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The Williamsburg Crossing shopping center is under new ownership and getting a major face-lift in the coming months.
The Cotswold Group, a family real estate investment company based out of New York, purchased the shopping center at auction over the summer for $4.6 million.
Williamsburg Crossing, situated at the intersection of Route 199 and John Tyler Highway, is the latest of Cotswold Group’s numerous acquisitions throughout the state, which include Military Crossing Shopping Center in Norfolk, Midlothian Center in Midlothian and Brandy Hill Plaza in Mechanicsville.
Cotswold Group is known for seeking out real estate properties that have been successful in the past but have fallen into disuse or disrepair more recently, said Drew Haynie, vice president of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, the organization behind the marketing and leasing of the shopping center.
“[The Cotswold Group] finds properties for which they have a vision,” Haynie said. “They look for properties with a good fundamental location and a history of being successful but that need a little TLC.”
Williamsburg Crossing, which once included a full complement of restaurants, service providers, retailers and even a movie theater, falls into that category.
Though the center still houses a Food Lion, Subway, Anytime Fitness, nail salon, coffeehouse and more, it has seen numerous vacancies in recent years. There are currently 47,000 square feet of available vacant space throughout Williamsburg Crossing.
Haynie is particularly familiar with the trajectory of the shopping center, as he once owned The Coffeehouse, which remains open in Williamsburg Crossing under different ownership today.
The first order of business for the new owners is to take care of all outstanding maintenance issues and give the shopping center a bit of a makeover to improve its curb appeal. Beginning in October, landscaping and roofing projects, among other improvements to the buildings’ facades and interiors, will begin.
“We’re already getting rave reviews from the existing tenants,” Haynie said of the early work and repairs being completed.
As for the future of the center, Haynie is looking for the right kind of businesses to round out the center’s existing offerings.
“We are looking for a mix of restaurants and services that fit in with the idea of a neighborhood shopping center,” Haynie said. “We want it to be shop-able from one end to the other.”
Haynie suggested certain types of restaurant concepts not represented elsewhere in Williamsburg, such as Vietnamese or other ethnic cuisines, would be a particularly good fit.
The idea of a varied, easily accessible shopping center is meant to fit in with recently approved plans to build a primarily residential community called the Promenade at John Tyler in the immediate vicinity of Williamsburg Crossing.
“Williamsburg Crossing is so well situated in a well-established corridor of the county, and [the residents who may move into the Promenade at John Tyler] certainly don’t hurt the property’s appeal.”
Interior and exterior renovations will continue through the end of the year as Haynie continues to seek out new tenants.
“This center has the extraordinary potential to be a thriving neighborhood go-to hub for services, dining and shopping once again,” Haynie said. “Its central location and ease of access to Route 199, coupled with the coming improvements and highly competitive rental rates, make this property a fantastic assignment.”