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Buildings are beginning to rise from the site of the former Williamsburg Outlet Mall, and the future of the Lightfoot Marketplace is coming into focus with two confirmed tenants.
Chris Odle, vice president of development at Armada Hoffler Properties, wrote in an email to WYDaily that construction has begun on two of the retail shops, which do not have announced tenants, and the anchor store, Harris Teeter. These initial buildings are set to open in May 2016, Odle wrote.
Six buildings will occupy 136,500 square feet of retail space at the site, which once was home to a single 1980s-era building for the outlet mall. Demolition of the mall began last July.
One of those buildings originally slated for retail use will now become a pediatric medical office operated by Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. The change required Armada Hoffler to amend its site plan to accommodate a drop-off area for patients and an ambulance drop-off, traffic measures that require “more circulation” around the main entrance, Odle wrote.
The JCC Development Review Committee needed to determine if the change from retail to medical use was compliant with the county’s master plan before Armada Hoffler could make the switch. The committee permitted the adjustment at the end of September.
“While we have been satisfied with the retail interest in the center, the ability to add a medical office user that will bring a different clientele to the center that would have an interest in doing some quick shopping before or after an appointment will help drive sales without adding additional retail competition within the center,” Odle wrote.
CHKD will occupy a one-story, 22,000-square foot office and offer urgent care, specialty care, rehabilitative therapies and sports medicine, said Ridgely Ingersoll, a spokeswoman for CHKD.
Pediatric Associates of Williamsburg, a CHKD office on Bulifants Boulevard less than 2 miles away from the site, will remain open and will expand into space currently occupied by specialists moving to Lightfoot Marketplace, Ingersoll said.
Ingersoll said the expansion of specialty services in Williamsburg will make it easier for children to get the pediatric care they need, as the closest specialty services are in Newport News.
“One of our important goals over the last decade as the region’s only pediatric healthcare system has been to make it as convenient as possible to get parents all of their services and make sure their children see pediatric providers every time they need care,” Ingersoll said. “We believe strongly that children need to be with pediatric providers, but parents don’t always have the time to drive from Williamsburg to Newport News.”
The new CHKD office is set to open by the end of 2016, Ingersoll said.
JCC Board of Supervisors Chairman Michael Hipple (Powhatan), said Lightfoot Marketplace is a “good reuse” that did not require the county to clear forested land.
“They’ve done real good about managing the whole project,” Hipple said of Armada Hoffler. “The site looks really good.”