Shopping center up for auction in Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Interested in buying a shopping center?  There's one going on the auction block Friday morning. It's at the intersection of Hull Street and Courthouse Roads. One business owner hopes someone will take a chance on a center that is in need of help.

Rockwood Square shopping center almost looks like a ghost town. Trash is overflowing receptacles and strewn about outside vacant storefronts.

Gloria Finnegan said the downfall started a few years ago.

"We just keep cleaning and cleaning, but it's not really doing any good," said Finnegan.
Finnegan is the manager at Giuseppe's restaurant.

One of five businesses left. Finnegan said it's been about a month since she heard the shopping center was in foreclosure. She sends the rent to the bank that now owns it.

"That was a very, very big blow to us because we knew nothing of it and we've been here for a lot of years and we do excellent business," said Finnegan.

In June 2008, the deed of trust through Virginia Commerce Bank totaled $3.8 million. The auction notice was posted late last month.

Potential buyers can't just pick and choose a storefront. The auction is for the entire shopping center and that means taking on leases for existing businesses.

"I'm hoping for a big investment to come in and buy it and fix it up, and I think they would make plenty of money," said Finnegan.

Finnegan said there has been some interest but if no one steps up, the future of the restaurant, where she's worked for 13 years, is uncertain.

"If no one buys, I don't know what happens to tell you the truth," said Finnegan.

The auction is Friday morning at 11:30 on the steps of the Chesterfield County courthouse.

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