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Long-vacant Staples Mill Safeway property readies for action

The 8-acre Staples Mill Shopping Center sits near the intersection of Glenside Drive and Staples Mill Road. (Kieran McQuilkin)

HENRICO, Va. — Vacant since the early 1990s, a former grocery store space in a Henrico County shopping center is finally finding new life.

O’Reilly Auto Parts is set to move into about 18,000 square feet of space that was once part of a Safeway store at the 8-acre, 87,000-square-foot Staples Mill Shopping Center near the intersection of Glenside Drive and Staples Mill Road.

The auto parts store occupies about 15,000 square feet elsewhere in the shopping center, said Jim Ashby, a broker with Richmond-based Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer who’s overseeing the center’s leasing with Alex Wotring.

O’Reilly’s move is part of an effort to rejuvenate the aging retail center and add new tenants.

Ashby said Ashland-based M.L. Bell Construction is subdividing the Safeway, which has been empty since 1993, into two retail units in hope of landing an additional retailer to fill the remaining 17,898-square-foot spot. That’s in addition to searching for a tenant to take over the O’Reilly’s existing location, which it will vacate in five to six months.

Staples Mill Shopping Center is home to a number of national and regional retail tenants, including SunTrust Bank, Dollar Tree, Virginia ABC Store and Subway.

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