What Impact Will the Two New County Shopping Malls Have On Us?

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Chris Engel and Mark GrahamNew malls are springing up everywhere in both the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Chris Engel and Mark Graham spoke on the effect of these new developments on city and county planning.

Mr. Engel and Graham spoke at the Wednesday, October 10, 2012 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV secretary Bill Davis.

Chris Engel, CEcDChris Engel, CEcD is the director of economic development for the City of Charlottesville. He has a bachelor’s degree in geography from Mary Washington College and a master’s degree in planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and is a member of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) where he is a certified economic developer (CEcD). An active civic leader, his current leadership roles include: Chair of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau, and board positions with the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development and Charlottesville Business Innovation Council. He has also been a Junior Achievement instructor and Comfort Zone Camp volunteer.

Chris has been instrumental in the development and implementation of Charlottesville’s economic development programs, including BusinessFirst, a personal-visit business retention program, the Shop Charlottesville initiative and the Charlottesville Technology Incubator. He was recently recognized with the 2010 CBIC Leadership Award for his work chairing the Tech Tour, an innovative workforce development initiative that connects students to career opportunities in the technology sector.

Prior to his current position in economic development, Chris worked for the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and as a cartographer and GIS Analyst for private sector firms in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Mark B. Graham, P.E.Mark B. Graham, P.E., has been the Director of Community Development for Albemarle County since that department was created in 2004 and was instrumental in making it a “one stop shop” for all development permitting and oversight by the County. He brings a somewhat unique set of skills to this position having worked in both the private and public sector, combined with a back ground that includes both an MBA and almost thirty years as a licensed professional engineer. As the Director of Community Development, Mark has been directly involved with most of the large projects approved in the County since 2000, including: Hollymead Town Center, Stonefield (Albemarle Place), Avon / 5th Street (Wegmans), Biscuit Run, Cascadia, Rivanna Village, and many others.

Prior to working for Albemarle County, Mark worked in private industry as a professional engineer and managed development projects in Northern Virginia and Tennessee. His experience also includes working for Arlington County, Virginia as an environmental programs manager and the Texas Department of Highways (now Texas Department of Transportation) as a construction engineer. He has been registered as a Professional Engineer in Virginia since 1984.

Mark holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Business Administration from Virginia Tech.

Program Summary

“What Impact Will the Two New County Shopping Malls Have On Us?” Answers to this question were provided by Chris Engel, CEcD, director of economic development for the City of Charlottesville, and Mark B. Graham, P.E., director of Community Development for the County of Albemarle. In order to get all the answers, please listen to the entire presentation on the Charlottesville Podcasting Network (link above).

Retail trends in Charlottesville can be tracked by looking at the various shopping areas. Barracks Road Shopping Center opened in 1957 with over 487,000 square feet of retail space and 113 stores and restaurants. The downtown pedestrian mall opened in 1976 with over 1.5 million square feet, 192 stores and restaurants and structured parking. In 1980 Fashion Square Mall opened with over 572,000 square feet and 80 stores and restaurants. Hollymead Town Center opened in 2003 with over 600,000 square feet and 35 stores and restaurants.

What’s developing now? Hollymead Town Center (Area A–Near Kohls); Albemarle Square (Fresh Market); Shoppers World (Stein Mart); Stonefield (Shops at Stonefield: opening November 2012 will be the Regal Cinema, Trader Joes, Pier One, closely followed by Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Langford Market, Travinia Italian Grill, Crate & Barrel/Pottery Barn, Burton’s Grill, Hilton and Hyatt Place Apartments).

What’s in the future? 5th Street Station in 2014/2015 with Wegmans; then at indeterminate times: Crozet (Old Trail Village Center and downtown); North Pointe (Route 29 North); Village of Rivanna (Glenmore); and Northtown Center (across 29 from Lowes). The County has estimated that enough property is already zoned to handle anticipated growth for the next 20+ years. Additionally, many existing developments could redevelop or expand (e.g. Fashion Square, Albemarle Square).

Retail growth is a function of rooftops, so retail growth needs residential growth and residential growth needs jobs. Finally, consider the future of commercial development (e.g. wireless Internet, smart phones, social media).