appointed a task force of faculty, students and alumni that will submit recommendations for how the Ivy Corridor can best serve the University community by the end of January. The group met for the first time in August. 

According to the University, the purpose of the redevelopment project is to improve safety, appearance and functionality of the area with the intention of making it more pedestrian-friendly for the next generation of University students. There is also a possibility for the construction of upperclassmen housing and stairs from the International Residential College to the sidewalk of Ivy Road.

A separate streetscape project by the City will take place over the next several years and is made possible by $12.1 million in funding from the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board. The streetscape improvements will include wider streets and sidewalks, more green spaces, native trees for enclosure and shade, an internal network of walkways separate from the street, several new buildings and a new lighting system along pathways. 

Other businesses in the area that will be demolished by the redevelopment project include the former building that housed the Villa Diner, which had been operating next to the Cavalier Inn since 2005. After closing its old location in May, the Villa Diner reopened at 1250 Emmet Street this past summer.

Plans are also in the works for the construction of a six-story hotel on Emmet Street on the site formerly home to the Excel Inn & Suites, which burned down last year. The University does not own this property. 

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