Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Mostly vacant, this local shopping center hopes for new life

The Village Shops at Kingsmill have been approved for redevelopment. Most of the shopping center is vacant, and an outdated directory shows several businesses that have closed in recent years. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)
The Village Shops at Kingsmill have been approved for redevelopment. Most of the shopping center is vacant, and an outdated directory shows several businesses that have closed in recent years. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)

At the Village Shops at Kingsmill, everything is quiet.

Rows of multi-colored storefronts with glossy windows and open blinds reveal dozens of empty business spaces inside the shopping center’s seven buildings, only a handful of tenants remaining.

Empty trash cans block doors to now-closed restaurants, while benches sit empty along the plaza’s walkway. In some windows and doors, signs notify patrons businesses have relocated.

Coming up, the shopping center will get a face lift and new life.

The Village Shops at Kingsmill, near Busch Gardens at 1915 Pocahontas Trail in York County, was approved for redevelopment Nov. 13, York Planning Director Tim Cross said.

The new plans include demolishing one existing building and partially demolishing another of the center’s seven buildings — reducing the center’s total square footage from 92,945 square feet to 61,248 square feet.

The remaining buildings will be renovated, and a new parking lot with a pedestrian plaza will be constructed on the same parcel, according to the December 2018 Development Activity Report from York County.

The changes will add 37.8 percent more open space, Cross said.

Improvements to parking will be made, and a new drive-thru lane and landscaping features will be constructed.

The project is a “by-right” development already allowed by the existing general business zoning, Cross said, meaning the redevelopment only need approval through an administrative review, not the Planning Commission of Board of Supervisors.

Cross said the application did not include information on whether existing tenants will stay in the center or move.

Contact information was not immediately available for the developer, and the project engineer from Timmons Group did not return multiple requests for information.

A site plan for a redevelopment of the Village Shops at Kingsmill shopping center shows one less building than the center currently has. (WYDaily/Courtesy York County)
A site plan for a redevelopment of the Village Shops at Kingsmill shopping center shows one less building than the center currently has. (WYDaily/Courtesy York County)

Without information from the developer, Market Realty Group LLC of Glen Allen, the project’s timeline remains unclear.

Over the years, some stores in the shopping center have closed one-by-one, including Silt, Discover Teas and the Wine & Cheese Shop at Kingsmill.

The Village Shops at Kingsmill have been approved for redevelopment. Most of the shopping center is vacant, including the Wine & Cheese Shop at Kingsmill's former location. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)
The Village Shops at Kingsmill have been approved for redevelopment. Most of the shopping center is vacant, including the Wine & Cheese Shop at Kingsmill’s former location. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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