More eateries, services coming to Ruckersville

By Susan Gibbs

The action is apparent at the Gateway Market Center, and the sign is up.

An ABC Store, Hair Cuttery, Subway, Verizon and a Chinese restaurant called East Gourmet, are setting up shop.

“Although we are in the very early stages of construction, we are hoping to turn the keys over to the tenants by May 15,” says Leigh Hughes, assistant vice-president of the CBRE commercial real estate office in Charlottesville.

And that’s just the beginning, according to Hughes. Not only is the building currently under construction completely pre-leased, which, he says, “is very unusual in today’s economic environment”, but it looks like more retailers will be coming.

Hughes’ firm is already working on designing another retail building to be set adjacent to the one on its way up.

Five new enterprises will set up shop at the Gateway Market Center soon.

He credits the strength of Gateway Market Centers’ anchors, Walmart and Lowes, and their ability to attract customers from a wide geographic area, with giving CBRE the ability to develop the project during a severe economic downturn.

Hughes also points to what he says are “very encouraging current trends.

“We have seen an uptick in interest from national retailers for our out parcels, including casual dining, an auto parts store, a furniture store, and gas stations.”

The big box retailers, Hughes explains, also have “the ability to draw smaller retailers who want to be located next to these large traffic generators.

“We feel this is just the beginning, and there will certainly be other small tenants who would like to join the Gateway Market Center,” he says.

But it’s not just Walmart and Lowes Hughes credits with the success of the Gateway Market Center project.

“Throughout this process (Director of Greene County Economic Development) Tony Williams and the members of the Economic Development Authority have been, and continue to be, great ambassadors for our project, and for that we are thankful,” he notes.

And Williams found working with the developer just as pleasant.

“It is because of the support and appreciation of Leigh Hughes and others at his firm that our EDA board and the department of economic development can be effective in assisting to bring services to Greene like those at the Gateway Market Center,” Williams says.

“We deeply appreciate their support.”

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