CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Thirteen months after county leaders broke ground on a project eight years in the making, finishing touches are being added to the Wegman’s Supermarket in Chesterfield County.
At 7 a.m. Sunday, May 22, the 83-store supermarket chain will open its new location on Midlothian Turnpike to excited shoppers hoping to be among the first to see the new store.
“I’m anticipating a very large crowd,” said Garrett Hart, Chesterfield’s Director of Economic Development.
In Fredericksburg, a crowd almost matching the city’s 22,000 population visited Wegman’s on its opening day in June. Hart said he wouldn’t be surprised by a similar turnout in Chesterfield County.
“We’ve had a lot of really good economic development announcements over the years in Chesterfield, but the two that have brought the most public input and most positive public response have been the Wegman’s and the Crispy Kreme at Stonebridge,” Hart said.
The 118,000 square foot supermarket will employ 600 people and will serve as the anchor store for other large retailers in the Stonehenge Village, including Petco, Lazy Boy and Party City.
Traffic is expected to be heavy in the first few weeks after Sunday’s grand opening, as 40,000 cars normally travel through the Northwest Midlothian corridor on a regular day.
However, the Route 60 widening project, which is expanding Midlothian Turnpike from four to six lanes, is expected to decrease travel time and accommodate the increase in traffic flow.
Jesse Smith, Chesterfield County’s Director of Transportation, said the project should be complete in time for Wegman’s grand opening, with final touches including pavement marking, being wrapped up by the end of the month. Consistent rain over the past several weeks has caused delays for construction crews.
“We are literally working night and day at this point,” Smith said. “We’ve had folks paving basically from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m.”
County leaders said Wegman’s will not only create a thriving new tax base, but will add flair to the county with its unique retail and dining options.
“They have a very, very strong brand,” Hart said. “Having that brand in the community helps us recruit other retailers as well as other businesses.”