Things are quiet these days at the Monticello and Williamsburg shopping centers, but that should change soon.
“The bigger construction will start in early spring, but you and I driving down the street will see things get busier there in the next two or three weeks,” said Michael Jacoby, Broad Street CEO.
Jacoby said demolition work will begin on the shopping centers by the beginning of February.
Broad Street Realty, based in Bethesda, Md., bought the Williamsburg Shopping Center in January 2017 for $13.3 million and the Monticello Shopping Center for $4.2 million in November 2017. The properties are the company’s first purchases in the Historic Triangle.
Broad Street’s CEO hopes both shopping centers will serve as go-to destinations for an underperforming area of Williamsburg.
Broad Street Realty’s updated plan for the shopping centers was approved by the Planning Commission Wednesday afternoon.
The changes include pedestrian-friendly improvements, such as removing a portion of the housing development to allow for more parking and additional bike racks.
The housing development shrinks from having 277 units to 240 units.
“There were some design changes that needed to be made,” Broad Street attorney Vernon Getty said.
Broad Street’s representatives will continue to work with the city to address aesthetic concerns.
Jacoby said the company has a revised color scheme, which they will present at a future Architecture Review Board meeting. A date has not been set for that meeting, and Jacoby wouldn’t comment on the colors chosen of the development.
“There was never one color. There are multiple colors and multiple brick selections,” Jacoby said. “We will probably have the city review each building on a building by building basis. By Williamsburg standards, this is a fairly large project.”
Broad Street will present its site plan, which is the final design agreement for the project, at a later meeting.
City planning director Carolyn Murphy said she expects the Planning Commission to hear Broad Street’s site plan at its regular meeting in February or March.
After the commission makes a decision on the site plan, City Council will get final approval.
A deadline for approval has not been set.
A few business owners in the Monticello Shopping Center said the project won’t affect their business, for now.
Avinash Arora, a manager at Nawab Indian Cuisine, said his restaurant will remain open throughout the construction surrounding it.
“So far, I’m going to stay here,” said Ladda's Tailor Shop and Tuxedo owner Ladda Russell said.
George Polyzos, owner of Soap-N-Suds Laundromat, said he will also stay at the Monticello Shopping Center and finish out the last five years of his lease.
Despite several stores staying in the shopping center, one has already left.
Retro Daddio closed its doors after the holidays and relocated to 6610 Mooretown Road.
At an Oct. 12 City Council meeting, Geddy said developers were negotiating with a high-end pet supply store, grocery store, hotel and an established microbrewery about becoming tenants in the shopping centers.
Jacoby said on Thursday discussions are ongoing, although he is not ready to release the companies name.
Broad Street’s proposed plans also include a 140-room hotel at the corner of Richmond Road and Monticello Avenue, as well as an an organic grocer.
Jacoby said he isn’t ready to reveal the organic grocer yet, but an announcement is “weeks away.”
Sal's by Victor, a Virginia ABC store and Food Lion will stay in the shopping center. Marshalls will also remain in the center, but in a new location. Jacoby said Ace Hardware will move across the street to the Monticello Shopping Center.
Jacoby said he anticipates the project to be completed in full in 2020.
Monticello Shopping Center
- Retail stores.
- Serve as the new site of Ace Hardware.
Williamsburg Shopping Center
- Retail stores and student housing.
- Will keep Sal’s by Victor, Virginia ABC Store and Food Lion.
Jefferson can be reached by phone at 757-790-9313.