June 01, 2008 12:01 AM
Work continues in Chesterfield County on Watkins Centre at Midlothian Turnpike and Route 288. Site work for the retail component called Westchester Commons is under way, and several major retailers have signed commitments. Tenants include Target, Gold’s Gym, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Petco, Bertucci’s, Starbucks, OfficeMax, Dress Barn and others.
“There are several large ones that are in negotiations that we can’t release at this time,” says Lee Warfield, executive vice president of Thalhimer/Cushman & Wakefield, the commercial real estate firm overseeing Westchester’s leasing.
The new Target location is expected to be the first tenant to open in March 2009 with other openings scheduled later in the year.
Westchester will offer traditional “big-box” retailers and a Main Street area that will be home to boutique-style shops.
In all, the Watkins Centre has the potential to generate 3.2 million square feet of retail and office development, creating competition for Short Pump Town Center and Innsbrook in neighboring Henrico County and Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond.
What happened to all those up-scale retail outlets that we were promised?
All I see is the usual big box outlets and franchises found in every other locale.
So far I see nothing unique or note-worthy to bother making a trip to.
Short Pump Town Center continues to offer many one-of-kind retail outlets only found in North Virginia or out of state and a myriad of upscale restaurants in and around the center.
I doesn’t surprise me if we hear of a Home Depot or Lowes big box store coming soon.
Aug. 22, 2008 at 10:34 PM
I agree with the previous comment. Upscale Target & Jo-Ann fabrics? Why not just produce another eventually dead mall like Cloverleaf?
If you want to create a place where people will actually shop you best take a look at Short Pump and Stony Point and mimic the mix of nice restaurants, meeting spots, and relatively unique stores.
Can you name a single shopping center that has a friggin Fabric store that you would consider a ‘success’ right now?
Sep. 1, 2008 at 01:36 AM
We do not need another Target, or typical big box chain store. There are plenty throughout the South Side. The Watkins Centre is the perfect location for upscale outlets such as Whole Foods, Crate & Barrel (why the need to go to Short Pump?), Lord & Taylor (they were supposed to come to the Richmond area ages ago), Williams & Sonoma, etc.
Some fabulous restaurants and some night life outlets will be good, too. Several new residential developments are under construction in this vicinity, and it will be lovely to have places that will cater to these communities, so we will not have to keep going to Short Pump and ride over to Stony Point.
Chesterfield Town Center already has the general department stores, Watkins is the perfect place to have something more special. Why not?
Viva of Chesterfield County
Dec. 3, 2008 at 08:48 PM
I couldn’t agree with Viva more…
How about Tom Leonards, Whole Foods, Pottery Barn, etc? How about a new trendy Bistro type spot? I like the Golds Gym and Bertucci’s.
Ryan of Midlothian, VA
Mar. 5, 2009 at 12:03 PM
I for one am happy with the inclusion of Target and Joann’s and all the rest. It means I don’t have to travel through Midlothian to get to those types of stores. I am not very interested in high-end, expensive stores. Those are a niche market.
The stores you all mention could easily locate at Westchester Commons if they chose to, I’m sure. The project is not yet completed so why not wait a while before judging the quality of the selection of establishments? There is still plenty of room left to be filled.
Alicia of Powhatan
Jul. 8, 2009 at 12:49 PM
What has happened? Seems like there is a lot of empty space.
John Jacobs of Chesterfield
Jul. 14, 2009 at 03:28 PM
Westchester Commons is a bit of a disappointment. I would think more shoppes would be attracted to the location with John Tyler Community College - Midlothian Campus just down the highway. Its a really convient spot for lunch, but still we have nothing. I would like to a see a grocery store of some kind somewhere, they always have tenants follow. Maybe a nice Crate & Barrel, Movieland, Best Buy, Apple store, Microsoft store, and specialty retailers that aren’t in the area yet. Short Pump, Stony Point and Virginia Center Commons is a drive even from Midlothian. So market the development to those new company’s looking to come in the Commonwealth. Until more tenants come students from JTCC, and those who don’t like having to make a drive to the three big malls of the area, will have to go out of there way for those specialty shops.
Tim Uzel of Midlothian
Feb. 10, 2010 at 10:37 PM
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