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Face-lift coming to strip mall on Timberlake Road

Face-lift coming to strip mall on Timberlake Road

Only $5 for 5 months

For the first time in years, a shopping center on Timberlake Road will be revitalized.

The Timberlake Station Group LP purchased the property at 7701 Timberlake Road — which includes four buildings — for $3.7 million in early February.

Joseph Huang, managing director for Timberlake Station Group, said renovations on the façade will begin in about a month. Huang said crews will complete at least $500,000 in capital improvements, renovations and deferred maintenance such as roofing and facade for the left-side of the building and install LED lighting for the entire center. Next year, there will be more improvements as the company expands and develops new pad-sites for possible drive-thru.

The development near the Kroger once was home to Winn-Dixie and, more recently, the Sears Hometown Store.

Timberlake Station sits on about nine acres and consists of four parcels with businesses including Papa John’s Pizza, Tropical Smoothie Café, Central VA Flooring, Harbor Freight, Westside Deli and Family Dollar.

Recently though, a new gym, Workout Anytime, has signed a lease and plans to open within the next month, Huang said.

He said the group is working with another potential tenant interested in occupying 7,800 square-feet of vacant space to be used for a call center.

He hopes more development coming to that area of Timberlake — including the West Edge build-out, which is happening about a half-mile up the road that will include a Sheetz, Chick-fil-A, car wash and apartments — will make the center more attractive and populated.

“There’s a lot of synergy happening in Timberlake,” Huang said.

Huang said some maintenance issues need to be addressed and updated and he believes it to be a good investment for the community to bring the center to a higher standard.

“We want to revitalize it and give it a new modern feel,” he said. “Our hope is to help the community be aware of these tenants, especially during COVID, so that they’re aware of what’s up and coming, and to communicate to prospective tenants that we have space available.”

Prior to 1947, the Timberlake Station and surrounding area was agricultural land; from 1947 to 1963, the land was developed into residential neighborhoods. Beginning in 1965, the Timberlake Station structure was built and it was the first retail development to serve the new neighborhoods.

Nick Baker, owner and president of Central VA Flooring, said he moved his business into the former 20,000-square-foot Sears building about two-and-a-half years ago because of its visibility on Timberlake Road — one of the busiest roads in Lynchburg.

“We love this spot and the visibility is great for our business,” he said. “It’s a huge blessing for our retail traffic. We get great recognition on a road like this.”

He said with more improvements and developments on Timberlake Road, the site especially needs an upgrade.

“It definitely needs a face-lift,” he said. “It needs to be painted and lights needs to be added to the parking lot. It needs to be brought up to 2020. The location is spot on, the place just needs a little bit of love.”

When the property was acquired the center had about 82% occupancy. Huang said the number has increased to 88% occupancy since the group took over in February.

He hopes it will be 90% occupied in the next few months.

During March and April, 90% of tenants still were open and working because they were considered essential by the state, Huang said.

“We as the landlord extended our assistance to those businesses to make sure they had the help they needed during that situation,” he said.

Huang said the group is putting at least $500,000 into renovating the 82,000-square-foot property and most work will take place this year.

“It’s way overdue,” he said.

He said 95% of the renderings and construction drawings are complete and bids are being sent out to multiple general contractors. There also are some plans to rezone part of the development to allow for more drive-thru restaurants. Huang said once those are approved, construction can begin on the property.

Ellen Zhang, owner of Westside Deli, said she has been in the center for 14 years and is considering moving to a new location if updates aren’t made as soon as possible.

She said it has been great working with Huang, who she believes has a plan to improve the center for the tenants and customers.

“I think that’s a very good move for them to update the building,” she said. “It will be good for our business and for the future.”

Rachael Smith covers local businesses and nonprofits. Reach her at (434) 385-5482.

Rachael Smith covers local businesses and nonprofits. Reach her at (434) 385-5482.

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