Ready for Mall No. 3? 

“We probably stand in the best position to put in a lifestyle center,” says state Sen. John C. Watkins, whose family owns more than 600 acres of property in the corridor. Watkins says the location at Route 288 — which will connect to Interstate 64 in Goochland County and is scheduled to be complete late this year — is better positioned than the other new malls “from a traffic standpoint.” Indeed, the intersection will be minutes from the two heaviest residential corridors in Chesterfield and Henrico counties.

The latest project is in the preliminary stages. And the planned lifestyle center for the Watkins property is on a smaller scale than that of Short Pump and Stony Point, says Walton Makepeace, senior vice president of brokerage services at Trammell Crow Co., which is developing the property. His office has been working with the county for the last 60 days about its plans to develop “Phase 1” of a lifestyle center, he says.

Trammell Crow also is talking with potential retailers. There is no strict timetable for the development, however.

“We’re way early. We’re just getting started,” Makepeace says. “We’re trying to bring some uses out there that will ultimately support the offices and the neighborhoods.”

Watkins and Makepeace say the mix of retail would be varied — not necessarily upscale like Short Pump and Stony Point — but it’s too early to say for certain. “I wouldn’t exclude some free-standing retail, some big names,” Watkins says.

So far, only a small section of the Watkins property has been rezoned for office and other uses. Before the lifestyle center can be built, a much larger portion of the property must be rezoned. Making matters trickier, the county’s planning department doesn’t want to see the area become a retail hub like Short Pump.

Chesterfield Planning Director Thomas E. Jacobson says the county plan allows for complementary retail to accommodate office and light industrial uses. But the county wants the corridor to become more of an office park than a shopping mall.

It’s also not the first retail project planned for the area. Four years ago, Simon Property Group Inc. of Indianapolis announced plans to purchase 140 acres to build an upscale shopping center, but those plans dissipated when Route 288’s completion was pushed back. Simon isn’t involved in the current plans, Makepeace says.— Scott Bass



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation