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Broad Street CEO Michael Jacoby outlines Midtown Row progress at business roundtable

rarriaza@vagazette.com

Michael Jacoby, CEO of Midtown Row developer Broad Street Realty, gave more than 60 members of Williamsburg’s business community an update on the progress at the commercial development at the Economic Development Authority’s monthly business roundtable luncheon.

Since purchasing the former Williamsburg and Monticello shopping centers last year, Jacoby said the commercial real estate has been able to retain six existing businesses in the two shopping centers and attract seven new retailers to the mixed-use commercial and residential development.

The development’s most notable success has been the opening of Earth Fare in June, he said.

“This was one of (Earth Fare’s) top three best openings of any store they’ve ever opened, and so far, they have performed above their own projections, from what I understand,” Jacoby said. “As many of you know, that center was in pretty sad shape, and I think the city’s vision and how we interpreted that vision was the reason for Earth Fare moving to Williamsburg.”

Broad Street has also been steadily announcing new businesses moving into the shopping center, Jacoby said. Recent announcements include kickboxing gym 9Round, London Company Coffee and Tea and The Meadows frozen custard shop.

Existing businesses that will stay in the shopping centers include Sal’s by Victor, Fed Ex, City Nails and Food Lion, he said. Marshalls and Ace Hardware will also stay in the development, but are moving to new, more visible locations. Jacoby said the new Ace Hardware store in the former Monticello Shopping Center is targeting a soft opening in three weeks with a grand opening planned for December.

Jacoby said Broad Street aims to bring more food, entertainment and artisanal goods to the remaining vacant storefronts in the development.

“We have an interesting food purveyor that we’re going to hopefully announce in the coming weeks for some vacant space that is very interesting food use, and is also a local entrepreneur,” he said.

In total, Jacoby said Broad Street has invested about $110 million into the redevelopment project, which will consist of stand-alone retail centers along with four five-story buildings with four stories of apartments which will be marketed toward William and Mary students.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that our residential units are geared toward students,” he said. “Anybody can live there, but they’re certainly geared toward that.”

Rick Overy, vice chairman of the EDA Board of Directors, applauded Broad Street’s ability to bring in new businesses while also keeping established Williamsburg institutions on board.

“I think one of the things that’s been exciting as we’ve seen this project develop is the use and retention of important local vendors like Sal’s, Ace, Nawab and others along with some new development,” he said.

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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