Genito water park development promises changes, opportunities for community

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Mr. Andrew Brown

Construction on The Lake development as seen from the corner of Genito and Kelly Green Ln.

Construction of a massive water park project has officially begun in the shadow of Clover Hill. Known as “The Lake”, this project will feature a 6-acre surf park, a wave pool, a 13-acre man-made lake, apartments, townhouses, hotels, an outdoor amphitheater, and as much as 250,000 square feet of retail and office space, all connected by a network of sidewalks.

The development, which is designed to include a surf park, entertainment and retail space, along with over 1,000 multifamily and townhomes, will span 105-acres along Genito Road, directly across from Clover Hill High School. While the complete timeline is uncertain, construction has already begun.

The impacts to the Clover Hill community will be immediate, according to Associate Principal Eric Pioch.

“Thinking about building operations, one of the concerns I might have would be the traffic flow and if it keeps students from getting to school on time, and it is safe,” Pioch said. 

Such a large project could provide a good opportunity for teenagers who are looking for after school jobs. 

Clover Hill District Supervisor, Christopher Winslow, believes that with the number of facilities operating within the waterpark, there will be no shortage of job opportunities. 

“Operation of the water recreation facilities, retail and hotel should provide ample opportunities for employment after school and during the summer,” Winslow said.

Sophomore Maxwell Hairston plans to take advantage of the new waterpark as a way to earn money during his senior year.

“I’ll probably work there for the summer,” Hairston said. “I’ll be a senior so it will probably be an easier job since they will be hiring around that time.”

Along with the increased job opportunities that come with the waterpark, “The Lake” also promises to benefit businesses in and surrounding the establishment. 

“Small businesses, like the Flyin’ Pig and our other restaurants in and around Waterford that are already benefiting from the sports tourism at the County’s River City Sportsplex, will have an additional customer base as new residents are added to the immediate area,” Winslow said.

Principal John Phillips believes that The Lake development will be a beneficial member of the Cavalier family.

“This could provide a significant opportunity for community partnerships in our own backyard,” Phillips said.

However, a development of this size does raise many logistical questions, such as traffic issues and a possible increase in truancy.  Sophomore Vanessa Wigfall believes that it will impact the participation throughout the school day.

“I’m concerned about it being so close to the school that teenagers will skip to go to it,” Wigfall said.

Though construction has begun across Genito Rd, the project will not be completed any time soon.

“The zoning of development took a tremendous amount of time to develop and intentionally breaks the construction into phases,” Winslow said. “These phases require the construction of various traffic improvements in and around the area. Most notably, the developer is dedicating land for an access from Route 288 South onto Genito Road. While the County has formally adopted this exit ramp as part of its Comprehensive Plan, work remains to obtain the necessary approvals with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board.”

While completion date is still uncertain, students and community members can expect The Lake development to alter the fabric of the community. 

Sophomore Micah Henderson is thrilled about the Lake opening up in her senior year and the activities it presents.

“I’m going to have fun. It sounds super cool,” Henderson said.

For more information, visit The Lake’s website: https://lakeadventures.com/.

Update: In August 2022, Chesterfield’s Board of Supervisors approved a $323 million grant agreement for The Lake with project developers Flatwater Cos. and Lake Adventures LLC by a vote of 3-2. The agreement paves the way for construction to begin on The Lake. Through the agreement, Chesterfield County will provide annual grants and pay 80% of the increase in taxes caused by the development over the first 10 years and give Lake Adventures LLC 60% of the increase in tax revenue for years 11 through 20. In exchange, the developers are required to complete the project 36 months after they receive the operation and maintenance certificates for the man-made lake or inform the Economic Development Administration (EDA) that they are beginning construction.