by Paula C. Squires
With a new equity partner on board, Crosland Southeast has closed on the purchase of 28 acres at the site of the former Cloverleaf Mall. A subsidiary, Stonebridge Realty Holdings, bought the land from the Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority for $5.7 million. The closing will allow the first phase of redevelopment for the vacant mall — a project that has weathered numerous delays as Crosland sought financing and retailers in a struggling economy. Work on the site is scheduled to begin Oct. 17, and a groundbreaking ceremony has been set for Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 11 a.m.
Crosland Southeast, based in Charlotte, N.C., is the force behind Stonebridge, a mixed-use project, that’s it’s doing as part of a joint venture development with Hutensky Capital Partners of Hartford, Conn. “We are developing the project as an equity, all-cash project,” said James Downs, a partner with Crosland Southeast. The project’s first phase is being led by anchor tenant Kroger. The grocery store chain has agreed to build a 123,600-square-foot store, its largest on the East Coast. While the closing was on only 28 of the tract’s 83 acres, Downs says it will include demolition of the entire mall site, with the exception of the existing Bank of America and Firestone buildings.
Downs says he expects a second closing on the rest of the property to occur shortly. Besides Kroger, phase one includes 20,000 square feet for additional retail shops and four outparcels. An additional 150,000 square feet of retail is planned for the second phase. Plus, Crosland Southeast plans 350 apartments, although Downs says residential development would come after the retail component.
Cloverleaf, located at the busy intersection of Midlothian Turnpike and Chippenham Parkway, closed its doors in 2008 after serving as one of the area’s large regional malls for 35 years. At that time, the county bought the final piece of the $16 million property with an agreement that then called Crosland Investments LLC would buy back the property for the same price, plus interest, and develop it into a mixed-use project.
Downs says Hoar Construction, out of Birmingham, has been selected as the project’s general contractor. It’s the company that did the demolition of the Hampton Coliseum mall, as part of its conversion into Peninsula Town Center, an open-air shopping area. “They’re well suited to take on the Stonebridge project,” Downs said.
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