Vacant storefronts filling in at Barracks Road Shopping Center

The Charlottesville Office of Economic Development keeps track of six areas across the city to see how well storefronts are doing. Filled or empty? The latest figures were released earlier this month. (view the report)

The study looks at the Downtown Mall, the Corner, Barracks Road Shopping Center, McIntire Plaza, Preston Plaza, and Seminole Square. The report only looks at the ground floor and does not include vacancies if a space is being renovated for a future tenant. Vacant office spaces are also not counted.

The January 2023 vacancy report from the Office of Economic Development

Seminole Square Shopping Center had the highest vacancy rate with 5 out of 45 storefronts. Great Eastern Management Company had 13 empty spaces in July 2022, falling from a 24 percent vacancy rate to 11.11 percent. 

Part of the reason is the removal of several spaces that will be converted to residential as part of a mixed-use development that is working its way through the site plan approval process in the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development Services. These include the former Giant space, the former Big Lots, and a former Party Starts Here. (Great Eastern Management presents plans for mixed-use redevelopment of Seminole Square, March 25, 2022) 

The former Chili’s restaurant is being renovated into the Seoul Korean BBQ & Hotspot. A website for the company states it will open in February. There is an existing restaurant in Mason, Ohio. 

Barracks Road Shopping Center had eight vacancies out of 84 stores, equating to a 9.52 percent vacancy rate. That’s down from July 2022 because of several planned new stores including a second location for Brazos Tacos, the conversion of the old CVS space into Great Outdoor Provisions Company, and the arrivals of Fluffy’s Pet ShopSoma, and a Lovesac showroom

More from the vacancy report.

The Downtown Mall had the third highest rate with eight out of 190 spaces vacant, or 4.21 percent. The study reports something called The Green Cauldron plans to locate at 107 West Main Street and that the Draft Taproom at 425 East Main Street is still planning on a return. Their Facebook page has not been updated since they closed for the pandemic. 

Prominent vacancies include the 200 West Market Street building where Fellini’s existed for years, the proposed Dewberry Hotel, the former Atlantic Union Bank at 411 East Main Street, and the former home of Vita Nova. That establishment moved across the street to a space that used to be the Impeccable Pig which was a dress shop and not a restaurant. 

Vacancies in Barracks Road include the former locations of SimplyMac, Sweet Frog, and Bubbles Salon. 

There were no vacancies on the Corner, Preston Plaza, and McIntire Plaza according to the report. 

The Corner had several vacancies in July but the city expects new tenants soon. The former Juice Laundry is now a Carytown Tobacco. 

Read the study for the full definitions for each geographic location. The city does not look at West Main Street. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the January 30, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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