Waterford Business Center: Expansion into Belville
The Waterford business community continues to grow and expand. With the successful Shops at Waterford on the Leland side, developers are now concentrating on the Belville side, the Waterford Business Center.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” says Don Harley of Harley & Associates Commercial Real Estate, Inc. “It’s all a continuation of the same area, but because we’re dealing with different municipalities, it’s separate.”
A new bank office on the corner site and a Holiday Inn Express and Suites, which will begin construction in June, will anchor the Waterford Business Center.
Harley started working in the Waterford area in 1996.
“We’ve watched it grow and we know the potential,” he says. “It’s a unique development.”
Already, Murray Art and Frame has expanded to a retail building in the Waterford Business Center. It has a site beside businesses such as Edward Jones, Four Seasons Dry Cleaners, Fitwize 4 Kids, Door to Door Floors, Cartridge World and Groucho’s Deli. Upstairs in the same building are the Town of Belville offices, South East Dance Academy, Land Marketing Company and Wells Fargo Mortgage.
Now, construction is underway for four new retail buildings, each with 6,253 square feet of space. They should be finished in October.
Retail spaces in two of the buildings are already filling up. Belville ABC, Rita’s Water Ice, Italian ice and frozen custard, and Leland Insurance Agency are among the merchants. The Wilmington restaurant chain Nikki’s Sushi and Steakhouse will occupy three bays in one of the buildings.
In the works, but not quite finalized, are a national furniture company that is hoping to open in Belville as well as a national restaurant chain that may build an 8,000 to 10,000-square-foot unit.
“We believe in this center whole-heartedly,” Harley says. “And we’ve been working hard to get the right businesses and the right merchant mix here.”
Harley says the whole Waterford Center will have a nostalgic look that will stand the test of time.
“It’s a good merchant mix because they all provide a different shopping experience, but they all cater to the same type of customer,” Harley says. “A person can get most everything done they need to do in this area.”
For example, the planners looked for a while for the right hotel for the property.
“We had a lot to consider, including longevity and having the right look,” Harley says. “Steven Arp has been in the hospitality business a long time. He knows how to operate a hotel.”
Arp is the owner and developer of the new Holiday Inn hotel. It’s estimated that the 101-room hotel will open early next year.
“This is going to be the new Holiday Inn prototype,” Arp says. “It’s a great location and it will be a great facility.”
The Holiday Inn Express and Suites will include an expanded business center plus a guest laundry and gift shop. Each season, different scents, such as floral or chocolate, will waft through the corridors. The rooms feature larger work desks and bed linens with high thread counts.
“We looked at the area because it’s a good stopping point for people coming to town,” Arp says. “But it’s also great to have the other businesses and restaurants around the site.”