Our Story

In a small farming town in Illinois, Keith O. Woodard started learning carpentry at the age of five by assisting his dad in their basement workshop. At 14, he began working on his first construction site; by 18, he led a framing crew. At age 20, he and his friend devised a technique to frame an entire ranch home in just three days, nailed by hand. Building structures was always Keith’s passion, so he pursued his education by studying architecture in college.

Keith graduated from the College of Architecture at the University of Kentucky in 1976. Later, he moved to Charlottesville, making a new home for his family. Initially, he designed and built custom homes, but in 1981, when interest rates rose to 21%, Woodard Properties needed a new direction. Keith saw an opportunity to provide quality student housing near UVA  and designed and built Cherry Suites. These suites are still owned and managed by Woodard Properties today. Recognizing the importance of location and design, he also developed additional properties on Wertland Street, Arlington Boulevard, Montebello Circle, Jefferson Park Avenue, King Street, John Street, and 13th and 14th Streets. Today, Woodard Properties provides housing for approximately 700 students attending UVA.

In the mid-1980′s, the historic renovation of The Exchange Center on The Downtown Mall was Woodard Properties’ first substantial entry into commercial property development. Additional early commercial endeavors included the design and reconstruction of a bed and breakfast inn, the Independence Resource Center, and several custom homes.

The acquisition and revitalization of Market Square in 2005 and McIntire Plaza in 2007 added to the commercial holdings of Woodard Properties. Together with The Shops at Cherry Ave, commercial space in Belmont, Class-A office space at 400 Preston, and warehouse space along Richmond Road, Woodard Properties provides homes for over 200 retail, office, service, industrial businesses, and non-profit entities in Charlottesville. More recent projects involve historic renovations on the Downtown Mall, including an event center, restaurant, retail space, and apartments. Additional projects have included apartments on Park Street at historic Comyn Hall and a 50,000-square-foot mixed-use expansion of McIntire Plaza.

Keith and Woodard Properties have been incorporating solar and green technologies into their projects since 1978. Woodard Properties was ahead of the curve regarding sustainability in Charlottesville’s multifamily properties. They were the first to introduce recycling options in their apartments along 13th and 14th Streets. It was a primitive system where the family would leave their pickup truck at the end of the parking lot, and students would throw recyclable items into the bed. The siblings would then unload them at the McIntire Recycling Center.

Woodard Properties owns and manages affordable housing units and takes pride in collaborating with non-profit organizations and housing authorities to provide housing to low-income families. With the support of the International Rescue Committee, Woodard Properties proudly provides housing to one out of three international refugee families settling in Charlottesville.

To assist with our community’s affordable housing needs, in 2007, Woodard Properties purchased Dogwood Properties, a long-time endeavor of Eugene Williams. Woodard Properties invested heavily into these properties so that Mr. Williams’s vision would continue to serve Charlottesville residents and honor his legacy.

In addition to providing student, traditional, and affordable housing, Woodard Properties also provides affordable commercial business space. This enables local start-up businesses to grow and succeed, creating employment opportunities for everyone in our community.

In 2008, Woodard Properties adopted a management philosophy based on the ‘Great Game of Business.’ This model gives all employees a stake in the outcome based on the business’s success. The team at Woodard Properties provides the commitment, pride, and energy needed to manage, maintain, and develop the properties. This leadership methodology and transparent style have made Woodard Properties an exciting place to work, leading several team members to be promoted internally and thrive in the company for over 30 years.

In 2019, a new era began when Anthony Woodard, Keith’s son, stepped into the position of CEO to strategically take Woodard Properties to the next level. Anthony and his three sisters grew up with the business. Often, they could be found on the properties, picking up litter, mowing grass, pulling weeds, assisting on construction sites, laying tile, leasing apartments, or assembling welcome bags for new residents.

Anthony, like Keith, has a background of working in his dad’s workshop and has been involved with the structures that Woodard Properties has proudly built and managed for a long time. His first preschool was located on the first floor of Montebello Circle in 1987. During his middle and high school summers, he assisted with the framing and wiring of Towne Court (1996), Montebello Pointe (1999), and Camden Plaza (2003), as well as a significant structural restoration at Cherry Suites.

Anthony earned a degree in International Relations and Business Management from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating, he worked as a strategy and operations consultant and later as a Special Agent for the federal government. As he grew up locally and is now raising his children here, Anthony has a deep connection to Charlottesville, and he was thrilled to return to the family business. With guidance from Keith and his three sisters, who are still involved with the company’s strategy and planning, Anthony’s ingenuity and passion continue to foster Woodard Properties’ commitment to sustainable growth and improving the quality of life and work in our community.

Since joining the company, Anthony has expanded the Woodard Properties commercial portfolio with the purchase of 601 Albemarle Street and 106 South Street West. Additionally, Woodard Properties purchased the well-known Shops at Cherry Avenue shopping center in the Fifeville neighborhood in the spring of 2021. They gave the center an aesthetic upgrade to support the growth and success of the locally-owned businesses that operate there. The following year, Woodard purchased 2305 Hunters Way and 2422 & 2424 Richmond Road. In December 2023, they acquired an additional 43 acres adjoining these properties. Future development plans are to be determined soon.

In the Fall of 2022, Woodard Properties acquired a significant parcel of land at 501 Cherry Avenue, directly opposite Tonsler Park. The company has joined hands with the Piedmont Housing Alliance and Fifeville Neighborhood Association with a plan to develop the property into a mixed-use space. The space would include a grocery store, non-profit organizations, and residential housing to address the area’s ongoing need for affordable housing. To further support the Fifeville neighborhood,  Woodard Properties proudly collaborated with the Fifeville Neighborhood Association by providing land and resources to support the revitalization efforts of the Fifeville Trail. The community-led initiative aimed to improve pedestrian safety and connectivity in the area.

In June 2023, Woodard Properties continued its commitment to providing affordable housing by partnering with the City of Charlottesville and the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. As part of this initiative, Woodard sold the Dogwood Properties at a significant discount to CRHA, securing the legacy of Eugene Williams’ vital work. Doing so ensured that there would be affordable, high-quality homes in Charlottesville for generations to come.

With the continuous growth of Charlottesville, Woodard Properties will continue its mission to provide pleasant environments for residents and businesses to call home. We will achieve this with our ongoing support of numerous local organizations and by creating thoughtful solutions for people, organizations, and our community to excel.