The Shoppers World shopping center on 29N is better known as “the Whole Foods shopping center.” Or at least it was—now it’s “the shopping center where Whole Foods used to be.” After losing their anchor tenant, things have been looking rough for the aging complex. Ragazzi’s closed down in anticipation of reopening farther up 29, and Super Shoes is gone, apparently to reopen in Seminole Square. Lisa Provence explains in The Hook that the fact that China King’s lease was non-renewed is an indication that the Maryland owners of Shoppers World may be planning an overhaul just as soon as they clear out some more space. Like Albemarle Square, Shoppers World has been hollowed out by the glut of commercial real estate on 29N, and they’ll have to do something different if they want to pull out of their shopping center death spiral.
11 thoughts on “Overhaul Afoot for Shoppers World?”
This used to be the Dart Drug shopping center. Back in the early ’80’s, if you needed a 1 x 8 pine board at 3 o’clock in the morning, you could go into the Dart, and grab one from their lumber selection. The place was handy that way, but had a leaky roof, as I remember.
Nowadays, even the cabinet & countertop fabricators around the back are moving out, as I understand.
I’ll guess that some developer will eventually decide to renovate this shopping center, given its location, and the other two important factors (location, and location).
Maybe Super Shoes is looking for a larger space or cheaper rent. I have purchased shoes from it in-store and online and I am glad you helped with giving the heads up.
Advance Auto is moving to another location within the Shopping Center. The parking lot is not friendly to navigate either.
Years ago I was poking around in the woods behind the big building and came across a big painted sign lying in the leaves touting future commercial development back there, presumably to have been accessed from Berkmar? Anyway, I think there’s a chunk of wooded land back there probably zoned highway commercial or some equivalent. Maybe the Shoppers World owners have gotten their hands on it and intend an expansion? You’d have to tear down at least a big part of the Advance Auto building to make it happen realistically. If they were just doing a cosmetic freshening up, I don’t know why they wouldn’t be renewing leases. Easy enough to do with tenants in place.
Maybe this will become the site for the Home Depot this town seems to need.
A concept for developing the woods behind the existing Shopper’s World Plaza went before the Albemarle Planning Commission in late August 2007. The idea was to build something called “The Commons at Albrecht Place” and was slated for land already zoned for commercial use. I wrote it up during my early days at Charlottesville Tomorrow. Scroll down into the article.
There was recently a building permit filed for a tenant upfit in this shopping center, combining 3+ previous stores into one large one. Sounds like a big box store is coming.
I think I saw a Super Shoes sign at Seminole Square. If they are out too then according to this plan of the shopping center (http://www.federalrealty.com/media/property_documents/Shoppers_World_Site_Plan.pdf) that would give them only about 42,000 sf. The average Home Depot Store average 105,000 sf with 23,000 sf of outside garden area. Even if they tear down the building and reconfigure the shopping center, I dont think its possible to get that much space especially when they don’t own the land behind the center . We are talking about something smaller. Maybe another grocery store
Or maybe a REALLY GIANT Olive Garden.
If they were really smart, and wanted to beat Whole Foods and Trader Joes at their own game, then they could redevelop as a mixed-use walkable community that includes a year round market space for local products.
There are even residential communities in close proximity, and if they built a trail/or sidewalk then residents could walk to see a movie, eat at a restarant, or buy produce from a local farm.
It would instantly become one of the most popular areas to shop (or live) on the whole 29 corridor. Sound unrealistic? Check out the companies other projects. They already have experience with this sort of thing.
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