RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Big businesses are scheduled to open in Carytown. It's a move neighbors and merchants have been talking about for a long time.
Right now Petco and Fresh Market are slated to open. Kevin Nelson with Carytown Place Associates says a restaurant and cafe is also opening, but he could not disclose the company. He says many neighbors wanted these kinds of stores.
Some people say Carytown is the place that really highlights Richmond's charm. With local boutiques and eateries dotting Cary street, some say chain businesses are the last thing they want to see.
"People who own small businesses here have enough trouble trying to make a living so it will make it even more difficult," said Ashley Sigmon, who grew up in Carytown.
The developer says it's a two-sided coin. After meeting with neighbors and city officials, he says many people support the idea.
He says they were shopping elsewhere for items they needed taking money out of the city.
"I think it could be a good thing," said Margo Suddeth, who owns several stores in Carytown. "I think we all get scared because of the competition it gives to local businesses because we already compete with Amazon and malls. But then again, it brings more people into Carytown."
The old Verizon building still has three spaces open. J Cummings with Carytown Bistro and Coffee House says he relies mostly on local business and hopes the new additions won't hurt his shop.
"That's the only way we run basically," said Cummings.
Some say they'd rather see a full building than a vacant one. Sitting at more than 130,000 square feet, the developer says it's the biggest building in Carytown right now.
"I think something in a building is better than a vacant building," Cummings added. "That being said, preferably a Richmond specific small business."
The building project should be complete late summer or early fall of next year.