Undeveloped Ukrop's site draws fresh interest

An undeveloped plot in is up for a grocery and retail development project. Photo by Burl Rolett.

An undeveloped plot in Glen Allen is up for a grocery and retail development project. Photo by Burl Rolett.

A site in Glen Allen once slated for a Ukrop’s supermarket may finally get its grocery store.

A 15-acre, Ukrop’s-owned retail property at 5400 Wyndham Forest Drive is under contract to be bought by a Baltimore-based company. Operating as Virginia Financial Investors Inc., the Maryland firm has submitted plans for 107,000 square feet of retail space anchored by a 76,000-square-foot grocery store.

Kevin Nielsen, a member of Virginia Financial Investors, confirmed Thursday that the site is under contract.

“We do have a lot of interest for the site, and we just submitted plans for all of it,” Nielsen said.

The property stretches east from Nuckols Road, running between Twin Hickory Road and Wyndham Forest Drive. The planned shopping center will go by the name Nuckols Place.

Former Richmond grocery giant Ukrop’s had planned a supermarket for the site years ago. Ukrop’s had the property rezoned in 2004 and gained approval for a plan of development in 2006 but never built on the land.

Ukrop’s sold all of its stores to Martin’s operator Royal Ahold in 2010 in a deal that did not include the Nuckols Road real estate. Ukrop’s Super Market Inc. still owns the property, county records show.

Brokers Nathan Shor and Jim Gresock of S.L. Nusbaum Realty are handling the sale for Ukrop’s. Shor said the deal for the land is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

“It was developed and a lot of site work was done, but the store was never built,” Shor said. “But it’s pretty obvious there is a need for more grocery over in that area.”nuckols place plans ftd

Virginia Financial Investors’ plan shows six retail and restaurant buildings with 558 total parking spots on the site.

The largest building, the grocery store, is 76,000 square feet. The smallest is 1,875 square feet. Elevations for that building show a generic coffee shop. No specific grocery brand is mentioned in the plans. The plan was submitted to the Henrico County Planning Department on Oct. 3.

Nielsen estimated Virginia Financial Investors is about nine months away from breaking ground, but a firmer timeline won’t be available until the company sits down to discuss plans with the county. Nielsen could not provide a cost estimate for the project at this time.

While the plans are on paper in the county office, Nielsen said no leases have been signed. The company is working on marketing the property, and Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer broker Connie Jordan Nielsen will handle leasing.

Connie Jordan Nielsen said there are two contracts pending for a pair of outparcels along Nuckols Road, and the grocery anchor is down to a short list of potential tenants. Food Lion already has a store at the nearby Town Center at Twin Hickory. Kroger head of real estate Fenton Childers told BizSense that brand is not among the site’s suitors.

Virginia Financial Investors also owns Carytown Place on Nansemond Street. That property is anchored by The Fresh Market grocery store, but that Fresh Market is much smaller than the 76,000-square-foot shop outlined for Nuckols Road.

Connie Jordan Nielsen also mentioned negotiations with restaurants, salons and a pet supply company but would not offer specific names without signed leases. Retail space in the neighborhood typically rents out at around $30 per square foot, she said.

“The great thing about this property – just like the Food Lion property across the street – is that you’ve got the daytime traffic built in because of Innsbrook and the Nuckols Road corridor with all of the offices there,” she said. “That’s why we’re seeing that interest from restaurants as well as other retail.”

It’s been a busy year and a half for Glen Allen real estate, with three major properties selling in separate eight-figure deals. The East Shore and West Shore office complexes, which sit just across Wyndam Forest Drive from the grocery site, sold in two separate deals for a combined price of about $47 million.

On the retail side, the nearby Food Lion-anchored Town Center at Twin Hickory was sold to a New York-based real estate company for $16 million last October.

Read Goode, a broker with Divaris Real Estate who marketed the Wyndham Forest Road site previously, said the area’s residential demographics make it an attractive shopping center site.

“It’s very dense for suburbia and it has a broad range of income around it,” Goode said. “It’s got not only the whole Wyndham community all around it, but if you look within a five-minute drive time it has homes along (Route 288) North and east near Innsbrook.”

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