HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - Plans for a much-anticipated outlet mall in Hanover County, near Bass Pro Shops, have been scrapped.
"Very disappointed," said neighbor Karen Shockley, who was looking forward to the outlet mall. "This is such a prime area, that I thought it was such a good idea. I was very excited about it."
Craig Realty, a California-based developer, had planned for a 350,000-square-foot shopping center spanning more than 40 acres near Lakeridge Parkway and Lewistown Road. The "Outlets at Richmond" had been planned for years, slated to bring 100 stores and restaurants. In 2015, NBC12 reported the plans were moving forward, with the mall potentially being completed by the end of 2017. Initial designs for the mall included a 500-car parking deck and four strips of stores.
Kay Pangraze, a local project manager for the development, says with more shoppers making purchases online, Craig Realty decided to halt the plans.
In the meantime, a multitude of businesses have sprung up across the street from the anticipated project site, hoping to cash in on mall traffic, like Mexico Restaurant.
"Definitely our main goal was to be here before everyone else, and just be prepared for the prime outlets," said Mexico Restaurant manager David Garcia.
The restaurant is one of seven the RVA area. Garcia says his family's chain has won awards for its cuisine and was excited for the spot near a budding shopping development. Now, Garcia and other storefront owners say they have no choice but to forge ahead, without the mega-mall.
However, Garcia says the new Amazon distribution center, built just a couple miles from the restaurant, is really helping foot traffic. The retail giant aimed to fill more than 300 jobs over the summer.
"We've grown a little bit and progressed throughout the months," continued Garcia.
However, the loss of potentially hundreds of mall-goers driving by each day is a tough reality.
"Definitely bummed out, but I think we'll continue to build clientele, grow, and stay in Ashland," added Garcia.
Business owners along the stretch say they'll also be happy when road construction along Lewistown Road is finally completed. They say that's been deterring customers from coming their way, during lunch.
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