Chesterfield plans to buy Spring Rock Green shopping center for $16M

Chesterfield County plans to buy Spring Rock Green shopping center for $16 million and turn it into a mixed-use development featuring apartments and a sports-and-entertainment venue. (Courtesy of Chesterfield County)

More than a decade after it set into motion the revitalization of the former Cloverleaf Mall, Chesterfield County is turning its attention to another aging retail center across the street.

The county intends to buy most of Spring Rock Green shopping center at the northwest corner of Midlothian Turnpike and Chippenham Parkway for $16 million and turn it into a mixed-use development.

As envisioned, the project would include more than 1,000 residential units, more than 290,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space, a sports-and-entertainment venue and a 190-room hotel along with green spaces.

Chesterfield officials on Tuesday called their plan for Spring Rock Green a bid to update the center and its sizable parking lot to keep up with the trend toward live-work-play development and framed the project as a continuation of similar efforts at Stonebridge Shopping Center, where Cloverleaf once stood across the turnpike.

“The vision is to take what we did at Stonebridge and make it more mixed, more dense and to allow for connectivity through the Boulders and Stonebridge and make optimum use of one of the best interchanges (in the county),” Economic Development Director Garrett Hart said in an interview Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisors is slated to tee up a public hearing today and a vote on the proposed allocation of $16 million to the EDA to buy the property. Those steps are expected to take place Aug. 25.

The county plans to buy two parcels that total 42 acres, which comprise the majority of the center, from current owner Chicago-based Bond Cos. The parcels are valued at $10.2 million, according to online county records.

Hart expected the deal to close in September. The property would have to be rezoned to make way for the mixed-use development.

The project would also include a road between Boulders office park and the development.

The bulk of Spring Rock Green shopping center was built in 1976. (Jack Jacobs photo)

The bulk of Spring Rock Green was built in 1976. Bond Cos. bought the center in 2015 and has since sold off the outparcels. The county plans to raze the original structure to make way for the redevelopment.

The center currently consists of about 300,000 square feet of office, retail and restaurant space, according to a leasing flyer. Anchor tenants over the years included defunct for-profit Virginia College.

The center’s current tenants include outdoors retailer 5.11 Tactical and Dollar Tree. County officials said they plan to help tenants inside the project area relocate or transition into new spaces at the mixed-use development.

The center’s outparcels along Midlothian Turnpike, which are occupied by tenants like Panera Bread, Chipotle Mexican Grill and others, won’t be part of the upcoming deal.

The residential portion of the yet-to-be-named project would consist of more than 900 apartments in seven-to-eight-story buildings, along with more than 100 townhomes and condos.

Office space would comprise 200,000 square feet in four-to-five-story buildings, while retail and restaurant space would take up 90,000 square feet.

Taking a page from its experience with Stonebridge, which has a volleyball center, the county plans to incorporate a sports and entertainment venue at the new development.

“We’ve got Richmond Volleyball Club in a building over there. It’s really helped to gel that site and activate it all nights of the week and the weekend and also plays nice with our sports tourism,” Deputy County Administrator Matt Harris. “All we’re trying to do here is replicate that because we’ve seen what importance that has to the success of the overall project.”

County officials declined to elaborate further on the planned usage or facilities of the 100,000-square-foot sports and entertainment venue that would rise on the Spring Rock Green site.

The county has also earmarked $1.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to build a police precinct at the development. The development would also feature parking structures, which county officials believe would be a first for Chesterfield.

Atlanta-based architecture firm Cooper Carry has been hired to design the project.

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Deon Hamner
Deon Hamner
1 month ago

Very smart. This is prime real restate. Kudos to Chestefield leadership

Carl Schwendeman
Carl Schwendeman
1 month ago

This is good they are replacing a wasteland of asphalt with 7 story buildings I really think they should build 10 story buildings instead of 7.

David Seibert
David Seibert
1 month ago

This is a prime location for redevelopment. Smart move by the planning department!

David Humphrey
David Humphrey
1 month ago

One does wonder if it is such a great idea why it was not done by a private firm instead of having to involve the County. Would a private developer have paid that amount for the property? Is the County involved because the owner had become a problem and part of the purchase price is to get rid of them?

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
1 month ago
Reply to  David Humphrey

Good questions and this plan is NOT new. In 2014 redevelopment of the center called for two roads connecting into the Boulders along with 400,000 sq ft of mixed use with office (I don’t this it called for apartments) and new retail. I remember one of the principals of the owners saying that they wanted it to be the next Carytown with a main street feel. All that was ever built was the frontage fast casual places. I do wonder if the County has said enough of the delays as the redevelopment won’t happen as the private market is not… Read more »

Brian Glass
Brian Glass
1 month ago

The City of Richmond is the loser. With Henrico County’s redevelopment of Virginia Center Commons, which will include sports tourism venues, as well as the planned replacement of the Coliseum in the County, and the announcement that Chesterfield County will reinvent Spring Rock Green, and include sports tourism as well the City is sandwiched, and quite frankly as the saying goes it will be ” between a rock and a hard place.” In my opinion the City had a great opportunity to redevelop the City Stadium property, for a mixed use venue, but basically gave it away to the Richmond… Read more »

Peter James
Peter James
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

I must respectfully disagree regarding your assertion that the city is somehow “the loser” in this equation. The city itself has seen a population increase over the 2010 census (based on most recent estimates) of 14.03%, which is one of the largest organic (non-annexation related) decade-over-decade increases in the city’s history. Planners have been forecasting that the city-proper population could reach as much as 340,000 by the year 2037 (based on a variety of factors that impact the rate of growth). Manchester and Scott’s Addition are booming, both in terms of residential development and population growth. Rocketts, sections of the… Read more »

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter James

Absolutely. Richmond doesn’t lose anything with this happening. Its a good move on the County’s part to do this, but it’ll have no effect on growth in the City. There’s an element of expatriates that think the City has failed by not burdening its citizens with a huge albatross of an arena to finance through our real estate taxes. It made perfect sense to pass that dubious responsibility on to Henrico County.

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

In a way, the city traded the coliseum for the casino.

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Glass

How does the city lose out when the county improves properly near the border? Answer: it doesn’t. Everyone benefits here and I’m not sure how you can come to any other conclusion. The city is growing by leaps and bounds despite its government inefficiencies and I hope the same will continue to be true for our neighbors/region (hopefully we see more dense development like this one, too).

Charlie Smigo
Charlie Smigo
1 month ago

Spring Rock Green started out as Beaufont Mall. My first job as a teenager was at the A & P where the Dollar Tree is currently. That shopping Center has always struggled. Best Products, Montgomery Ward, Dart Drug, Peaches Records and Tapes. Just to name a few who can name other tenants over the years?

Darryl Spitzer
Darryl Spitzer
1 month ago
Reply to  Charlie Smigo

A&N and Disco Sports.