Table of Contents
Oliver Kuttner, Founder of Edison2, and Developer of the Terraces at the Downtown Mall
Oliver Kuttner knows all too well how easy it is to cause chaos in any organization, which prompted him to relocate his business in 2005 from Downtown Mall-area development projects into Lynchburg after growing tired of red tape stifling creativity and hampering creative endeavors.
His inaugural local project was renovating the former Skatetown building at 1117 E. Market St, breaking it into smaller units that fit more easily at street level.
Early Life and Education
Oliver Kuttner is a well-known developer in Charlottesville. Additionally, he founded Edison2, an eco-friendly car manufacturing firm that developed highly energy efficient vehicles including one which won the Progressive Automotive X Prize award.
At regular intervals, like an antique jewelry mold releasing golden epigrams, Kuttner unleashes his ideas like an army of jewelry molds. He believes the old boxy car design has reached its limit, and that breakthrough aerodynamic breakthrough will occur by making cars much lighter.
Developers concerned with profit margins might dismiss this consideration, but Kuttner is well aware of its significance; his thinking dates back to college days when pledging an MIT fraternity. Mass matters when it comes to acceleration energy usage as well as fuel efficiency – something Kuttner has been thinking about since then.
Oliver Kuttner is a Charlottesville-area real estate developer whose ecologically sustainable methods are revitalizing Lynchburg, Virginia. His offices and production facilities are in a former 360,000 square foot textile mill; additionally he transformed an old car dealership into retail complex.
Kuttner’s professional experience spans from building design and sports car racing prototype construction and race engineering for small independent teams as well as flagship factory races to creating an over 100 miles per gallon team for the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize competition.
Jaeger won half of the prize with his four-seater gas-powered vehicle, known as the Very Light Car, that required passengers and drivers to climb through a window just like racingcars. Jaeger holds both a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering as well as 25 years of racing experience, winning classes at Le Mans and Daytona races.
Achievement and Honors
Oliver Kuttner, developer of Charlottesville’s Terraces complex, has been widely recognized for using an organic design that pays respect to its historic surroundings and has also proven himself an innovative force in urban planning.
Kuttner’s team in the Progressive Automotive X Prize competition had assumed they would win with either an electric or hybrid car; instead they prevailed in the mainstream class with their Very Light Car design, beating out two other entries in this class. Their ultimate aim is to work with automakers on incorporating aspects of their design into mass-produced consumer vehicles.
Kuttner’s latest project – an isolation facility to isolate people living with coronavirus – could save thousands of lives if completed on schedule. He became aware of it by watching how different countries handled the crisis.
Oliver Kuttner is an avowed “tinkerer”, enjoying spending his free time restoring vintage cars or fiddling around with mechanical gadgets in his free time. Growing up with model railroads and building dune buggies in his backyard were among his passions as a child.
Kuttner first became active in local development when he purchased and renovated himself the old Skatetown building (3) at 1117 E. Market St in 1984 to transform into various small businesses. Recalling how he completed all renovation work himself for just $500 including filing out minimal paperwork with the city, Kuttner remembers feeling empowered to contribute his talents toward local revitalization.
Kuttner initially pledged never to build another building in Charlottesville in 2005 due to a variety of bureaucratic red tape which was hindering Downtown development, yet has begun work this year at the Glass Building (6) on Second Street. Time proved him wrong!
German-born entrepreneur Uli Hentschke has long been involved with Downtown Mall area projects like Terraces and City Walk. Additionally, he founded Edison2, an ultralight car which won the $5 Million Progressive Automotive X Prize award.
Kuttner maintains that lightness and aerodynamics will lead to a new kind of architecture that is greener, more efficient and accessible. He believes that making its development increasingly complex will undermine creativity – something Kuttner decries as “losing creative control over architecture design”.
The 52-year-old who previously vowed not to build in Charlottesville again now has an agreement with the city for an old warehouse on Second Street Southeast near Garrett. He intends to add three-story apartment and retail space buildings as part of a project known as Ix.