As Kroger clears land for a new Chesterfield store, its upcoming presence is already catalyzing at least one new surrounding development.
Chesterfield-based Cambridge Enterprises is planning 77,000 square feet of new office, warehouse and retail space across from the pending Kroger Marketplace that’s soon to rise at Iron Bridge and Court Yard roads.
Cambridge Enterprises plans to begin construction in the coming weeks on a new 37,000-square-foot office and warehouse building behind the Iron Bridge Road Wawa. A second 7,000-square-foot office building and third phase of retail construction will follow.
“We are getting about 30 phone calls a week now,” said Cambridge Enterprises spokesperson Karl Johnson. “It’s just gone crazy.”
Cambridge’s project will go up on about 7.5 acres of land that company president David Gripshover bought between the end of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.
County records show that the 5.1-acre office and warehouse lot sold for $500,000. Gripshover paid $760,000 for the 2.5-acre slice of land fronting Iron Bridge Road where he’ll build the retail development.
“It just felt like the economy was coming back, and prices had dropped to the point where you could make some money on it,” Johnson said. “It’s time to develop it now.”
Johnson did not offer an exact budget for the project, but said Chesapeake Bank is providing the financing. Douglas Bollinger & Associates is the project’s architect, and Townes Site Engineering is the engineer. Cambridge’s own construction company will be the general contractor.
So far, Johnson said, Cambridge has letters of intent for about 40 percent of the industrial space, including commitments from a Turtle Wax distributor, a Washington, D.C.-based internet firm and an engineering company. No leases have yet been finalized.
The retail space is drawing interest from national restaurant tenants, but Johnson would not say which companies in particular were looking. He said the property never attracted interest from those types of suitors before Kroger announced its plans earlier this year.
Kroger revealed in February plans to build a 113,000-square-foot Kroger Marketplace on 22 acres on the west side of Iron Bridge Road. The company bought the land in June for $4.5 million and has begun clearing the site. The new store is scheduled for a September 2015 opening.
“You should see whole clearing probably next week,” said Fenton Childers, who oversees Kroger’s Virginia real estate.
The grocer’s 22-acre plot will also be home to Kroger’s first foray into the real estate business in Richmond. The company bought more land than the store will need at the site, property it plans to develop and lease out.
Childers added that the Kroger will also bring another traffic light to Iron Bridge Road, an added plus for potential tenants on either side of the street.