Shoppers changes: Center to welcome Stein Mart, DSW shoes

Plans to spruce up Shoppers World, the 1970s-era shopping Center best known as the former home of Whole Foods, are moving forward. As revealed at a recent Albemarle Country Architectual Review Board meeting, fashion retail chain Stein Mart and designer shoe warehouse store DSW are moving in. Now Federal Realty, the Rockville Maryland-based company bought the shopping center in 2007 for $27.2 million, wants to renovate the facades of the buildings.

"It's a great improvement," said ARB member Bruce Wardell at the March 5 meeting, though he noted that approval for the design won't be compete until the company's architects submit a final plan at an upcoming ARB work session. While Wardell mentioned that the use of some corrugated metal made him "a little nervous," all members voiced agreement that the proposed renovations would be welcome.

Since buying the shopping center, Federal Realty– which also operates Barracks Road Shopping Center– has either been shuffling tenants (Advance Auto and Massage Envy moved) or refusing to renew leases in the hope of luring big box tenants. In January, the company gave the gigantic China King Buffet the boot. In 2011, the year Whole Foods departed for a larger space on Hydraulic Road, Super Shoes moved, and Ragazzi's closed.

Federal Realty's Mark Henderson says he's "real excited" about the tenant moving into the Raggazi's space, but said he couldn't yet reveal the name. Back in October, the Hook reported that a Jason's Deli might be opening up in the Raggazzi's space. The deli-style restaurant has made a name for itself by offering healthy food that's free of transfats, MSG, and high-fructose corn syrup. Indeed, a recent tenent roster up on the company's website lists Jason's Deli.

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I have always felt that Shoppers World had unrealized potential. Seemed to have a lot of stores that were OK, but not as nice as most the other shopping centers in town. I remember when Curley's Garage was in the space where Raggazi's was. It was a fun place to eat and drink and very popular with independent school faculty from all around the area.

Stein Mart is a high end off price retailer. It has many stores in Florida and sells name brands at reduced prices. DSW is a similar type shoe store off price retailer. Great selection and good prices. Both bring good options to the area and will save a trip to Short Pump for those who went there for either of these stores.

Charlottesville has come a long way since the days when Barracks Road was the end of town. And no I wasn't in town when the Hessian soldiers were imprisoned at Barracks Road/ I arrived here a few years later! :-)


Nice that they're updating it from a tired 70's style to a hipper mid-80s style.

That is funny Rem K. It also looks like they are straightening out the quirky parking and traffic flow. Micro nostalgia for that.

The part of the site on side of the ravine, the previous Whole Foods and the like, should really be abandoned. A disgruntled Whole Foods employee told me it was a bit uggy in the cellar.

"The deli-style restaurant has made a name for itself by offering healthy food that's free of transfats, MSG, and high-fructose corn syrup." Why eat? When they took MSG out of food, it wan't long before I started looking my age.

So excited about both!! Love, love, love DSW!!! and so less reason to drive to Short Pump! :)