A once controversial Carytown development has found its final tenant.
Hand & Stone, a New Jersey-based massage and spa franchise, signed a lease to fill the last vacancy at Carytown Place. It will join Petco, Chipotle, Panera and the shopping center’s anchor tenant, the Fresh Market.
Connie Jordan Nielsen, a broker with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, handled the leasing on the 42,000-square-foot shopping center on Nansemond Avenue between Ellwood and Floyd avenues.
Andrew Elsbury, who owns the Hand & Stone franchise, said the newly renovated property and the demographics of Carytown attracted him to the location.
“It fits the image that I want to convey to my clients,” Elsbury said.
Construction for his 2,200-square-foot location is set to begin this month, and Elsbury said he’s shooting for a Mother’s Day opening. He said he’s considering adding a second floor to the space.
Elsbury also has plans to launch a Hand & Stone storefront in Midlothian later this year. He’s investing about $450,000 to open the two locations. He’s self-financing the expansion.
Hand & Stone’s first Richmond location opened in the Corner at Short Pump development in 2012. Elsbury does not own that franchise.
Carytown Place developer Maryland Financial Realty took some heat when it announced plans to convert the former Verizon building into a shopping center that would be anchored by a big grocery chain. A local merchants group, led by neighboring grocer Ellwood Thompson’s owner Rick Hood, launched the “Don’t Big Box Carytown” campaign in opposition to the project.