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New Shops Coming to Potomac Mills

Woodbridge, Va. –– A new retail shop set to open at Potomac Mills mall will be the first of its kind in the Washington area.

Tommy Bahama Outlet is slated to open its doors in early August, bringing with it clothing usually seen by those who live on tropical islands, as well as t-shirts, polo shirts and fragrances.

It is one of three new stores coming to the mall’s “fashion district” in neighborhood one.

Another new store slated to open, Tumi, is being called a concept outlet store and will offer accessories for those who travel for fun or for business.

A Rockport Outlet store and Puma Outlet store will also follow the opening of the new stores in the mall, said Potomac Mills spokeswoman Loren Horsley.

The new stores will not require the mall to build an addition to the current facilities.

In February, commuters who parked at the mall’s front parking lot were told new stores were coming to the mall which would require a new addition.

The number of commuter parking spaces at the mall was reduced by 75 percent.

The mall still has plans to build the addition but has yet to make an official announcement about when construction will begin.

JCPenney Closing Potomac Mills Store

Woodbridge, Va. –– JCPenney has decided to close its doors at Potomac Mills mall.

Mall officials have not yet said when the outlet store will close for good, nor have they announced what will replace the stores.

The outlet store offered discounted clothing and home goods found at regular JCPenney company stores.

Potomac Mills spokeswoman Loren Horsley says the store opened in March 1993.

It was a part of a newly expanded section of the sprawling shopping complex that at the time included Spiegel Catalogue outlet, Sakes Off Fifth Avenue, Marshalls and a large arcade, Planet Fun.

Of those stores, Saks Off Fifth and Marshalls are the only that remain in the portion that was expanded in the early 1990s.

Potomac Mills mall is the largest outlet shopping center in Virginia, offering 200 retail shops and specialty stores.

It originally opened in 1985, and quickly became a catalyst for growth in eastern Prince William County.

Borders Could Close Remaining Stores

During its final days, many flocked to Borders Books at Stafford Marketplace on final deals on books, movies and music. (Mary Davidson/

In a cost cutting measure, Borders Books and Music closed several stores including its North Stafford location.

The store in Woodbridge remains open, as do other stores that performed better than the Stafford County location.

But now, company officials say all of the remaining stores may close if a bidder for the company is not found soon.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed additional locations in Washington and Tysons Corner by the end of April.

In Stafford, officials have not said what business may fill the large spot in the Stafford Marketplace left by Borders.

NVCC Woodbridge’s Largest Expansion Since 1989

Dr. Charles Errico, a professor of history at Northern Virginia Community College, provides a brief history of the campus.

Woodbridge, Va. –– More than 25 years after it was supposed to have been completed, Northern Virginia Community College will get its third building.

The ground-breaking ceremony for phase three, as its known, was held this morning on campus.

Among the local politicians and staff members who were at the ceremony – some dating back to the early days of the campus – appeared delighted to learn the expansion of the campus is underway.

“The Woodbridge campus alone serves 10,000 students and is larger than 16 other community colleges in the state. This will be the biggest addition to the campus since 1989,” said Woodbridge Provost Dr. Sam Hill.

Through partnership agreements, space constraints have forced the college to host classes at nearby Freedom High School and Strayer University.

“We are pleased with Dr. Hill with managing growth at a facility where expansion is well overdue,” said NVCC President Dr. Robert G. Templin.

Before opening its full campus on Neabsco Mills Road in Woodbridge, NVCC held classes inside a trailer at Woodbridge Middle School.

The new 84,000 square foot building will house a new lecture hall, science labs, cafeteria, photography department, and theatre and study rooms.

It is scheduled to open August 2012.

Dr. Charles Errico, a history professor at the campus, during a presentation joked construction of the new building is “right on target.” Phase three was originally planned to open in 1984.

Northern Virginia Community College was opened in 1965 and the Woodbridge campus opened 10-years later. Before opening its current facility, the college held night classes in trailers at Woodbridge Middle School.

Officials who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony noted U.S. Census Bureau data that shows Prince William County as the fastest-growing county in Virginia, now with more than 400,000 residents who could benefit from the services offered by NVCC.

Renters in for Sticker Shock

It’s no secret that rental properties in the Potomac Communities are in high demand.

Some say it’s because of the military’s Base Realignment and Closure.

BRAC, as its known, is expected to bring more than 20,000 new military and federal workers to the Ft. Belvoir Army Garrison and Quantico Marine Corps Base, and landlords know those who relocate to these jobs will want to live where they work.

“At least two or three times a week I get an email request from someone relocating to the area. They want a reasonable commute to Fort Belvoir…access to public transportation to D.C. Easy enough to do. Then the hard part or perhaps the reality part hits. Most often they want a three or four bedroom detached home with a garage for under $2,000 a month. Unfortunately reality is the rental prices for a detached homes meeting this criteria starts closer to $2,300, and more likely will be $2,500 or more per month,” stated Woodbridge-based real estate agent Cindy Jones in her blog.

Jones says those who move here can opt for a longer commute time and choose to live in Prince William County to find a home at the $2,000 price point.

Northern Virginia is still a buyer’s market out there, real estate agents say.

It seems many people who are looking to rent still want to see if the market will go any lower, still waiting for their best deals, said Stafford real estate agent Rob Rachon.

“Purchasers are becoming wiser because people do not need to make decisions in one day if they want the home or risk losing it. If they lose out on that home, there will mostly likely be another one like it on the market next week,” said Rochon.

In Stafford, the market has yet to see a major influx of people relocating to the area because of BRAC. But they are coming, says Rochon.

“As people move down here for BRAC the pace will pick up, that’s going to bring more people to the area and fill jobs,” said Rochon.

Quinn’s Officially Opens at Potomac Town Center

Terry Quinn cuts the ribbon, officially opening his new store in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge, Va. –– With the cutting of a ribbon, Terry Quinn opened his newest jewelry store Wednesday to the applause of area business owners.

The new store, Quinns 2, sits in the Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge next to Wegmans.

It is the successor to Quinn’s Goldsmith, which opened more than 20 years ago in Occoquan.

“My goal is to have one shop to go back and do what I love to do, and that is jewelry work,” Quinn told the crowd of about 50 well wishers. “I had a store for 20 years, and with this new one, maybe someday we’ll have three. But I’m really overwhelmed with the two I have right now.”

In addition to drinks and snacks, there were politicians on hand to wish Quinn well.

“Terry is joining 65 new retailers that are coming here to Potomac Town Center, and these town centers are really the new look of Prince William,” said Prince William Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart.

Also there was the Mayor of the Occoquan – a small village in eastern Prince William where Quinn’s has become a household name.

“We wish you the best of luck in your new store, as long as you don’t close the one in Occoquan,” said Mayor Ernie Porta.

The new store is brighter and resembles that of a traditional jewelry store inside modern shopping centers.

Setting it apart from mall jewelry stores, however, is a new water fountain made in Florida from Italian marble. Quinn will donate it, and the coin that has been dropped inside of the fountain, to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The store also has on site jewelry repair, and Quinn says it’s his goal to invite customers to the shop for a social hour where they can choose a piece of jewelry they would like Quinn to make and then see him craft it.

During his grand opening week, Quinn will offer various jewelry pieces from his vendors and will give away a one-carat diamond from his own collection.

The grand opening festivities will continue on Saturday.

Quinn’s opening new store

A lone worker Tuesday drilled into the façade of the new Quinn’s Goldsmith store.

A jeweler who’s been a staple of the Occoquan community for years is now expanding to Potomac Town Center.

Quinn’s Goldsmith plans to open its new store Thursday in the developing shopping center in Woodbridge, which is also home to Wegman’s grocers.

It won’t be a fanfare event (that will come on the store’s official grand opening date on March 2).

The new store will be a bit of a departure from their more traditional Occoquan store, targeting a slightly younger crowd, but the with same line of products their customers have come to expect from them over the years. (more…)

REI store to open in Woodbridge

Woodbridge, Va. –– Shoppers at Stonebridge Potomac Town Center will soon get a taste of the great outdoors.

Recreational Equipment Incorporated, better known as REI, plans to open a new location at the shopping center in spring 2012.

The store will boast two stories of camping, hiking, cycling, fitness and paddling gear, as well as clothing and accessories.

It will also include a bike shop for quick repairs, and an educational room where customers and community members will be able to see outdoor-related presentations and events.

The new store is expected to bring 50 new jobs to the area. Most of the hiring will take place three months prior to the store’s opening, company officials announced today. (more…)

P.F. Changs coming to Woodbridge

An artist’s rendering of what Potomac Town Center will look like once fully developed. (Roadside Development)

Woodbridge, Va. –– P.F. Chang’s China Bistro will join a growing list of upscale retailers and restaurants in the expanding Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge.

Woodbridge Supervisor Frank J. Principi’s office in statement Wednesday morning confirmed the popular restaurant chain has signed a lease for a 7,000  square foot space with Roadside Development, developers of the town center, adding the restaurant to a list of seven other P.F. Chang’s locations in the Washington area, including Fairfax, Tysons Corner and Arlington, according to the company’s Web site.

The restaurant will join Wegmans grocery store, Uncle Julios Rio Grande Café, Zoes Kitchen, as well as retail stores like AT&T and clothing retailer JoS. A. Bank.

P.F.  Chang’s first opened its doors in an Arizona shopping mall in 1993. (more…)

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