Gearing up: Stonefield readies for sports store and more

The first store– Pier One Imports– opened Friday, November 2 at the Shops at Stonefield. Trader Joe's and the Regal theater will follow in the next few weeks, but it will be six months before the full complement of shops welcome customers. And while most of the spaces may already be leased, Stonefield management isn't yet spilling the beans on all the businesses moving in.

"It'll be a unique gathering of national, local, and regional retailers," says Brad Dumont, a D.C.-based vice-president with Edens, the South Carolina-based parent company developing the $150 million project at the junction of U.S. Route 29 and Hydraulic Road. He says the center will become a magnet for shoppers from 45 miles in every direction.

Launching a press tour in the 15,000 square-foot space that will soon be home to a relocated and massively expanded Blue Ridge Mountain Sports store, Dumont gestures to an elevated portion of the ceiling, where an indoor climbing wall, visible from the the highway, will challenge shoppers and entertain passersby. In addition to the outdoor gear store and Pier One, other key retailers will include Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn.

As recently reported in the Hook, Stonefield has announced six restaurants, including D.C. burger joint Black and Orange, southern tapas bar Pasture, and New England seafood and family fare chain Burtons.

On the tour though, yet another name popped into view: Noodles & Company. A sign in a window indicates that the popular pasta chain will indeed be opening a location at Stonefield and from the looks of it, is nearly complete with an expected opening, Dumont says, by December 1. A craft brewery is also coming, he says, as is Starbucks plus a variety of other eateries serving informal fare.

While Dumont declined to list all the retailers to open over the next six months, he does name upscale menswear shop Brooks Brothers and indicates that an upscale women's athletic clothing store and a cosmetics retailer are other confirmed tenants.

Trader Joe's is now signalling a November 14 opening (a day later than previously touted).

As for the movie theater, whose potential to run a competitor out of business has already created a pre-opening shockwave, it screened some films for just $2 on November 5. The official opening may not happen until November 9 with the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, which an online schedule indicates will play in regular cinemas as well as in the complex's single IMAX auditorium.

Meanwhile, one of three buildings comprising Stonefield's upscale apartment complex, Stonefield Commons, is nearly complete, and its website promises a 252-unit community of one- to three-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $1,050 to $1,850. Dumont says leases are already being signed.

Construction is also well underway on the 137-room Hyatt Place, a business-traveler-oriented hotel whose lead owner, Charles Macfarlane, is a Richmond-based graduate of UVA's Darden School. While rooms at other Hyatt Places typically run about $130 per weeknight, McFarlane says the rates at the Charlottesville property– which he hopes to open in July– haven't yet been set. He notes that his hotel is taking the step of seeking LEED energy-efficiency status.

"It's unusual for a hotel to be LEED-certified," says Macfarlane, noting the plethora of individual HVAC units that weigh against certification. So his team has gotten innovative with such features as charging stations for electric cars, preferred parking for hybrids and electrics, and the avoidance of any on-site irrigation.

While concern has been expressed about traffic around the new center, Edens' Dumont says he believes Stonefield has been designed in an efficient manner that will allow traffic to flow in and out from three sides of the retail area. The center's 1,600 parking spots– including 180 spaces under the Regal theater– should also be sufficient for the expected customer load, Dumont says. "It's more than what was required," he says.

–story updated This story Friday morning, November 2, with a photo of the first shopper and a slight change to the leading paragraphs.


"It's more than what was required," was meant as a joke, I bet.
Do you think a bypass can make up for this idiotic development?
"A unique gathering of retailers!"

Really wish they would put in a proper Dick's like up in NOVA, the one up 29N just doesn't cut it. Blue Ridge is over priced and caters to the North Face UVA crowd where mommy and daddy plunk out $300 on raincoats so kids can have class cancelled when rain threatens.

It is a shame it was not built as originally designed. The final look is horrible. The theater is a big boring box. It is a blight on the landscape despite whateven businesses locate there.

I'm not quite certain how you blend a 14 screen theater into the surroundings. If we had an abandoned power plant to install one in, sure, but we don't, and a theater that looks like an abandonded power plant would be far uglier than what's there.

I'm just relieved there's no beige to be found in the entire center.

@Wishes, you have a good day, too. I hope you get a huge sporting goods store soon!

I love how people are so bitter about everything these days. Area folks hate the old stores. They hate the new stores. They hate traffic and events, and they also hate when there's nothing to do. They hate the trucks, but they also hate the bypass. I wonder if the mood is pronounced in this area more so than others. Are we just haters who love to hate?

For the record, I don't care about the bypass if it ever comes, I support the Meadowbrook Parkway, I'm excited to see an IMAX movie, and I like the idea of new restaurants and stores.

This story was updated this morning with a photo of the first shopper and a slight change to the leading paragraphs.--hawes spencer

Very unfortunate BRMS is opening a store here. Would be better to get an REI.

Christmas tree ornaments? She bought Christmas tree ornaments? Only Tyler Durden can save us now. What needless consumerism why could'nt she have just gone to kmart or the dollar store or party starts here? Someone needs to put a gravestone for Charlottesville on this site she's dead an gone I'm afraid.

Pier 1 has really cool decor; much more attractive than the inventory at kmart or the dollar store. The new shopping complex is a good thing for county residents. I am so excited about getting an IMAX movie theater here in town. I am also looking forward to the new restaurants. (I hope they bring in more chain restaurants where the prices are more reasonable than our local fare.) Hopefully the old cville merchants will step it up to keep up with the competition. If not, perhaps it is time for them to close shop. I am ready to move on to better and brighter consumerism! Really!

Defending Pier One, hopeful about chain restaurants? Consumerism took your soul a long time ago. Ready to move on to better and brighter consumerism huh? How about you just move? I hear up 29 N they have an oasis waiting for you to discover. This is the new Charlottesville. Pier One decor (you mean overpriced wicker) and a love of chain food. They will put in a Curves pretty soon and you can frequent that as well. We now have a big box for all of you big box people it exudes class with it's wicker decor made by some kid in some nasty place with no standards. Sounds like a perfect match.

Wow. Sad.

@Albemarle resident
Thank you! Finally someone with something sensible to say. All of these haters should just move somewhere without any stores of any kind, then maybe they would be happy.

As an aside, these national chains actually train their employees, so customer service which is so lacking here, should improve. Question is whether they'll be able to maintain that level of service. National chains that have been here a while usually succumb to the Charlottesville SY frame of mind. It's really amazing how different stores here are compared to those in other locales. They are dirtier here and customer service is a joke!

I feel sorry for anyone opening a store in Stonefield. There is no parking. I went today to see a movie at the new theater and it took forever to figure how to access the parking under theater, only to find that full as well as the "streets" in the development. If Trader Joe's had been open, there were maybe five spaces left open for their customers. Extremely poor planning.