An 89-acre donation from the family of a local developer to Henrico County will double the size of a site slated to become an outdoor sports complex.
The county’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at its Tuesday meeting to accept the land donation from Atack Properties through RG Investment Partners. The U-shaped parcel, located near Greenwood, Winfrey and Bent Pine roads in the county’s Brookland District, was assessed at $666,000 in January 2014, according to Henrico County records.
“This is a gift of the forever kind that will be used for generations to come,” says John Vithoulkas, county manager. “What sports tourism does come to Henrico can be accommodated by this property.”
The gift did come with a catch. The county can only use the property for outdoor recreation or conservation space, and no more than 1 percent of it can be taken up by structures.
Longtime local developer Robert Atack, who died in May, owned the property. The family’s lawyer, James Theobald, says Atack considered developing the space, but decided against it. Instead, he worked with Brookland supervisor Richard Glover to give the property to the county, which would bring significant tax benefits for Atack. It wasn’t all about the money, though.
“Four generations of Atacks have grown up near the parcel and are big supporters of the Glen Allen area. There’s legacy involved,” Theobald says.
The planned Greenwood Park, envisioned as a destination site for youth sports tournaments, will now total nearly 200 acres. The county owns a separate 87-acre parcel adjacent to the donated land. The Henrico Citizen reported last September the county was considering 16 multi-purpose fields and a main stadium for the parcel. While designs are not finalized, additional space will mean additional fields, says Tim Foster, deputy county manager for community operations. That means more space for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey fields, he adds.
The county set aside $1 million from the general fund for the Greenwood project in its 2014-15 capital improvements budget.