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Whitlock Wealth Management Holding Ribbon Cutting

Whitlock wealth managment, financial, lake ridge, tacketts mill

Whitlock Wealth Management celebrating 20 years in business


Whitlock Wealth Management will hold a ribbon cutting for their newly renovated offices in Lake Ridge.

The company is celebrating 20 years in business, and the ribbon cutting event is free to attend.

The celebration will take place Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. at their offices 12848 Harbor Drive, Suite 101, in Lake Ridge, near Tacketts Mill shopping center.

For more information visit whitlockwealth.com.

New Medical Director Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital's Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

Dr. Peter VanDerMeid Medical Director at Stafford Hospital’s Woodbridge Wound Healing Center

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center for Stafford Hospital, which offers state-of-the-art treatment practices and protocols to reintroduce the body’s innate ability to heal, has appointed Peter VanDerMeid as medical director.

Dr. VanDerMeid will be responsible for reviewing patient care and results, evaluating new clinical products and providing oversight and guidance on policies and procedures. A member of the Healogics™ network, the Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital employs a rigorous scientific approach to explore, test, find and develop the clinically proven methods and technologies that help people heal faster and more completely than before.

A Stafford resident, Dr. VanDerMeid most recently served as Medical Director in Somerset, PA at Somerset Hosptial’s Wound Care Center.

Dr. VanDerMeid holds a Medical Degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. He then did his family practice residency for the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. He has practiced at two family medical care facilities in Virginia and is a Certified Wound Specialist.

The Woodbridge Wound Healing Center of Stafford Hospital is located at 14010 Smoketown Rd., Suite 103, Woodbridge, VA 22192. The center offers leading-edge treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure therapies, bioengineered tissues and biosynthetics.

Chronic wounds affect more than 8 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy.


Christmas Shoppers Expected to Spend More


Average consumer to spend about $800


There will be turkey and shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

Potomac Mills mall says they will open their doors at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 27 and will keep them open for 26 hours straight. The upscale retail outlet aims to attract budget-conscious shoppers looking to grab gifts early in the season.

“Those looking to start their holiday shopping early will discover unbeatable deals on Potomac Mills’ name brand merchandise throughout the weekend,” said Sam Hosn, general manager at Potomac Mills. “From designer fashions to the top trending toys and electronics, Potomac Mills has more stores with unmatched savings than anywhere else in the area. Our Black Friday hours will give shoppers the greatest opportunity to find the perfect gifts within budget for everyone on their holiday list.”

The mall has 220 stores as well as restaurants for “guests looking to take a break from bargain hunting,” according to Potomac Mills.

South of Woodbridge in Spotsylvania County, Spotsylvania Towne Center will also open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The mall will remain open the following day, always known as Black Friday, from midnight to 10 p.m.

The shopping center has also become known for its annual Concert in Lights in the outdoor town center portion of the shopping center. Flashing Christmas lights are put to music for live shows several times per night throughout the holiday season, beginning Nov. 8

“This fabulous feast of music and lights takes place in The Village at Towne Centre every evening until Christmas Eve, with shows at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.” said Towne Center spokesman Joe Bell.

Retailers are hoping to pack more shoppers in earlier as there are only four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. The National Retail Federation says the average shopper will spend about $800 this year, up 5% over last year.

Anytime Fitness to Open in Stafford


Working out is about to get a lot easier. No more excuses about an inconvenient gym location or limited hours. Anytime Fitness is coming to Stafford.

Anytime Fitness franchisees, Alex Diaz and Brian Scanlon, confirmed that they have signed a lease for a 5,100 square-foot space at the Shoppes at North Stafford Shopping Center; located at 25 Tech Parkway. Construction will start in the next 6 – 8 weeks and be performed by Willow Brook Construction. The target date for the club’s grand opening is early 2015 with pre-sale promotions being announced in late 2014.

“What differentiates Anytime Fitness from other clubs is our focus on helping members get the results that they’re seeking,” said Scanlon. “Our gym will be small enough that we can provide personalized attention for all of our members. Whether weight-loss is your goal, or increased strength or improved balanced and flexibility – or a combination – we’re committed to helping you achieve those goals.”

Nationwide, the average Anytime Fitness club has about 800 members. The gyms are staffed roughly 8 hours a day, but members can access the club whenever they like – even during unstaffed hours – using a computerized key-fob system.

“We make it easy for our members to exercise whenever and however they like,” said Diaz. “We’ll have personal trainers available to help you learn how to use all of the equipment and to develop an individualized workout plan, if you like. We’ll also have a state-of-the-art video projection system that allows members to choose from dozens of video classes whenever it’s most convenient for them.”

Membership at one Anytime Fitness club gives members access to nearly 3,000 clubs worldwide at no extra charge.

The layout of every Anytime Fitness club is designed for quick and effective exercise. At the new club in Stafford, members will have full use of top-quality equipment and amenities, including:

• Circuit and resistance training machines
• Free weights
• Cardio equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes
• Small group fitness classes, including a dedicated functional area space
• Private bathrooms, changing rooms and showers

Membership and pre-sale specials is will be announced through facebook at www.facebook.com/anytimestaffordva or call directly at (540) 877-6933.

Neibauer to Speak to Entrepreneurs, Sales Teams

Dr. Chris Neibauer, Founder of Neibauer Dental Care, is scheduled to be the guest speaker at a luncheon hosted by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 16 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Entrepreneurs and sales teams are invited to hear his inspirational story at the Best Western Battlefield Inn in Manassas.  The luncheon is sponsored by MTCI-Management Training and Consultants, Inc.

According to his bio, Dr. Neibauer’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from his earliest years when he sold potholders door to door to make money.  But it was not until he returned from Cameroon, Africa where he was a missionary that he decided he wanted more. 

He opened a one-man dental practice and after years of study and applying the principles of Unconditional Responsibility, he expanded that single practice into 25 dental practices in 6.5 years with annual revenues greater than $55 million.

As our guest speaker, he will teach us the same 7 Principles that he used to create the life he wanted.  No matter where you are in your pursuit of a life of health, happiness and success, this seminar will prove invaluable to you.  You will want to bring your staff to this!  

Stafford Wawa Store Under Rennovation


Wawa to reopen Oct. 31 with deals on food, drinks


A busy convenience store on Garrisonville Road closed for remodeling.

The Wawa market and gas station at 105 Garrisonville Road will be closed for four weeks as crews work to update the popular roadside stop. It will reopen at 8 a.m. Oct. 31 with a new look on both its exterior and interior.

“We thank our customers for their patience while their Stafford Wawa was renovated,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa’s president and CEO.  “In 2014, we made a vow to expand the Wawa experience to more customers than ever before, and we’re excited to complete the remodeling of 22 stores by year’s end…”

When it reopens, the store will have new items like milkshakes and more flavored fountain sodas. The store will also offer free coffee, fountain sodas for 89 cents each, and sandwiches under $3 each for 10 days.

Outside, the Wawa will have new fuel pumps as well as new signs and graphics. This location is one of 22 stores in the Wawa chain to be remodeled this year – the most the convenience store chain has done at the same time, according to Gheysens. The company plans to remodel 22 more stores next year as the company prepares to turn 50 years old.

The store at 105 Garrisonville Road opened in 2004. Another nearby Wawa on Garrisoville Road at Eustace Road remains open for business.

Another Wawa store is located in North Stafford on U.S. 1.

Start-up Business Expo Held at NOVA Woodbridge


“Your business plan doesn’t have to be some big, elaborate, 30-page document”


The Prince William Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated held its first business building workshop, on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 at the Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge campus.

The Chapter’s Economic Development Committee, partnered with the Delta Education and Public Service Foundation of Prince William County, and the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College, sponsored a free event with the theme and the goal: “Come with your Dreams … Leave with a Plan”.

The event was exemplary of the outpouring of community support from more than 20 local businesses and sponsors such as the NAACP- Prince William Chapter and the National Coalition of 100 Black Woman of Prince William County.

The morning presenters included Mr. Carl Knoblock, District Director Richmond Small Business Administration (SBA); Mr. George Harben, Director Prince William County Economic Development Office of Existing Business; Ms. Sonja Caison, successful business owner and Women’s Business Center (WBC) Assistant Director.

Mr. Knoblock’s told seminar participants, “You have to stay competitive. Change is going to happen. You always have to be ready.”

He identified four stages of a business: Pre –“kick the tires”; start up- less than three years in business; growth and mature or possibly getting out of business. While the SBA provides assistance to small business owners at all stages, he recommended that business owners know the stage their business in because the assistance the SBA provides differs based on the stage.

Wilson Tarpey, owner of My Mind on Sports, identified his business as being in the start phase. He attended the workshop because he wants to move his business to the growth phase. Based on the information provided, Tarpey noted, “I learned the SBA is there to help me, it’s a great resource.”

Market research and Marketing Opportunities in Prince William County was the focus of the presentation given by Mr. Harben. He shared examples of the rich data mining opportunities available to business owners on the County’s Economic Development website. Currently, he admitted, the data can be a little difficult to find, but the information can be quite valuable to businesses in the Prince William market. He also noted the site is being revised to make it easier to navigate.

Mr. Harben also shared with would be Prince William County vendors and service providers the importance of registering as county vendor.

“It is incumbent on you to register with us,” he explained, “if you’re not registered and you want to do business with the County, get registered. It is a very simple process.”

Frances Walker, an attendee in the pre/”kick the tire phase” of starting a business, noted that even though fellow entrepreneurs may do research on their own, the workshop information was important. “There are resources and research available to us here in this area that we may not have discovered,” she said.

In keeping with the theme, “Come with your Dreams … Leave with a Plan”, Ms. Sonja Caison presented, Building Your Business Plan. Ms. Caison provided a business plan template resources like SBA.gov and even Microsoft Word. She also provided workshop guests with the five parts of a business plan: Executive Summary, Mission Statement, Marketing Plan, Organizational Matters; Financial Plan.

Although the WBC’s primary outreach is to organizations that primarily serve women, Caison noted, “We have clients male and female, all demographics, so everyone’s welcome at the organization (WBC).

The business plan outline and tips that Ms. Caison shared also provided Tarpey with this insight, “Your business plan doesn’t have to be some big, elaborate, 30-page document. It just has to stay true to your business.” For business woman Marlo Watson, the business plan session, “confirmed the importance of a business plan and the need to identify your target market.”

Workshop attendees were able to select from seven different topics presented by subject matter experts.

Session included:

Successful Small Business Franchising – Ms. Miriam L. Brewer, Senior Director of Education and Diversity for the International Franchise Association

Contracting 101- Mr. Al Thomas founder Thomas Solutions Incorporated, a small business government contractor

Veterans Business Building –Ms. Chanel Bankston-Carter, Director, of Strategic Outreach at the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Legal/LLC- Attorney Kiah D. Spinks;

Affordable Health Care/Small Business – Ms. Melissa Herd, Health Insurance Specialist Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; below – Ms. Kathleen Driver, owner and Chief Business Coach of Mind Your Business, LLC provides a breakout session on the importance of Branding & Social Media to business building.

The overall feedback from the attendees was positive. Ms. Robin Benson, a future non-profit entrepreneur, expressed her appreciation stating: “Thank you for having this wonderful event. The speakers have been right on point, what was presented was very current and very applicable to what we’re doing.”

The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a sisterhood of women, actively engaged in programs of public service. This commitment is demonstrated by sponsoring a myriad of community projects for the public good. For more information please visit us a www.pwcacdst.org

North Stafford’s Brafferton Center Sells for $22.3 Million

[Submitted photo]

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – That shopping center you drive by on Garrisoville Road — you know the one with Sport and Health gym, restaurants like Mainstreet Grill and Bar, and North Stafford’s late-night staple Dunkin Donuts – we bet you didn’t know it was called Brafferton Center. We also be you didn’t know it just sold for $22.3 million.

Mosaic Realty Partners, based in Baltimore, bought the new center. We were tipped off to the sale in the press release from Larry Lichtenauer, president of Lawrence Howard & Associates, Inc., in which this information was included:

Located at the intersection of Garrisonville Road (Route 610) and Brafferton Boulevard, the retail center is currently 98% occupied and anchored by Sport & Health, a health and fitness club which occupies approximately 50% of the project. Additional tenants include Dunkin’ Donuts, Massage Envy, Avis Car Rental and Sweet Frog. The center is within close proximity to North Stafford Plaza, Walmart, Target and Lowe’s Home Improvement and is less than one mile from the Garrisonville Road exit of Interstate 95.

Brafferton Center is comprised of a retail strip of stores containing approximately sixteen separate retailers, as well as two free-standing out parcels that house an additional eight retailers. Approximately 70,000 consumers and 23,000 households reside within a five-mile radius of the project with an average household income of more than $112,000.

 “Brafferton Center is positioned within a high density residential section of Stafford County, and the entire retail group has established a loyal and consistent consumer following in the community,” explained Neil Markus, Principal of Finmarc. “The new owner acquired an excellently-maintained and visible asset contained within an environment that features among the most recognizable retail brands in the country.”

“Our team was able to identify a number of viable buyers for this asset with Mosaic Realty Partners, a locally-owned and managed real estate company, emerging as the most suitable purchaser,” stated Mat Adler, of the KLNB Retail Investment Sales Group. “This property, which represents the firm’s initial acquisition in the Virginia area, complements the company’s existing portfolio.”

The photo we used in this post is, we’ll admit, kind of polished, but we used it anyway since we don’t have a file photo of Brafferton Center. It was also submitted to us by Lichtenauer.

Sorority to Host Free Business Building Workshops at Woodbridge NOVA Campus

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – On Saturday, September 20, 2014, the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will host a day of Business Building Workshops from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge Campus, located at 15200 Neabsco Mills Road.

The event will consist of a variety of speakers from federal, state and local government, as well as experienced entrepreneurs offering insights on topics including running a home-based business, developing a business plan, veterans transitioning to business owners, affordable health care and small business, marketing, contracting, franchising and more. One of the speakers for the day is George Harben, Director of the Prince William County Development Office of Existing Business.

This free event is for anyone interested in starting a business or a current business owner interested in learning more about relevant topics. Space is limited, so register today at dstbusinessbuildingworkshop.eventbrite.com. We hope you can join us for this exciting business building day themed, “Come with your dreams – leave with a plan!”

About The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.:

The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a sisterhood of women, actively engaged in programs of public service.

This commitment is demonstrated by sponsoring a myriad of community projects for the public good guided by our 5 Point Program Thrust: Educational Development; Economic Development; International Awareness & Involvement; Physical & Mental Health; Political Awareness & Involvement.  For more information please visit us a pwcacdst.org

Yoga Space ‘Infused with Hawaiian Spirit’ Opening in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Eva Morgan says she’s opening Woodbridge’s first combination hot yoga & fitness studio, spa, nutrition & wellness center.

She’s the director and owner of Hot Yoga Spa Nutrition & Wellness Center located near the intersection of Smoketown Road and Prince William Parkway and will open in October.

A graduate of Gar-Field Senior High School, Morgan is a certified Laser Aesthetician and Thai Yoga Massage practitioner. While running a business in Fairfax County, she was voted “Best in Fairfax 2013.” Morgan says she closed that business in November, 2013 in preparation of opening the Woodbridge location.

The new space in Woodbridge is “infused with the Hawaiian spirit of Aloha, where you could practice various styles of hot yoga (Bikram, vinyasa flow, hatha, power, yin), fitness (hot pilates, hot barre, Zumba, hot hula and others), receive spa treatments (facial, massages, Thai yoga massage, body scrubs, far-infrared sauna, oxygen bar), nutrition (nutrition consultations, grocery store tours & kitchen consultations) and wellness services (acupuncture, herbalist consultations and Reiki),” penned Morgan.

Morgan started practicing hot yoga in 2010 and became a Yoga Alliance certified hot yoga teacher in 2013.

Morgan grew up in eastern Prince William County and then moved to Hawaii. She returned to the area in 2011.

Hot Yoga Spa Nutrition & Wellness Center is located at 3310 Noble Pond Way #108 in Woodbridge. For more information go to hotyogaspava.com or call 571-989-1668.

Thousands Pack Potomac Mills Mall on Tax-Free Weekend

080314 pot mills

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – There were no signs of a national recession on Saturday as thousands of shoppers packed the halls of Potomac Mill mall.

In Woodbridge and throughout Virginia, shoppers this weekend are taking advantage of not paying sales tax on clothing and school supplies. The annual tax holiday in effect since 2009 is seen as giving parents a break on back-to-school expenses while drawing more shoppers out to spur the economy.

Several signs were posted along the mall’s corridor reminding shoppers of the tax-free weekend which expires at midnight tonight.

Dollar Tree Acquires Family Dollar

Dollar Tree will purchase Family Dollar in an effort to diversify it’s product offering and customer base.

The Chesapeake, Va. – based retail chain said the acquisition would produce annual sales of more than $18 billion in more than 13,000 stores across the U.S. The cash and stock transaction is worth $8.5 billion, according to the Associated Press.

Here’s a statement from Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser:

This is a transformational opportunity,” stated Bob Sasser, Dollar Tree’s Chief Executive Officer. “With the acquisition of Family Dollar Stores, Dollar Tree will become a leading discount retailer in North America, with over 13,000 stores in 48 states and five Canadian Provinces, sales of over $18 billion, and more than 145,000 associates on our team. We will continue to operate under the Dollar Tree, Deals, and Dollar Tree Canada brands, and when this transaction is complete, we will operate under the Family Dollar brand as well. Throughout our history, we have strived continuously to evolve and improve our business. This acquisition, which enhances our footprint and diversifies our company, will enable us to build on that progression, and importantly, positions Dollar Tree for accelerated growth. By offering both fixed-price and multi-price point formats and an even broader, more compelling merchandise assortment, we will be able to provide even greater value and choice to a wider array of customers.

Dollar Tree has a long record of consistent, profitable growth, strong financial performance, prudent capital management, and outstanding total shareholder returns. The acquisition of Family Dollar is consistent with our vision to be the leader in value retailing.”

Dollar Tree brands itself as the leading fixed price retailer in the nation, selling everything in its stores for under $1, with its stores in suburban areas targeting middle income residents. Family Dollar sells a mixture of groceries and home goods at various prices, and has stores in lower income areas in urban and rural locations, according to a press release.

The acquisition is expected to be complete early next year. Afterward, the company will have more than 145,000 associates.

The company plans to use cash from the acquisition to pay down debt, grow its presence in existing markets, and expand to new markets.

Dollar Tree has multiple locations in the region. Family  Dollar has four stores in Woodbridge, three in Manassas, and one in North Stafford.

Indie Pharmacy, HVAC Companies Named Area’s Best

Dan Singh opened the independent Dan’s Wellness Pharmacy in North Stafford six years ago and is now ready to expand his business. [Photo: Mary Davidson / Potomac Local News]

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – In a neighborhood of chain pharmacies, one the few independent pharmacists in the region was awarded Stafford County’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Dan Singh operates his business, aptly named Dan’s Pharmacy, on Va. 610 in North Stafford. He sits one block from a CVS Pharmacy that is currently expanding, and about three miles from another CVS Pharmacy. He offers the same prescriptions as the big guys, many of the same off-the-shelf products, and he also has a drive-through window where customers can pick up and drop off medications – just like the big guys.

“If there are a lot of prescriptions being filled in the area there are a lot of customers,” said Singh. “I don’t mind competing with the chains, I just don’t want to have to compete with another independent.”

For his, and many other businesses honored by Stafford County’s Department of Economic Development, it’s the ability for a company to provide excellent customer service that makes all the difference.

Dawn Richards has worked at Chidress Heating and A/C for 19 years. It’s a company started by her father, and she’s been working there since high school.

The company was recognized as being the best (small business) place to work in Stafford County. While the summer season can be busy, it’s a team atmosphere that helps things run smoothly.

When things get hectic, everybody just jumps in,” said Richards. “These guys run late into the evening to service our customers, but that is one of the reasons why our customers rely on us.”

A slow economy, wrangling with customers who late on their payments, and keeping a trough of well-trained employees at the ready are some of the challenges Childress Heating and A/C faces. Richards says she’ll tough it out, perhaps for another 19 years, because the family business is in her blood.

Geico Insurance, which has a large corporate office on U.S. 17 in Stafford County, was awarded the best (large business) place to work.

Software maker Intuit as awarded entrepreneur of the year for large business. The company has call customer call center that helps support the company’s many familiar products like Quicken and Turbo Tax. The news, however, is bittersweet, as the company on Tuesday announced it would lay off 159 employees as a cost-cutting measure.

Downtown Hopes Pinned on Tenant-Seeking City Center

MANASSAS PARK, Va. – The project that leaders hope one day will bring people and downtown development to Manassas Park will get a second look Thursday.

Known as City Center, construction of the mixed-use development located across from the Manassas Park City Hall and a Virginia Railway Express station began in 2006. It has 291 apartments that have renters in nearly every one, says Manassas Park Planning and Zoning Director Vanessa Watson.

But tenants for the street-level retail shops have been slower to come, and it’s that kind of development that is wanted – and needed – to create a walk-able downtown.

“In order for this project to be complete the retail spaces have to be filled,” said Watson. “This will really help the city spur more growth and development in creating a downtown.”

Of the 45,000 square feet of retail space, a bank is the only tenant to occupy some of the space. The remainder is open and can be customized to fit a retailer’s needs, said  Watson.

Restaurants are also envisioned for City Center, and Watson said the center’s management company, True North Management Group, is still trying to bring such establishments to the center.

Rapid development on the nearby Liberia Avenue corridor in neighboring Manassas has drawn not only the attention of several retailers and restaurants that have set up shop there, but also of area residents who might easily overlook City Center.

“Even though this project doesn’t compete with Liberia, people look at it and compare them because they are so close, but it’s not Liberia,” said Watson.

City Center’s developer, Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate and the Prince William Chamber of Commerce will hold an event beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday in hopes more people will get familiar with the development.

The “Get 2 Know City Center at Manassas Park” event is billed as an opportunity to tour the open retail space, that also could be used for offices, and learn more about Manassas Park’s broader goal of promoting economic development in the area.

“The City of Manassas Park is in a much different place than it was four years ago when City Center was first built,” stated Coleman Rector, Co-Owner and Broker at Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services in a press release. “In the next twenty-four months, residential developments, traffic counts, and VRE rider volume are all projected to see significant increases.

Officials say new developments nearby in Prince William County as well as Manassas Park will only bring more people to the area. A viable City Center could help Manassas Park attract new shoppers to the city, added Watson.

Those who plan to attend the Chamber of Commerce event are asked to call the Chamber office at 703-368-6600 to RSVP.

As Dumfries Talks Redevelopment, Is Unkempt Property Keeping Businesses Away?


DUMFRIES, Va. – As development plans go, the City of Norfolk’s is as highly detailed as any.

The plan, called planNorfolk 2030, outlines which types of development and buildings are desired in each of the city’s 21 neighborhoods. The guide also outlines which neighborhoods should remain urban, which ones will see more mixed-use development with a mix of new retail stores and new homes, and which ones should remain largely suburban with single-family homes lining the streets.

Come north to the much smaller, 1.6-square mile Town of Dumfries, and leaders here say there is much redevelopment that needs to be done. One of those elected leaders, Councilman Charles Brewer, wants to adapt Norfolk’s plan as a sort of guide for the future of redevelopment in Dumfries.

“Basically, what [the City of Norfolk did] is they create[d] a plan, and they help you implement a plan to redevelop your town,” Brewer told Town Manager Daniel Taber at recent meeting of the Dumfries Town Council.

Taber was asked to do more research into Norfolk’s master plan and bring back information on it to members of the Dumfries Town Council, specifically about Norfolk’s master plan to redevelop its waterfront districts.  Dumfries was once known for its bustling port, but its waterway, Quantico Creek, became filled with silt and is no longer navigable by large boats.

So, while waterfront access may not be in Dumfries’ near future, the town does have another substantial redevelopment tool going for it. Much of the town has been designated a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone). Businesses in these areas can apply for preferential treatment when it comes to winning federal contracts.

Dumfries Business Association President Chris Caldwell says the town’s location near the main gate of the Quantico Marine Corps Base and its easy access to Interstate 95 makes it an ideal place to locate a business. Be he adds that some existing businesses don’t keep up their properties, and that can lead to diminished interest in the town.

“[Business owners] look at the commercial buildings that are here but they are not desirable because they are not well kept, even at a price of $8 per sq foot,” said Caldwell.

He cites shopping centers with older facades and parking lots that look less than pristine.

The Dumfries Town Council has made amendments to the town’s comprehensive plan and allowed churches to operate in shopping centers and in the Elwey Center office building on U.S. 1. (where Caldwell’s business office is located). Caldwell is also against this, opting for commercial districts to remain solely for business and for churches to locate elsewhere in the town.

As for adhering to a master plan that would govern development in the town – Caldwell said its success could go either way.

“It could be a double edge sword. Anytime you get government telling people what they can do and what they can’t do is not a good thing. At the same time when you have biz owners not keeping up on their end of the bargain something needs to happen,” he said.

City Tavern Moving; Hopes to Open New Location Before Christmas

MANASSAS, Va. – The popular City Tavern in Historic Downtown Manassas will soon move out of its home of nearly 20 years.

The restaurant and bar located on the corner of Main and Church streets in Manassas plans to move to a new location further west, just past the Prince William County Courthouse on Va. 28, to the old KC’s Restaurant.

“The reason we are going to move is because the rent; the overhead is getting to be too much,” said Nick Veltsistas, one of the three brothers who operate City Tavern.

The restaurant rents a space inside the Olde Town Inn, the only motel in Donwtown Manassas.

The eatery is popular with city workers who dine in for lunch and with civic groups who hold catered breakfasts, lunches, dinners and other events in the restaurant’s banquet room on the motel’s second floor. At night, the City Tavern’s bar area fills with patrons who come for drinks and karaoke.

KC’s Restaurant closed about four years ago and was described by patrons as a “sports bar with a dance floor.”

Veltsistas says he hopes to bring some of the same experience of his current location to his new home by offering both inside and outside dining, a banquet room, and themed nights – much like the karaoke nights they already host. The new City Tavern location could be open before Christmas, said Veltsistas.

This won’t be the first time the Veltsistas opened a new restaurant in a previously closed eatery. About 10 years ago, the brothers opened City Grille in the old Pargo’s restaurant off Balls Ford and Sudley Roads, near Interstate 66 near Manassas.

City Tavern opened in its current home in June 1995.

Floor & Decor Opens Today at Old Incredible Universe Building; Opening Festivities Planned

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – A new flooring store opens today in the old Incredible Universe electronics store outside Potomac Mills mall.

Floor & Décor will open its second store in Virginia, taking up some 80,000 square feet for showroom at 14041 Worth Avenue in Woodbridge. The store will sell marble, hardwood, travertine, granite, ceramic, tile, and laminate flooring to individuals and contractors.

Floor & Décor will celebrate its opening with a series of events starting this weekend:

Grand opening festivities include:

Saturday, July 5: 

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Face painting and treats for customers from Kona Ice

Wednesday, July 9: Industry Night

     5 – 8 p.m. Professional Industry Networking Event- All Builders, Contractors, Architects, Designers, Installers and Realtors invited to network with other professionals in the industry, win great prizes and learn about Floor & Decor’s products

Thursday, July 10: 

8:30am Official Prince William County Chamber of Commerce of Northern Virginia ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Floor & Décor

Friday, July 11:

11 a.m. Official Asian American Chamber of Commerce & Hispanic Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Floor & Décor

Saturday, July 12: Grand Opening Day

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.: NASCAR Simulator (11-6pm),
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Face painting and Cruise-In with Prince William Cruisers
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Treats for customers from Kona Ice
Noon – 2 p.m. : Roll the Dice for a chance to win $500,000

The new store will employ 52 people. It’s general managers will be Jose Cambria and Shayne Norris. Employees at the store will provide complementary design services for its customers as well as 14-day storage of materials.

A Gander Mountain, a store catering to outdoor enthusiasts, will open in the remaining portion of the 185,000 square feet of space. It is expected to open by fall.

The large building was constructed as an Incredible Universe electronics store which opened in 1995. The store mixed computers and electronics with live entertainment stage at the center of the store as well as an in-house McDonald’s restaurant. Competition from nearby Best Buy, as well as other stores in the Potomac Mills area, eventually drove Incredible Universe out of business about a year after opening its doors.

Between 2002 and 2012, the building was home to General Dynamics who which constructed amphibious war fighting vehicles inside the structure.

Upon the exit of General Dynamics, investors gathered to discuss transforming the building into an indoor recreation and entertainment destination.  With the opening of Floor & Décor and the planned opening of Gander Mountain, plans for the entertainment center have apparently fallen through.

Supplement to Improve Body’s Microbiome In Development at Prince William’s New Science Accelerator

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Work is underway at a new science center in Prince William County to develop a new supplement to help us produce more of the “good” bacteria that live on our bodies.

ISOThrive CEO Jack Oswald says a new pill that can be easily swallowed or even placed into a cup of coffee is on its way to store shelves. The work on developing the supplement is being done at a new Science Accelerator at Prince William County’s Innovation Technology Park, and under a collaborative partnership with George Mason University.

“Today we have a crisis at the microbiome. It’s not working at optimum functionality, as a result we’re not as healthy as we need to be or could be,” said Oswald.

The microbiome is made of bacterial cells that share our body. There are 10 times as many bacterial cells than human cells on our bodies, and scientists are treating the microbiome as a newly discovered organ of the body.

Oswald says the foods we eat can have a poor effect on the “good” bacteria we share our bodies with.

“Traditionally, the human diet used to have whole foods, raw foods, we’d cook at home. Today we eat a lot of processed food, refined food, while on the go,” said Oswald.

The supplements would “fill the gap” in our diets and bring our microbiomes back to “optimum functionality,” added Oswald. A collaborative partnership with George Mason University will allow ISOThrive to test the results of their product by looking at DNA samples of users before and after they take it to gauge its effect.

“The collaboration will allow us to bring products to market several months earlier than we thought we would be able to do,” said Oswald.

The life-sciences start-up company is the first tenant in Prince William County’s new Science Accelerator in the Innovation Park behind the Northern Virginia headquarters of the FBI.

The 9,125 square foot center is home to nine newly built wet laboratory spaces. Each space is individually secured, has emergency power outlets for critical storage equipment, and they’re configured with a front office and access to two conference rooms and a common kitchen/office, receiving area and parking spaces.

The start-up incubator is a public – private partnership with local government, academia, and the region’s business community.

“This is yet another testimony to Prince William County’s commitment to developing the life sciences industry in our county,” said Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart in a press release.

ISOThrive joins American Type Culture Collection, Corning Life Sciences, Virginia Forensics Lab, the Mason/NIH Level-3 Biomedical Research Laboratory, and Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine which are all already located at Innovation Park.

Hiteshue Resigns from Prince William Chamber

MANASSAS, Va. – Nancy Hiteshue will leave the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at the end of the month.

Hiteshue has served as the vice president of government relations since the Prince William Chamber was formed in 2010, following the merger of the Greater Manassas-Prince William and Region’s chambers. She was hired under the direction of former CEO Rob Clapper who left in February.

Hiteshue said she’s leaving the organization and will help to grow another business group in the area, though she would not say which one. She will continue to work in the government relations arena.

“When I came to the Prince William Chamber there was no focus on public policy, and I feel that in the last two and a half years we’ve engaged people and got them talking about the governmental process,” said Hiteshue.

Her resignation comes after Debbie Jones was announced the new President and CEO of the Prince William Chamber, a position she had held on an interim basis since Clapper left. Hiteshue said she did not apply for the position because the rigors of the job didn’t interest her.

Hiteshue said she will miss her coworkers but will not miss the long days and nights traveling between Prince William and Richmond.

“It’s a lot of work. It’s more than just a ‘nine to five’ job,” she said.

Hiteshue’s last day at the Prince William Chamber will be June 30.

Jones Tapped to Lead Prince William Chamber

MANASSAS, Va. – Debbie Jones has been selected as the new Prince William Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.

Jones replaces Robert Clapper who stepped down from the role back in February. Jones had been the vice president of the chamber, and was named acting president of the organization once Clapper left.

Jones was the president of the Greater Manassas – Prince William Chamber of Commerce before it merged with the Region’s Chamber in 2010, forming what is now the Prince William Chamber.

Jones has lived in the area for the past 30 years and has made it a priority to talk to current and former chamber members on a listening tour to gauge member interests and needs.

Jones, Nolan on Shortlist to Lead Prince William Chamber

MANASSAS, Va. – The choice to lead the Prince William Chamber of Commerce has been narrowed down to at least two candidates.

The finalist for the President and CEO job are Acting Chamber President Debbie Jones whose been with the organization who has lived in Prince William County for 33 years, and David Nolan, a Realtor and former president of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce in Florida.

Nolan led that organization for less than six months before stepping down after a debate over whether or not to build spring training a practice stadium for the Washington Nationals. Nolan was an outspoken critic of the stadium.

A search committee within the Prince William Chamber of Commerce was established shortly after Jones took the helm. Their job is to find a permanent replacement for Robert Clapper who stepped down in February to take a new job with a non-profit organization dedicated to veterans’ affairs.

Nolan had no comment about his interest in the Prince William Chamber job. When asked if he was familiar with Prince William County, Va., Nolan replied “I hope to meet  you soon.”

The current president of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce referred Potomac Local News to a chamber staffer who said Nolan was not a member of that chamber before becoming its president. That chamber’s current president could not be reached.

Nolan lists himself as a long time Marriott International Hotel Executive and a certified sales trainer.

Jones said she had no comment about our story.

The Prince William Chamber’s Board of Directors is expected to be briefed on the search committee findings at a meeting next week.

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