Lately I have seen a flood of inquiries for information on the newest addition of shops in the East End of Richmond — The Shops at White Oak Village. From all of the internet traffic, it is easy to believe that this shopping center will be a huge hit.
With the GRAND OPENING occurring this Monday, October 13, it is an appropriate time to revisit the project and see how everything stands for the public unveiling. All of the shops that were revealed in the previous post (3/27/08) have been confirmed, plus quite a few more. Take a look at this page of the official website for the directory of shops.
Several comments from the previous post called for a fitness center, a Chipotle, and a movie theater. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as though any of those are on board yet — except that there is a Qdoba scheduled to open right away!
There is a grand opening event on Monday that I will be attending, so I will be sure to report back with my impression of the overall project and see if I can bend the ear of an insider to find out about any other hot pieces of info to share!
Be sure to check back next week for the update, or just subscribe using your feed reader or by typing your email address in the "subscribe" box under my picture along the left hand side of this window (be sure to confirm your address when the service sends you their email). If there is anything else you would like for me to find out, leave a comment and I'll see what I can do!
From "UPDATE: New Downtown Hilton Hotel", posted here on 11/18/06:
And as a side note: This hotel will be a full-service upscale Hilton,
but developers are not revealing which sub-brand name they will be
Style Weekly reported this past Wednesday that HRI Properties has downgraded this site to a more limited-service Hilton brand, "Hilton Garden Inn". You may be familiar with this brand already, but the spokesperson points out that this location will have more "bells and whistles". (Actually, the Hilton in Innsbrook is a Hilton Garden Inn.)
Some news that I hadn’t seen before was regarding a full service restaurant, The Great American Grill, and an additional 25,000SF of retail space, all of which will be at the bottom of the hotel building.
The Great American Grill is already being used in Hilton hotels across the country, here is a review of one in Hampton Roads: Rise & Dine blog (Hampton Roads, VA). You can easily find other sites by Googling "great american grill, hilton", but the other pages I found didn’t have anything specific regarding the quality of the restaurant. Consistently, the description was "American cuisine, under $10", and they all seem to be in Hilton Garden Inn hotels.
More information has been released and has been reported by the RTD regarding the plans for The Shops at White Oak Village. With all of the comparisons to local area shopping malls, I thought this was going to be a "lifestyle center" like Stony Point Fashion Park or Short Pump Town Center.
The article in the RTD ("Sam’s, Penney plan new stores") from this past Friday, however, highlighted a number of the stores going into the shopping center planned to open in latter part of 2008 near the Laburnum Avenue exit off of I-64 (the one in the East End, not Northside). These are not your typical "mall" stores, but more like one of these big box strip centers (a la the strip centers that pop up around the big shopping malls).
Target, Lowe’s, Ukrop’s, Sam’s Club, and J.C. Peney have all been confirmed as new tenants. The site is 136 acres, and is planned to house a total of 913,606 square feet of retail, as well as a 150-room hotel. Other possible tenants (not confirmed) are Red Lobster, Circuit City, Panera Bread and Ruby Tuesday.
June 2007 is the expected start date for construction.
People have been asking me for an update to my post from 5/2/06 ("New Hilton Hotel redevelopment of Miller & Rhoads") which outlined the redevelopment of the old Miller & Rhoads department store downtown into a sparkling new Hilton hotel, along with lots of new condo units (just what we need) and new retail space.
Anyone driving by the site on Broad Street can see that not a whole lot of progress has been made. One would think that the project has just been forgotten.
In fact, the construction has just been delayed a few months due to various factors: the recent rise in construction costs, difficulties in financing, the softening in the housing market, and tax credit issues. The developers expect to have everything in place and to begin construction in December.
And as a side note: This hotel will be a full-service upscale Hilton, but developers are not revealing which sub-brand name they will be using.
(Source: "Downtown Hilton Delayed to December" in 11/8/06 edition of Style Weekly)
The typical hotel bar lost it’s appeal sometime a couple of decades ago. Hotels have struggled since then to figure out how to best utilize that space — and they don’t usually have much luck.
The independent hoteliers are leading the way, of course, but at least someone is doing it. There is a shift in what hotel guests are looking for, and these innovative business owners are recognizing it and taking advantage of it.
Hoteliers have noticed that younger travelers use hotel bars differently than in the 1990s. They like to eat a light breakfast, hold small business meetings or work alone on laptops in the afternoon.
"In the past, the bar was a place where people went to drink and socialize," says Omni’s Stephen Rosenstock. "Today, it’s also to conduct business and also to be entertained."
In talking about one particular hotel, the article said:
The space will include a bar, sofas, library, business center,
restaurant and wireless Internet. Mueller sees it as "a 24-hour meeting
Granted, this is happening in larger, more progressive markets, and it won’t work for just any hotel — BUT, the trend has always been for a business idea to be tried and tested elsewhere and then make itself known here in Richmond.
This sounds very plausible, and exciting. I can’t wait to see it make headway and start transforming some of that dead space.
While students are the not always the best tenants, there are lots of good reasons to buy investment properties in college areas.
College enrollments expected to rise by almost 1.6 million students, or
15 percent, over the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of
Education, and the number of graduate and professional students is
growing even faster, at almost 25 percent.
With the increase in students, there will of course be a rise in professors, administrative staff, space needed by the colleges, and supporting industries (research, retail, restaurants, etc.). While the article at REALTOR� Magazine Online -Daily News- College Town Properties Are a Smart Buy focussed on small college-dominated towns, this is a very good sign for Richmond. With Randolph Macon, VCU, UR, VUU, and the community colleges here, the areas around each of these schools will feel the impact.
Now is the time to jump in and start investing for the future growth, especially since the market has slowed down just a bit.
[Source: Dow Jones Business News, Jennifer Openshaw (07/04/2006), cited in the article mentioned above]
After 5 years of trying to get a good plan in place, the redevelopment of the Miller & Rhoads department store in downtown Richmond looks like it is finally within reach. The artist’s rendition of the redevelopment was unveiled last Wednesday, with the help of Mayor Wilder and several other City representatives.
Once completed, the
project will include a 250-room Hilton Hotel with full amenities as
well as 150-unit condominium complex. The hotel will also bring 20,000
additional square feet of retail space to the area. The condominium
units are expected to start in the low $200,000s.
See the full article at Richmond.com.