A German grocery chain is showing an increased appetite for Chesterfield County real estate.
Aldi is under contract to purchase 3 acres for a nearly 20,000-square-foot grocery store in the Shoppes at Harper’s Mill, a 7-acre retail project from Blackwood Development in the works at the intersection of Hull Street and Otterdale roads in western Chesterfield County.
Marc Greenberg, partner with Midlothian-based Blackwood, confirmed the pending deal and said Aldi will be joined by a new 16-pump Wawa fueling station and convenience store and Virginia Tire & Auto, a new-to-market Northern Virginia chain.
The Harper’s Mill site is the second pending deal between Blackwood and Aldi. The retailer also is under contract to purchase 2 acres in the firm’s 25-acre Winterfield Crossing mixed-use development taking shape along Midlothian Turnpike and Winterfield Road.
The Harper’s Mill project will sit across the street from the future Cosby Village Shopping Center – another commercial development under construction that’s set to include a 60,000-square-foot Publix and about 18,000 square feet of additional retail space along Otterdale Road.
Aldi said the project is in early stages, and did not disclose when it plans to launch construction and open the pending Harper’s Mill location. The stores typically employ 15 to 20 people.
The chain has about a dozen stores locally, stretching from Mechanicsville to Colonial Heights. It has three stores open in Chesterfield County.
As Aldi ramps up its store count in the metro, Virginia Tire & Auto is just getting started.
The auto repair chain was established in 1976 and operates 13 locations in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties.
Construction is slated to begin on the new location in April, said Chris Keller, who oversees development for Virginia Tire & Auto. It hopes to have the spot open by the end of 2018 or early 2019.
Keller said the company plans to construct a two-story, 9,000-square-foot shop in Harper’s Mill that will include 11 auto bays and a customer service area on the first level, and offices on the second floor.
“We’re really excited to be bringing our first Richmond area location to Harper’s Mill,” he said. “When you look at the area, there is tremendous growth potential.”
Keller said the group is looking for additional sites across the metro area to establish shops.
Retail growth continues to spill west along the Hull Street Road corridor as residential developers add more rooftops to the vicinity.
Blackwood’s commercial project also serves as the gateway to the Harper’s Mill housing development, which has been approved for hundreds of new homes.
And more housing is poised to add residents to the 3,500-unit Magnolia Green development, including about 250 apartments by Delaware-based Schell Brothers.