With new homes and businesses going up in the southern end of West Creek Business Park, developers behind the park in eastern Goochland County are setting the stage for a retail center to serve them and the surrounding area.
The Pruitt Cos., which owns and operates West Creek with Bill Goodwin’s Riverstone Group, is seeking a rezoning and proffer amendment to accommodate a retail and multifamily mixed-use development on the site of the former Oak Hill Golf Course at 12638 Patterson Ave., just east of the Patterson-Route 288 interchange.
The Henrico-based developer is looking to add two parcels totaling 7.6 acres to the development site, making those parcels part of the business park, and rezone them to allow for up to 150,000 square feet of retail space and a multifamily component that would fill the 50-plus-acre golf course site.
The proffer amendment – part of a three-part request to be made to the Goochland Planning Commission early next year – would eliminate a provision that restricts retail from being developed within 1,000 feet of Patterson Ave.
The request was originally scheduled for the commission’s December meeting but was removed from the agenda due to a public notice error. It had been deferred to the commission’s meeting in January, but the Pruitt Cos. said additional paperwork requested by the county may require the request to be held off until the February meeting. Preston Lloyd with Williams Mullen is representing the company, which is making the request through its PWC Properties LLC.
Thomas Pruitt, who manages the company along with father Tommy Pruitt and cousin Michael Pruitt, said the timing is right to develop the former golf course, which the developers and Riverstone purchased in 2006 for $11 million.
One of the two parcels to be rezoned was also acquired that year from the Virginia Department of Transportation when it was building the interchange. The other parcel, totaling 3.6 acres, was purchased in 2013 for $95,000, according to county property records.
“We think it’s going to be a good retail location, mixed-use location, so we’re trying to get the zoning to be able to do that,” Thomas Pruitt said.
“As more houses and rooftops come into that area, that’s really driving the demand,” he said. “Obviously the traffic on Patterson has picked up, and the traffic on 288’s incredible. So it’s a great intersection at Patterson and 288 for some type of retail.”
Pruitt said the development, which is early in its design, would be anchored by a grocery store with some strip retail and outparcels for additional shops and restaurants. He said the retail would serve homes and businesses that are adding to the area, such as the 373-unit Bristol at West Creek apartments, which is under construction at the 288-West Creek Parkway interchange, and recent arrivals Kindred Spirit Brewing and Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, which is building a second brewery and distribution facility in the park.
The park, which straddles 288 just west of the Goochland-Henrico county line, is also home to the corporate offices of Performance Food Group and Virginia Farm Bureau and is near Capital One’s Tuckahoe Creek campus and the headquarters for CarMax. Initially planned for industrial users, the 3,500-acre park today consists of more than 2 million square feet of office space, with 2,600 acres still available, according to county documents.
“Because of the 1,000-foot restriction for retail development, West Creek hasn’t been able to develop retail, so it’s either been some form of office or industrial that we would develop there,” Pruitt said, adding that West Creek has leaned more toward office-driven uses in recent years.
The retail development, Pruitt said, would be “service-oriented to serve the park. It would be something not only the area would appreciate but the park as well.
“You don’t really have anywhere to go get lunch, breakfast or dinner in that immediate area, so providing those services will be a good benefit to West Creek, especially down on West Creek Parkway,” he said.
Pruitt said they have yet to line up specific tenants for the development, describing the amendments and rezoning as a first step that is needed before any deals can be made.
“This hopefully will be a good project if we get the zoning and a viable retailer and multifamily user,” he said.
Other first steps have included the recent removal of a barn and two silos that marked the landscape where the golf course operated until late 1990s. Pruitt said the structures were demolished in September due to growing safety concerns.
“There were people always going in and out of the old clubhouse, and at some point it became a liability,” he said. “We just didn’t want somebody to get hurt. That was the main reason for taking them down.”
While plans are tentative, a preliminary site plan submitted to the county gives an idea of the development envisioned for the property. A plan drawn up by Niles Bolton Associates, an Alexandria-based design firm, shows a layout divided between retail and residential uses, with two anchor retail buildings beside a cluster of smaller buildings, five outparcels along Patterson, and about 440 parking spaces. The residential area includes multiple buildings and green spaces.
While the development would add new uses to the park’s southern end, comparable development is getting underway at the park’s northern end along West Broad Street. The 230-acre Notch at West Creek development is slated for 55,000 square feet of retail space and a 130,000-square-foot hotel fronting Broad, and VCU Health and Sheltering Arms Hospital is planning a 114-bed inpatient rehab facility there.