West Broad Village success after struggle - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

West Broad Village success after struggle

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

It wasn't that long ago that the West Broad Village Shopping Center was facing lawsuits. Now, empty shops are filling up and the development is starting to see some success.

Builders are working quickly. In just three months they're almost finished with the newest venture at the shopping center. It's called Chuy's, a Tex Mex restaurant looking to hire 165 people.

"I knew it was the right fit for Richmond," said general manager Benjamin Scarborough. He says the West End is where the money and the customers are.

"Everything that you need is out here," he said.

Jeff Doxey is the president of NAI Eagle, the firm now in charge of getting businesses to come here. He says it was a challenge to get owners to sign that lease agreement, leaving many storefronts empty for a number of years.

"It was almost like tumbleweeds were rolling through the projects," Doxey said. "We spent a lot of marketing the property just to open it back up and let West Broad Village was not going to fail."

He says he owners decided to lower the rental rate significantly than the average price in Short Pump and the plan worked. 

Doxey tells NBC12 the occupancy rate has boomed, 70% of the properties here are now full.

Yet while we are seeing more restaurants and retailers, part of the shopping center is still vacant. Doxey says his firm will need to be even more creative to attract people to these vacant lots, that plan includes opening it up to doctors and office space.

We're told the townhomes and apartments are also filling up quickly. Developers say this is the best example that finally West Broad Village may be living up to its namesake.

They hope in a year and half, all of the empty lots will be full.

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