Wegmans Set to Open in Fall of 2016 at Fifth Street Station
For those city and county residents who live just off Fifth Street Extended – Redfields, Frys Spring and Willoughby neighborhoods included – the news that a Wegmans, part of a major supermarket chain, has been coming to the area for the past 12 years has been a welcome, albeit frustrating wait. The 73-acre property is just south of the city and is bordered by Moores Creek.
According to their company website, “Brothers Walter and John Wegman (Robert Wegman’s father and uncle) learned the food business by working in their mom and dad’s grocery store in Rochester, NY. In 1916, John opened the Rochester Fruit & Vegetable Company, which marks the beginning of Wegmans Food Markets. Walter joined him a year later.”
Wegmans was named the #1 by FORTUNE Magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2005. It’s still on the list as of 2015. Wegmans now has nearly 45,000 employees who serve millions of customers at over 85 stores (and still growing) in six states.
The county got involved in the early planning stages and asked the developer, Riverbend Development, to put in a connector road between Avon and Fifth Street – one long wished for – and so the neighborhoods of Mill Creek and Lake Reynovia will also be able to access the site. Issues with a former landfill had to dealt with and so the road now is basically a bridge over the site.
Construction on the 4,500-foot-long road has now begun because Riverbend has completed work to remediate the landfill at a cost of about $750,000. The landfill was used by the city, county and the University of Virginia until 1972 and only closed because of the Clean Water Act.
Ground was officially broken for the center in November 2014. When completed, Fifth Street Station will feature more than 470,000 square feet of commercial space. Wegmans is expected to be one anchor for the development. and the other anchor will be Field and Stream, a high-end sporting goods store. Other retail outlets and restaurants will fill out the center including Dick’s Sporting Goods and Petsmart.
According to a January 26, 2015, article in the The Cavalier Daily, “Situated off Interstate I-64, the shopping center … is predicted to bring $9 million in annual tax revenue to Albemarle County. White Hall District Supervisor Ann Mallek said the shopping center will provide employment opportunities to Albemarle residents.
“‘Anytime you have a successful business, it will help employment,’ Mallek said. ‘One of the tenants is Wegmans, who is anticipated to hire more than 600 people.’”
UPDATE 2: According to Charlottesville Tomorrow, we are looking at Fall of 2016.