There are 180 parking spaces under the new Regal theater.
Dressed in brick, stone, copper, and stucco finishes, the Hyatt Place seeks LEED certification.
courtesy Macfarlane Stonefield LLC
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.