Development continues along Midlothian Turnpike

Published: Apr. 2, 2013 at 10:32 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2013 at 7:16 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The buildings keep going up and the businesses keep opening on Midlothian Turnpike near Chippenham Parkway.

Carena's Jamaican Grille has been there through the rougher times- and had developed a huge following.

"I come here at least twice a week," said customer Hayden Piggott.

But when new development started on Midlothian Turnpike, Carena Ives had to make a big decision- whether to close for 6 months to reopen a new and more appealing building or whether to move her business somewhere else.

She decided to stay on Midlothian Turnpike- and had to close her doors for 6 months.

"I was not the only one that missed it while it was closed," said Piggott. "There was a lot of other people- we was hoping that where is going to open? Where is it going to open at?"

It was a gutsy move for Carena Ives.

"I was worried about losing our customers, I was worried about not being able to see everybody on a day to day basis."

But she couldn't picture leaving this spot on Midlothian Turnpike, so she closed down,a and crossed her fingers customers would stay loyal when she reopened.

"It's a key, key part of the community," said Ives. "The accessibility is remarkable. You're off the highway. You're right here. I couldn't think of going and being anywhere else."

Her belief in the area is paying off-she can see the growth in the area through the windows of her restaurant. She has a view of a new Kroger, the promise of dozens of businesses near it,a and hundreds of apartments to be built nearby.

"It's just, it's just remarkable," said Ives. "It's night and day."

There is also a former Kmart other side of Chippenham Parkway  in Richmond. We're told it has recently been sold to a man who wants to turn it into an ethnic or international grocery store. Across the street, we're told a building may offer financial services.

It's a taste of something new for a lot of older places, now with a brighter future.

"People were loving it," said Ives.

Officials say we may learn what businesses are going in near the Kroger in the next few weeks.

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