Peterson Back in Virginia Development Game
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Focused intensely on massive National Harbor in Prince George’s County the last 10 years, then restrained during the recession, Peterson Cos has quietly reasserted the prowess in Virginia that gave it its start more than four decades ago.
President of Retail Taylor Chess, in his office Friday, reminds us they never actually stopped development—18 months ago they created the 350k SF Tanger Outlets at National Harbor, and nine months ago opened Promenade at Virginia Gateway at I-66 and Route 29 in Prince William. And as a company that also cut its teeth building Rio Washingtonian Center and redeveloping Downtown Silver Spring in MoCo, they’re keeping a hand in Maryland. But they’re back to charging hard in the Commonwealth. (And why not? Taylor’s got lots more time on his hands now that two of his four kids are off to college.)
In addition to the company’s strong office and residential portfolio, consider Peterson Retail’s Next Big Things:
At Commonwealth Center (Route 7 and Loudoun County Parkway, across from One Loudoun), they’ve introduced the region’s second Top Golf, a spectacular advance even from the one that created a sensation in Alexandria 15 years ago. A $20M landmark for Loudoun, it’s a three-level venue where you can not only hit golf balls, but hear bands and dine or play pool on a huge outdoor patio. PGA marketing folks should be excited: 80% of customers have never golfed. It opens this summer and is the first of many new entertainment and dining options; Chess plans to reveal others soon.
At Virginia Gateway in Gainesville (I-66 and Route 29), they’re transforming an old concrete block plant and will showcase Cabela’s, the No. 1 outdoor store in the world, adding it to 120 other retail offerings in the 1.2M SF shopping mecca. Later this summer they’ll break ground on a hotel and open Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande to complement the existing mix at Promenade that includes Bar Louis, Firebirds and fashion faves Ann Taylor, Francesca’s and more.
Compass Creek (Route 267 and Battlefield Parkway) is a 550-acre master planned community with direct access to the Dulles Greenway. Starting construction this summer will be a 180k SF Walmart (site plan is set for approval next month), as planning continues for 2.5M SF of office, 150k SF hotel, 550k SF of retail, 300k feet of flex industrial, and 260k of conference space.
The District will be a major mixed-use project in Herndon’s Woodland Park. A year ago, Brandywine Realty, having seen Peterson’s lifestyle projects at Fairfax Corner and elsewhere, proposed a 50/50 JV to develop a 10-acre parking lot in the heart of their existing 2M SF office campus. Taylor says the idea is to show that office parks “built in the '80s for birds and bunnies, can be for billiards and beers,” the more popular urban-esque use today. Eventually the site will feature 250 residential units perched atop 100k SF of retail. Currently they’re looking for retail anchors and a residential developer, and hope to put shovels in the ground in 18 months.
Avonlea Town Center (Loudoun County Parkway at Route 50) is a 30-acre entertainment project, to feature 250k SF of retail and nightlife—a “great movie multiplex” (they’ll soon be announcing), restaurants, and so forth. They’ll be breaking ground this summer.
So just in case you think they don’t have enough to do supervising the new $1.2B MGM casino and resort that will arrive late next year at National Harbor, or pursuing new opportunities in Frederick and Virginia Beach—just you watch.
We’re proud that Peterson Cos has joined us as a Founding Partner of the Bisnow Beltway Bash on May 18, which we’re holding during ICSC’s annual expo in Las Vegas. Please join us!