The Village at Leesburg had “positive leasing momentum” at the end of 2012, Vice President of Development John Fainter said, and that will pay dividends for shoppers during 2013 as several retailers are set to open their doors.
The highest-profile, and the most-recently signed, of those retailers is cosmetics chain Ulta. The company had 550 stores in the United States as of late December according to its website, and Fainter said it is expected to open at the Village close to Memorial Day.
“From our standpoint, it’s a coup to get a national name in the center, which has been a challenge since the [economic] downturn,” Fainter said. “We’ve worked with them for quite some time, they recognized Leesburg as an opportunity to expand their footprint with the demographic, finding the right location, working together on a location structure that met their needs.”
In addition to Ulta, hamburger chain BurgerFi should be opening within 10 days, Fainter said, and Cupcakes Actually is expected to open in March. Those businesses will add to the shops just opened, including Elite Martial Arts, which opened last week, Runners Health and Art Station.
With Ulta signing on, Fainter said he hopes to attract other high-profile, national retailers. Rumors are swirling about a popular national shoe retailer, but Fainter said he couldn’t comment on them.
The retail space, 75 percent occupied over the summer when several retailers and those connected to the development lamented over the lack of foot traffic the Village’s shops received, is now 80 percent filled. The office space is at 65 percent capacity after Kestler Financial Group, a Leesburg-based insurance marketing organization, signed a lease recently.
“There are two or three other national groups…that we’ve been in conversations with,” Fainter said. Since the deals are not yet finalized, he couldn’t comment on what stores they might be. “We’re seeing activity that we haven’t seen since the recession.”