Massive outlet mall is no fish story

Winding Brook

A 392,000-square-foot mall is planned near the Winding Brook development. (Photos by David Larter)

Outlet shopping in Richmond just got one step closer to reality.

A California-based developer this week purchased 43 acres near Bass Pro Shops and the Winding Brook development in Ashland, where it plans a 392,000-square-foot outlet mall.

Craig Realty Group bought the land at the northeast corner of the intersection of Lewistown Road and Lakeridge Parkway just off Interstate 95 from local developer Gibson Wright for an undisclosed price.

The site of the planned Outlets at Richmond.

The site of the planned Outlets at Richmond.

Kay Pangraze, a development consultant and local representative for Craig Realty Group, said that the cost of the development would be “well over $50 million” but that it was too early in the process to know an exact figure.

Steve Craig, chief executive of Craig Realty Group, said his company is working on getting the project approved by Hanover County and pre-leasing. The development is to be called Outlets at Richmond.

Both Craig and Wright declined to comment on the purchase price for the property, citing a non-disclosure agreement.

Craig said closing on the land was a big first step.

“The announcement today isn’t just a flyer we threw out there to say ‘Hey, we’re here,’” Craig said. “We’ve been working on this for almost three years now, and this is very much the culmination of those years of effort. Right now we’re at the point of executing leases.”

Craig said his company would pull the trigger on construction once the project is 50 percent leased.

Pangraze said she was hopeful that the first of two phases of the development would break ground within the year.

An outlet mall development near Winding Brook has been talked about for years.

A mall was slated to be part of Winding Brook, less than a mile south on Lakeridge near the 150,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shop on land developed by Holladay Properties. Pangraze said Craig started negotiating with Wright’s property companies, Northlake Land Investments and Dominion Land & Development, about six months ago.

Wright, who owns more land in the vicinity, said his site was well suited for the outlet center.

“It’s a good piece of land,” he said. “It’s flat and easy to develop. It’s got great access to the highway. Craig is a quality developer, and I think this will do a lot to get a critical mass of retail in the area.”

There are three other large outlet malls in Virginia: Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets, Williamsburg Premium Outlets and Potomac Mills in Northern Virginia.

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