Short Pump development continues

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A major development project in Short Pump is back on track.  Developers were forced to temporarily pull the plug last year, faulting the recession for the slowdown.

A lot of residents are actually happy to see things here moving again, saying this empty construction site has been nothing but an eyesore. Local business owners are pleased too, but for a very different reason.

One major development project is barely done and another one is already springing up less than a mile down the road on West Broad Street.

"As built up as Short Pump and West End is, and then places are going out of business..." said one West End resident.

But the "Corner at Short Pump" project stopped before it even started, developers saying lending was a problem last year - leaving 40 plus acres of land empty and an eyesore for residents not thrilled with the project to begin with.

"I'm tired of construction sites so if it's going to be here I'd rather it be done."

But the owner of one local business says while the site may not have been pretty, she sees it differently.

"I was kind of glad they stopped because I would much rather they wait and have it be a much more of a successful launch of a shopping center," said business owner, Monica Horsley.

Monica Horsley owns "By Invitation Only" and her business is right across from the site and right next door to storefront after storefronts that are empty.

"We have so many retail spaces with for lease signs and ones that haven't gotten full yet. But hopefully by the time the construction ends things will turn around even more," Horsley said.

She's hopeful with Kroger set to be the anchor of some 200,000 square feet of commercial space, the benefits to her business and others will be huge.

"The traffic it will bring new people to this area and to this street who may not necessarily go up and down Lauderdale, as a business owner in a shopping center we're really excited," said Horsley.

The new Kroger is expected to open this time next year. And in the meantime the developer is hoping to meet with nearby residents in the near future for an update.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.