• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Buyer Named For Marquis at Williamsburg Shopping Center

Marquis at WilliamsburgYork County has announced the name of the buyer who purchased the troubled  Marquis at Williamsburg shopping Center. , a 223-acre development with five existing stores and 268,691 square feet.

The buyer is Todd Interests, a real estate investment, brokerage and development company based in Dallas, Texas founded in 1990 by Dallas entrepreneur Shawn Todd, Todd Interests has been involved in the acquisition, development, redevelopment and disposition of over $750 million of real estate.

The center includes a J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The Target Corp. store there is owned by Target and is not part of the sale.

The Marquis was the first domino to fall in the collapse and bankruptcy of Premier, a closely held mall developer controlled by Christopher P. White. Premier in 2008 failed to refinance a maturing, $65 million construction loan from CIT on the Marquis, leading to a default. That default led a mezzanine lender to declare cross-defaults on 10 other Premier centers in several states. CIT eventually foreclosed on the Marquis.

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Agreement Reached in Ford’s Colony Country Club Bankruptcy

clubhouseApril 7, 2011  An agreement has been reached in the Ford’s Colony Country Bankruptcy case.  A status hearing was held today at the US Bankruptcy Court , Eastern District Of Virginia in Newport News Newport News Division  and the agreement was presented to the Court.

As part of the agreement, the Debtors are withdrawing their Chapter 11 Plan and Prudential and the Committee will move forward with their Plan. Prudential and the Committee will amend their Plan to reflect some of the financial agreements that were reached with the Debtors.  The Court moved the confirmation hearing up to May 3, 2011.  It is anticipated that the amended Chapter 11 Plan will be sent out next week.  The court still requires a vote to be taken and members will likely have  7 – 14 days to vote for or against the plan  Under the settlement agreement   Prudential is to become the owner of the Golf Club. A new management company under the direction of Prudential will be put in place on May 3, 2011.

The new management will likely be Affiniti Golf (read their management proposal here).

May 3 is also the date set for the court’s confirmation hearing. All Club members are invited to a meeting at 4 p.m. on April 19 in club’s pavillion to hear about the reorganization plan and hear from Affiniti.

The club filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2010, listing between $10 million and $50 million in debt. The bulk was owed to Prudential on an $18 million note. Another $8 million was owed to insiders or affiliates, $400,000 in unsecured debt and $335,000 in equipment leases.

Update May 2011

Affiniti Golf Partners, LLC has announced the addition of Ford’s Colony Country Club to its portfolio of managed golf courses. This represents the fifteenth club in its portfolio of managed clubs. Ford’s Colony is located in Williamsburg, Virginia and is made up of three 18-hole golf courses – Marsh Hawk, Blackheath, and Blue Heron, all Dan Maple’s designs.

Today the club has 897 members and is available for resort play on a limited basis. Ford’s Colony just emerged from bankruptcy, largely due to the recession and the lack of real estate sales. Substantial improvements will be made to return the club to its former condition and elite status within the Williamsburg area.

Affiniti intends to improve the golf courses, the members’ experience, and the financial performance of the club prior to marketing the club for sale. “We are very pleased to add such a beautiful, well known club to Affiniti’s portfolio,” said Steve Willy, a Founding Partner of Affiniti Golf Partners. “All of us have heard about Ford’s Colony for years and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to work with this great club. We know we can make a big difference for all concerned.” Affiniti currently owns or manages golf properties in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and the Bahamas.

Ownership Makeup of Ford’s Colony Entities ( April 2011)

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psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I am a Realtor & real estate consultant and would love to help you find a dream home and community in Williamsburg or sell your home in the area.
I post these articles to keep locals and prospective Williamsburg home buyers updated on area events and news.I am local resident and REALTOR,  known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both my extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and my expertise in the local real estate market. You can explore my websites, www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com  and www.MrWilliamsburg.com  , which were created as a comprehensive resource about living in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads, with the hopes of selling a house now and again. You can reach me here

Best,

John Womeldorf

Charlie Marcotte is Changing Lives – One Oil Change at a Time

Family Service Day Inspires Growth Through Service to Others

american-pride-automotive williamsburgLocal business owner, Charlie Marcotte, has captured the attention of government with the creation of Family Service Day, a program designed to empower small businesses through service to the community. Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman and State Senator Thomas Norment will both be joining American Pride Automotive on March 12th for the company’s next Family Service Day.

Marcotte’s vision extends far beyond his own business, American Pride Automotive, and its involvement with his brainchild, Family Service Day. The concept is simple: Employees of American Pride donate their time and talent to provide free car advice and service to single-parent families in the greater peninsula area. American Pride has been holding Family Service Days every six weeks since October 2009 and has serviced approximately 180 families experiencing firsthand the challenges of the economic downturn. Marcotte believes that Family Service Day is a microcosm of what needs to happen to truly change the lives of communities across the nation. Marcotte is actively pursing partnerships with other businesses and government officials to act as a catalyst to kick his community service project into a higher gear.

On Saturday, Congressman Wittman and Senator Norment will don jeans and spanner wrenches alongside American Pride employees to serve well-deserving Virginia families. Both officials hope to inspire other businesses to jump onboard and adopt ways to make ‘giving back’ part of their business model. Wittman stated, "Small businesses create roughly 70% of new jobs in this country each year. They will play a major role in our economic recovery and it is critical that Congress continues to incentivize their development". Norment added, “I applaud the creativity and dedication that a small business like American Pride has invested in its community and encourage other businesses to do the same”.

  • Where: American Pride Automotive
    5406 Airport Road, Williamsburg, VA

The Marquis Shopping Center in Williamsburg Has A New OWner

UPDATE March 16, 2011

A Texas-based shopping center developer is under contract to purchase the struggling Marquis at Williamsburg shopping center.

Paul Galanis, managing director of CB Richard Ellis Auction Services, said the developer plans to build out the 223-acre shopping center located off Route 199 in upper York County. The center is currently home to five stores, which includes a Target, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

"We are pleased that the auction process has identified a buyer for the property," Galanis said in a prepared statement. "This buyer has an exciting vision for how to successfully complete the development of this property, which will reenergize this institutional quality shopping center."

Galanis did not name the developer or provide details about the sale.

UPDATE March 10,2011
The planned auction of the  Marquis at Williamsburg shopping center in upper York County was abruptly canceled Thursday, an hour after its scheduled start.
The center was to be sold at a Richmond hotel to the highest bidder.

Doug Johnson, of C.B. Richard Ellis Auctions, indicated  that the seller made the election to cancel the auction and gave no further details.

There has been no buyer awarded the development according to Chad P Lesley , Vice President with CB Richard Ellis / Brokerage Services

UPDATE: March 10, 2011

CB Richard Ellis has been selected by Marquis Williamsburg RE Holding, LLC to exclusively manage The Marquis located at 165 Water Country Parkway in Williamsburg, VA.

Rebecca A. Birtcher, Real Estate Manager, will manage the property, and
Julie Alexander, CPM, RPA, Director of Asset Services, will oversee the property
transition and implementation of CBRE standard process

Marquis at WilliamsburgPaul Galanis, Managing Director of CBRE Auction Services announced  that “The Marquis at Williamsburg”, a 268,691-square-foot partially completed retail center located in Williamsburg, VA, will be sold absolute regardless of price, in an open outcry auction..

The Williamsburg, Va., shopping center that started the 2008 collapse of Indianapolis mall developer Premier Properties USA Inc. will hit the auction block in March, to be sold at any price offered.

The catch, however , is that any buyer must assume $30 million of county-issued bonds that financed construction of infrastructure for the 268,691-square-foot center. CBRE Auction Services is handling the March 10 auction for the lender that now owns the property, CIT Group Inc

The center includes a J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The Target Corp. store there is owned by Target and is not part of the auction.

The Marquis was the first domino to fall in the collapse and bankruptcy of Premier, a closely held mall developer controlled by Christopher P. White. Premier in 2008 failed to refinance a maturing, $65 million construction loan from CIT on the Marquis, leading to a default. That default led a mezzanine lender to declare cross-defaults on 10 other Premier centers in several states. CIT eventually foreclosed on the Marquis and now is seeking to get the center off its books

Situated on 223 acres, the retail development is located at the intersection of Interstate 64 and Route 199 (Exit 242-B) next to Water Country. 

The open-outcry auction will be held on Thursday, March 10th in Richmond, VA.  Registration begins at 11:00 a.m., and the auction commences at noon.  A certified or cashier’s check in the amount of $150,000 is required to bid. Property inspections will   More information on the auction can be found at www.cbre.com/auctionservices

 

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Smurfit Stone Acquisition Announced

Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., a packaging and paper-products maker with several plants in Virginia, is asking its shareholders to approve an acquisition by a smaller rival in a deal valued at $3.5 billion.

Smurfit Stone West PointNorcross, Ga.-based RockTenn announced its plans to purchase Smurfit-Stone late Sunday night, with the sale set to close in the second quarter of 2011, pending approval from shareholders of both companies and by regulators.

Smurfit-Stone has more than 17,000 employees, with about 500 in the West Point Va area. Most of the local jobs are not immediately affected by the acquisition.

The acquisition, which would create the second-largest North American producer of containerboard and coated recycled board.

Smurfit-Stone has about 1,100 employees in Virginia, including about 500 workers at a container plant in West Point and  150 workers at a container plant in eastern Henrico County.  Another mill in Hopewell employs about 290.

The merged companies will have annual revenue of about $9 billion.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

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"Advancing Together" The Virginia Peninsula Business Forecast 2011

imageADVANCING TOGETHER"  Peninsula Housing & Builders Association, along with The Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, The Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS and the Retail Alliance present, The Virginia Peninsula Business Forecast 2011, on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 8:00 am – 11:30 am, at the Hampton Roads Convention Center.  This event will feature Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors.

Following Dr. Yun’s presentation will be a panel discussion about the unique economic indicators to the Peninsula and the changes that are going to shape the future of our area.  Dr. William R. Harvey, President, Hampton University, will serve as the Panel Moderator.  Panel members will include:

Bob Aston · TowneBank
Wendy Drucker ·
Drucker & Falk
John R. Lawson, II ·
W. M. Jordan Company
Blount Hunter
· H. Blount Hunter Retail and Real Estate Research Company
Craig Quigley · Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance
Darryl Gosnell · Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance
Dana Dickens ·
Hampton Roads Partnership

Admission is just $20 in advance, $25 after January 10, 2011. 

To register for this breakfast visit http://www.advancing-together.com/Home.html

Tractor Supply Co To Open in Williamsburg ??

What’s the next retailer looking to locate in James City County ?

Costco you say ? Wrong, its tractor-supplyTractor Supply Company, the largest operator of retail farm and ranch stores in the United States. They have applied for a special use permit to open a store in the Norge area of Williamsburg VA

The proposed location is next to the Farm Fresh. Plans call for a 19,000 square foot retail store and a 15,000 square foot outdoor display and sales area for trailers and vehicles. To put things in perspective the average Wal Mart Supercenters are 197,000 square feet.

 

Want to Learn More ?
You can track the applications progress on the James City County Case Trak website here

The application (SUP-0026-2010) will be discussed in  a pubic hearing on:Wednesday, December 1, 2010, at 7:00 p.m.

The Planning Commission of James City County, Virginia, meets  in the County Government Center Board Room, 101-F Mounts Bay Road, Williamsburg VA

You can also watch the meeting on video after it occurs here

 

Tractor Supply Company has  over 948 stores in 44 states, and focuses on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers. The Company also serves the maintenance needs of those who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses.

Tractor Supply Company typically locates their stores in towns outlying to major metropolitan markets and in rural communities. Store locations in Virginia include: BEDFORD,  BRISTOL,  CHARLOTTESVILLE,  CHRISTIANSBURG,  CLAYPOOL HILL,  CULPEPER,  DANVILLE,  FARMVILLE,  FRANKLIN,  FREDERICKSBURG,  GALAX,  GLOUCESTER,  HARRISONBURG,  LEESBURG,  LEXINGTON,  LURAY,  MADISON HEIGHTS,  MARION,  MARSHALL,  MECHANICSVILLE,  MIDLOTHIAN,  ORANGE,  POWHATAN,  PULASKI,  ROANOKE,  SOUTH BOSTON,  STAUNTON,  WARRENTON,  WARSAW,  WINCHESTER,  WISE,  WOODSTOCK,  WYTHEVILLE

Here is what a typical store location looks like

tractor supply co norge va

 

  • What Do you Think about them opening in Norge ?  Please share your feelings in comments here

 

Location map of proposed location of Tractor Supply in Norge:

Map picture

Aerial View

Tractor Supply Norge Proposed

Pottery to Rebuild

Williamsburg pottery vaTo attract new shoppers and bolster sagging sales, Kim Maloney the owner of Williamsburg Pottery unveiled a plan Tuesday to construct a "European market" and relocate the giant retail complex along Richmond Road in James City County.
Williamsburg Pottery Inc. will spend about $20 million to add almost 147,000 square feet in three buildings to house its retail operations. The current store – a longtime tourist attraction – sprawls across an old warehouse packed with housewares, decorative items, nursery-grown plants, dried flowers, gourmet foods and framing services.

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The Pottery to Renovate

Williamsburg pottery vaThe Williamsburg Pottery Factory is set to announce a $20 million renewal plan next week.

SEE UPDATE HERE

It has been three years since the owners of the clustered retail warehouses in northern James City County last announced grand plans to renew the bazaar, which began as a roadside shop in the late 1930s.

Pottery management have scheduled a press conference for Aug. 31, 2010  to announce plans for a "Revolutionary Evolution" for part of the roughly 200-acre property off Richmond Road.

The concept is likely based on a special use permit approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2007.

 

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GOODWILL To Open New Store in Williamsburg VA

goodwill williamsburg va We live in expensive times. As prices go up and up and up even the normal discount stores are starting to feel a little pricey. For many of your basic household needs, you might well find a better deal at thrift stores . Think of them as permanent garage sales. You have to visit two or three locations to find your treasure, but when you do, it costs a quarter. Thrift stores are gaining ground as fashionable shopping options, branching out to new bargain seekers who previously shunned resale stores.

Now Williamsburg VA thrift shoppers will finally have a Goodwill store to peruse.

A new Goodwill retail store will have shoppers scurrying for bargains and fashions when it opens its doors on Thursday, June 24th at 8:50 a.m. at 1260 Richmond Road in the Williamsburg Shopping Center at the corner of Monticello and Richmond Roads.  

This 13,000+ square foot store, Goodwill’s first in Williamsburg, will have everything from fashions for the whole family, electronics, refurbished computer equipment, toys, books, house wares, furniture, and unique home accents. Store hours will be Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Goodwill attendants will gratefully accept your donations of gently used items during these hours at the donation drop-off center, next to the store. Donors can take over-sized items to the donation drop-off door at the back of the building, as well.
The first 100 shoppers to arrive on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, will receive a special prize that’s different each day! Don’t miss the great deals and giveaways.

Goodwill’s ten stores in Hampton Roads and outlet in Virginia Beach generate revenue to fund Goodwill’s job skills training and career development programs throughout Hampton Roads. Goodwill also operates a Community Employment Center in Portsmouth, where 200+ job seekers are helped every month. Last year, we transformed gently used clothing and other items into career development and support services for over 22,000 individuals in our region.  Visit www.goodwillvirginia.org to learn more.

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Google and SBA announce Tools for Online Success..

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Google announced a new partnership and unveiled "Tools for Online Success," an array of online resources and training designed to help small business owners harness technology to grow their businesses.  The "Tools for Online Success" site (http://www.google.com/help/sba) features tutorials, video testimonials, and tips from savvy small business people who have leveraged the web to become more efficient, more cost-effective, and more successful.

Google and the SBA unveiled the partnership during a forum held today at the SBA’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., and broadcast live online to press and small business owners across the country.  Susan Holt, Principal and Owner of CulinAerie, a recreational cooking school in downtown D.C., shared her experiences working with the SBA and explained how she has used online tools like Google Places and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to attract more aspiring cooks.

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New Gym to open in New Town

american family fitness williamsburg Well, the rumors are true  American Family Fitness ( of Richmond VA) is expanding to Williamsburg, where the company is opening a 23,000-square-foot gym in New Town

Brian Evans, AFF  chief executive, said he had been in discussions for at least a year, but then rents dropped and he went ahead and signed.

This is the chain’s first foray into Hampton Roads. AFF has a gym in Fredericksburg and seven gyms around the  Richmond VA area.

They expect to hire 40 employees to staff the Williamsburg VA location..

Learn more about American Family Fitness here

Read more about New Town here

Way to give back to the community ! Go American Pride

american pride Family_Service_Day A Williamsburg mechanic is doing his part to help people struggling to make their money go farther.

The Family Service Day is a simple concept –American Pride Automotives dedicated service staff  open the doors to single-parent families who need help with maintenance on cars and trucks. They  change oil, rotate tires, fix brakes, diagnose symptoms, top off fluids and adjust what is needed for FREE to those who can’t afford it..

Charlie Marcotte says many of his customers are single parents who’ve lost jobs because transportation problems made it difficult for them to get to work on time.

"I have people who couldn’t afford to fix their cars because they were having to rent a car to get to work on time.? It’s a downward spiral and it can be fixed very easily," he said. ?

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Ukrops / Martins makes Girl Scouts Cry !

martins-food Ukrop’s new owner, Martin’s Food Markets, is making little girls cry by calling an end to the long-running tradition of allowing Girl Scouts to sell cookies in front of the grocery chain’s 25 locations.

In a statement issued to the Girl Scout Commonwealth Council of Virginia, Giant chalked the change up to long-standing corporate policy.

A notice on the state Girl Scout Web site, reads. “As we make the transition to new ownership, Giant/Martin’s new sidewalk policy does not make provisions for sidewalk vending at any of their stores.”

 

 

  • What Do you Think ?
  • What’s Next ?
  • What Will You Do ?
  • Feel free to post your thoughts !
  • A new place to buy beer and Wine on Sundays in Richmond & Williamsburg VA

    ukropswilliamsburgva The 25 Ukrop’s stores acquired by Dutch supermarket giant Ahold will change their name to Martin’s this spring.

    In addition to the name change, the stores will open on Sunday and sell beer and wine.

    The changes were contained in a news release announcing the completion of the sale of Richmond-based Ukrop’s Super Markets Inc.to Ahold’s Pennsylvania-based Giant-Carlisle division.

    Ahold announced that the sale in December. The Ukrop’s family started the grocery chain in 1937 and built it into the dominant grocery retailer in the Richmond area. The stores put a high emphasis on customer service but did not open on Sundays or sell beer and wine.

    Ahold said the Ukrops family would continue to supply kitchen and bakery goods to the stores. Also, the stores will continue providing courtesy clerks who will take customers’ groceries to their cars.

    The Giant-Carlisle division had nine Martin’s stores in Virginia before the Ukrop’s acquisition..

    Why Williamsburg VA should care what happens in Dendron

    I am posting the following article forwarded to me by Dr. Chris Llewellyn, a Williamsburg, VA physician and resident.

    My hope is to spread the word about the issue. Read on to see what was just approved by the Dendron Town Council and what you can do about it.

    UPDATE Feb 3, 2010

    The Surry County Board of Supervisors on Thursday Feb 4th, 2010 unanimously approved land-use permits that could bring the state’s largest coal-fueled power plant to the rural county.
    The board signed off on rezoning and conditional-use permits for about 350 acres outside Dendron. While the bulk of the project would be in the town, plans call for a fly ash landfill and water intake facility to be built in the county.
    The action paves the way for the federal and state environmental agencies to begin testing on the site.

    Old Dominion is proffering to give the county access to up to 2 million of water per day, which could be a boon for future economic development ventures; to make road improvements to Route 31; and to donate $200,000 for improvements to the Surry County Library.
    Also, the project would add approximately $22.2 million annually in tax revenue to county coffers, company officials said.
    Several speakers opposed the project, saying toxins the plant emits would harm the environment and endanger the health of people living within a 30-mile radius.
    Once land-use applications have been approved, environmental agencies — including the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Army Corps of Engineers — will begin their respective environmental and air quality testing. As part of the permitting process, those agencies will hold additional public hearings in the community.

     

    Letter from Dr.  Christine Llewellyn, M.D. Williamsburg, VA

    The Old Dominion Electric Cooperative has plans to build the largest coal fired power plant in Virginia (1500 MW) in the tiny, rural town of Dendron in Surry County.  This is only 18 miles from Williamsburg, as the crow flies, which puts us right in the middle of the area that suffers the most serious effects.

    The soot particles, ozone smog pollution, sulfur dioxide and toxic mercury that this plant will emit will effect our health and the health of our children in terms of increased asthma attacks, heart attacks, increased blood pressure and arrhythmias, strokes, lung cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, premature death and reduced IQ in children.

    This same pollution will further impair the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding waterways, both in terms of mercury pollution and nitrogen loading, responsible for massive "dead zones" or algal blooms seen every year.

    The 14.6 million tons of carbon dioxide put out every year will contribute hugely to climate change which increases sea level rise in coastal Virginia, second only to New Orleans in terms of vulnerability to sea level rise.

    And the ozone smog will further hamper our area’s ability to come back into federal ozone attainment, which has serious economic development implications for all of Hampton Roads, including Williamsburg.

    If you think you may not want this new neighbor for Williamsburg, plan to attend the Surry County Board of Supervisors public hearing on this proposal Thursday, February 4 at 7 PM at the Surry Government Center, 45 School St, Surry, and speak your mind.  Don’t wish you had done it after it’s too late.

    Christine Llewellyn, M.D.

    Williamsburg, VA

    P.S. You may also sign an online petition opposing the plant here:

    Will Ukrops / Martins sell houses ?

    Ahold the Dutch company that purchased Ukrops recently has announced  that  Stop & Shop ( their grocery chain in the northeast)  customers will soon be able to buy or sell a home in its stores.
    The retailer has entered a five year deal with a Re/Max brokerage to open real estate offices in 15 of its Massachusetts supermarkets. "It’s something innovative that we thought we’d try and we’ll see how it plays out," said Faith Weiner, a Stop & Shop spokeswoman. "We’re optimistic that customers will appreciate it."
    Is Ukrops/ Martins next for this concept ?

    Lets see eggs- check, milk-check, house –check…

    Would you buy a house in a grocery store ?

    Would you stop and look at a kiosk to view what homes are for sale or what has sold recently ?

    Feel free to comment below !

    449 This post was authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf.  John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market.  His websites, www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com  and   www.MrWilliamsburg.com, were created as a comprehensive resource about living in Williamsburg and Hampton Roads, with the hopes of selling a house now and again.  You can reach him at 757.254.8136 or John@MrWilliamsburg.com.

    Not Another Shopping Center in Williamsburg , Pleeeez say no.

    Call me a slackard. With the recent glut of commercial space in the Williamsburg/ James City County Virginia area I had stopped paying attention to James City County Planning announcements. To my amazement an article in the VA Gazette announced a proposed plan to build  ANOTHER SHOPPING CENTER ! Kudos to the Gazette for scooping me !

    Continue reading

    FHA Mortgage costs to increase

    The  FHA (Federal Housing Administration,) which insures a large percentage of the mortgages issued in the market will announce more-stringent lending requirements and higher borrower fees today.

    Home purchasers who get an F.H.A.-insured loan will soon have to pay a higher initial insurance premium. The new premium will be 2.25 percent of the value of the loan, up from 1.75 percent. ( $1000 on a $200k mortgage)

    Continue reading

    Way to go Liz !

    FOR SEVEN YEARS, Inside Business has been recognizing women in Hampton Roads for their business acumen. It’s an effort to honor their achievements and encourage other women to trust in their abilities, strengthen their self-confidence and actively participate in the economic growth of the community.

    Liz Moore I take great pleasure in joining the Hampton Roads business community in recognizing one of its most accomplished professionals—and not just because she’s my boss. Liz Moore, founder of Liz Moore and Associates, a premier real estate brokerage firm she established in early 2000, is truly deserving of the honor that was recently bestowed upon her by Inside Business. On December 10th, Liz was recognized by Inside Business as one of our region’s top businesswomen at an award luncheon held at Norfolk Waterside Marriott. Liz was one of 25 businesswomen celebrated for their business and careers, which have significantly impacted our community and local economy. They were also recognized for their contribution to the success of others as mentors and models for all of us.

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    Carters Grove Owner buys his own Charlottesville farm at Foreclosure

    CNET cofounder and Carters Grove Owner, Halsey Minor’s $3.9 million, 200-acre Charlottesville area farm went to foreclosure auction . Can you guess who the auction’s top bidder was…

    CNET cofounder Halsey Minor.

     According to The Hook, Halsey bought control of his foreclosed loan back for more than he owed.

    Continue reading

    What Matters now ? Free e book for business owners from Seth Godin

    What does matter now? Ishita Gupta and Seth Godin asked seventy notable people  to respond with a short essay ( no more than 200 words) on a single word that defines what mattered to each of them right now.

    The result is an eBook called What Matters Now.

    The good news is that the PDF is free. You can view it in the embedded Scribd player above or you can download it here. Inside you will find articles by such writers as: , Chris Anderson, Martha Beck, Seth Godin, Chip and Dan Heath, Tony Hsieh, Ariana Huffington, Anne Jackson, Mitch Joel, Guy Kawasaki, Tim O’Reilly, Daniel Pink, Tom Peters, Dave Ramsey, Tim Sanders, Gina Trapani, Gary Vaynerchuk, and many others. The goal of the book is to demonstrate that big thoughts and small actions make a difference.

    Seth Godin  has authored ten books that have been bestsellers around the world and changed the way people think about marketing, change and work. His latest book, Purple Cow, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. It’s all about how companies can transform themselves by becoming remarkable.”Seth Godin may be the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age,” Mary Kuntz wrote in Business Week nearly a decade ago. “Instead of widgets or car parts, he specializes in ideas — usually, but not always, his own.” In fact, he’s as focused on spreading ideas as he is on the ideas themselves.
    If you own or run a business today you should consider reading his blog ( I do). I wanted to pass on his post from today.

    Now, more than ever, we need to shake things up.

    Newauthors

    Now, more than ever, we need a different way of thinking, a useful way to focus and the energy to turn the game around. I hope a new ebook I’ve organized will get you started on that path. It took months, but I think you’ll find it worth it the effort.

    Here are more than seventy big thinkers, each sharing an idea for you to think about as we head into the new year.

    Here’s the deal: it’s free. Download it here. Tweet it, email it, post it on your own site. I think it might be fun to make up your own riff and post it on your blog or online profile as well. It’s a good exercise. Can we get this in the hands of 5 million people? You can find an easy to use version on Scribd as well. Please share.

    2downloadfree Have fun. Here’s to a year with ideas even bigger than these.

    Here’s a lens with all the links plus an astonishing array of books by our authors

    Seth Godin

    Roper Brothers Lumber Company is closing in Toano

    As soon as I finished writing about four new restaurants that are opening in Williamsburg I get the news that Roper Lumber with locations in Toano, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Petersburg, Winchester and Lynchburg Virginia,  is closing its doors after today.

    The 100-year-old Petersburg based business was expected to  file papers to liquidate under bankruptcy court supervision.

    Roper Brothers Lumber Co. employees said the company planned to cease doing business as of 5 p.m. at its headquarters and its five other locations around Virginia.

    Rumors of the pending shutdown began circulating Thursday among building industry insiders, but company officials did not return repeated phone calls seeking confirmation and comment.

    Roper Brothers was incorporated in April 1909 by Philip R. Roper Sr. The company was operated for many years by his sons, Leroy, Philip Jr. and Thomas Preston Trigg "T.P." Roper. It played a major role in the construction of Petersburg’s Walnut Hill area, and the family for many years was prominent in local society and politics.

    In the past decade, under the leadership of Philip R. Roper III, the company expanded through acquisitions in Virginia and North Carolina. For example, when Roper Brothers bought Taylor Bros., the deal reportedly raised the company’s annual revenue to $190 million and increased its total workforce to more than 500.

    However, the downturn in the housing market has taken a toll on the company. According to industry sources, Roper Brothers was the 40th-largest building materials dealer in the nation last year, with $100 million in sales, 95 percent of them to professional builders. That marked a 31 percent drop from $145 million in sales the year before.

    Roper reported operating just five branches at the start of this year, down from eight in 2008, with a total of 175 employees.

    The company reportedly owns sizable tracts of timberland in central Virginia. According to Chesterfield County property records, it owns at least two parcels there totaling 587 acres, including the Lake Margaret property off Woodpecker Road.

    According to Uniform Commercial Code lien filings with the State Corporation Commission, Roper Brothers’ secured creditors include Wachovia Bank, Bank of America, NMHG Financial Services, GreatAmerica Leasing Corp., Mitek Industries Inc., Wells Fargo Bank and Seaboard International Forest Products LLC.

    SCC records also show that Philip R. Roper III was listed as debtor on a lien filed Nov. 17 by Patton Holdings LLC of Hopewell. That company is owned by Charles A. Patton, who is listed in SCC filings as a member of Roper Brothers’ board of directors. The SCC’s online lien records do not indicate the amount or terms of the debt.

    UPDATE:

    Roper Brothers Lumber filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 12/17/2009 .

    The company, which is owned by Phil Roper III, has between 200 and 1,000 creditors and lists assets of $10 million to $50 million and liabilities of the same range.

    William and Mary Grad named business person of the year

    Shawn Boyer ’94 was named Virginia Business Person of the Year by Virginia Business magazine this month.  Virginia Business gives the award annually to people who have transformed their companies, their industries or the state’s economy.

    shawn boyer snag a job Boyer, who majored in business administration, was recognized for SnagAJob.com, a job search site for hourly employment he founded in 1999. The site is for both job seekers and employers and has seen phenomenal success in its first decade. Virginia Business reported the company is the fifth-largest online job recruiter with annual revenues totally $20 million.

    Boyer, a graduate of Lafayette High School as well as William & Mary, came back to Williamsburg to start the company with the support of family and friends. The Boyer family name is well known in the community, his parents own the local jewelry retailer Boyer’s Diamond & Gold Source. SnagAJob later relocated to Glenn Allen, Va., just outside of Richmond, and now employs a staff of over 130.

    Despite the recession, 2009 has been good to the company.  In addition to the Virginia Business award, SnagAJob recently earned the number three spot on the Society of Human Resource Management’s list of “Best Small & Medium Companies to Work for in America” for the second year in a row.

    Prime Outlets is sold to Simon Property Group

    Simon Property Group Inc.  the largest publicly traded retail real estate company in North America, has recently signed a deal to acquire the outlet shopping center business of Prime Outlets Acquisition Co., one of the largest developers of outlet centers in the U.S.

    The deal valued at $2.35 billion includes the assumption of Prime Outlet’s existing debt and preferred stock. Under the terms of the agreement, Simon will pay about $700 million for the owners’ interests in the shopping centers, out of which 80% will be paid in cash and 20% in common operating partnership units.

    New Jersey-based Prime Outlets is a leading owner, operator and developer of outlet shopping centers in the U.S., with a portfolio of 22 outlet centers in prime locations such as Washington D.C., Baltimore, Orlando, and Williamsburg, VA. As of Jun. 30, 2009, the overall portfolio of the company was 92% occupied, generating aggregate annual sales of approximately $370 per square foot.

    With the acquisition, Simon has strengthened its leading position in the market and currently has 63 outlet centers spanning approximately 25 million square feet. Simon operates from five retail real estate platforms: Regional Malls, Premium Outlet Centers, The Mills, International Properties and Community/Lifestyle Centers. By the end of the third quarter of 2009, the company owned or had interests in 387 properties spanning 262 million square feet of gross leaseable space in North America, Europe and Asia.

    Simon Property Group currently has 11 properties in Virginia, spread all over the state.
    ■ Virginia Center Commons, Glen Allen
    ■ Apple Blossom Mall, Winchester
    ■ Martinsville Plaza
    ■ Valley Mall, Harrisonburg
    ■ Charlottesville Fashion Square
    ■ Chesapeake Center
    ■ Chesapeake Square Mall
    ■ Fairfax Court
    ■ Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets
    ■ Potomac Mills, Woodbridge
    ■ Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Arlington

    La Tienda- Opens Retail Store Williamsburg, VA

    La Tienda Williamsburg Virginia La Tienda.com will open its first retail location this week in Williamsburg, Va. Known as an online resource of imported Spanish foods in the United States, La Tienda.com will open its first new store on Dec. 10, 2009. In addition to offering artisanal food, wine and handcrafted ceramics from Spain, the store will host events aimed at engaging the community with Spanish cuisine. Cooking classes, wine tastings and demonstrations from the nation’s top Spanish chefs are some of the events already planned for the store’s first year.
    "After serving the U.S. market online for over 12 years, we are excited to provide our loyal customers with a retail experience that is worth the journey," says owner Tim Harris.

    Continue reading

    Anheuser Busch InBev sells breweries in Europe

    Anheuser-Busch InBev  agreed to sell breweries in nine eastern European countries to CVC Capital Partners on Thursday for an initial $2.23 billion.

    ab-inbev The sale is the third by the world’s largest brewer to a private equity company, after KKR’s purchase of South Korea’s Oriental Brewery and Blackstone LP’s  of its U.S. theme parks, made possible by improved capital and equity markets.

    AB InBev and CVC said in a statement that the price tag could rise to $3.03 billion depending on CVC’s return on investment, while AB InBev has a first right of refusal  re-acquire the business should CVC decide to sell in the future.

    AB InBev has now pushed past the $7 billion goal it had set for divestments to help pay for InBev’s $52 billion takeover of U.S. rival Anheuser-Busch completed last November.

    The brewer of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s has now actually raised a potential $9.5 billion after sales of assets in South Korea, China, Scotland and Ireland as well as packaging and theme park businesses in the United States.

    CVC will be acquire the operations of Anheuser-Busch InBev in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia.

    Calling all Williamsburg Business Owners

    Ever participated in a “Meetup?” Mr Williamsburg and The Liz Moore eTEAM has launched its latest marketing initiative – The Williamsburg-Peninsula Internet Marketing Group!

    img_invite11-4 What is it? A group of local business owners who will gather (physically) on a monthly basis to learn, collaborate, share ideas and generally network with a theme of building their online presence.

    This will not be your  average networking meet-up. There’s no guise of self-promotion. We’re focused on sharing valuable knowledge among local business owners.

    The group will also gather “virtually” at the meetup website, just visit http://www.meetup.com/Williamsburg-Peninsula-Internet-Marketing-Group/  to check us out!

    Our first meeting will be Wednesday, November 4th, from 4-5 at the Liz Moore building in Williamsburg ( Across from the Green Leafe) for wine and cheese and our organizational meeting. It’s free, so come and join us – sign up by visiting the link above.

    Busch Gardens sale imminent ?

    More rumblings of a pending sale of Busch Gardens/ Sea World

    busch gardens williamsburg  A media report says the private equity firm Blackstone Group is closing in on a deal to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev’s theme parks such as SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.

    The Wall Street Journal reported Friday — citing unnamed sources — that the firm is close to a deal to buy theme parks operated under Busch Entertainment Corp. The report says the deal is valued at between $2.5 billion and $3 billion. Neither  Anheuser-Busch InBev  or Blackstone is commenting on the news.

    The sale of the Busch Entertainment unit, which owns the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks, has been expected as part of InBev’s plans to pay for its 2008 acquisition of Anheuser-Busch.

    It has been rumored  a deal could be reached as early as next week, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

    Reuters has reported that – Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has put more equity into its bid for Anheuser-Busch InBev’s ( ABI.BR ) central and eastern European (CEE) assets, two bankers close to the deal said on Friday. CVC has lifted its equity contribution to 60-65 percent of the anticipated 1.4 billion euro purchase price to clinch the sale, which is expected in the next two weeks, the bankers said.
    InBev is beyond is more than halfway to its goal of selling $7 billion in assets this year. This week the brewer raised $870 million more by selling U.S. can and lid plants to Ball Corp.and Tennents Lager in Scotland and Ireland.

    Ukrops closing it’s Roanoke VA Store

    Ukrop’s Super Market has announced what some in the Roanoke VA community have anticipated for the past year.

    After closing one of it’s two Williamsburg VA stores in February of this year Ukrop’s Super Markets  the Richmond-based chain will close its Roanoke store Oct. 24, 2009 more than two years after it came to the city with a rock star-like debut.

    The announcement comes  after numerous announcements from  Ukrop’s President Robert S. Ukrop that the chain’s Roanoke store is underperforming. That store, which opened last year, had not caught on with Roanoke shoppers.

    With an underground parking garage, specialty foods and an in-store cafe, Ukrop’s rode into Roanoke with a successful track record as a family-owned chain that bases its business on Christian principles, closes its stores Sundays and does not sell alcohol.

    But the grocer’s fanfare in Roanoke was short-lived.

    Ukrop’s executives said in December that sales needed to improve significantly in Roanoke or the store could not survive. Ukrop blamed an undeveloped shopping center surrounding the Roanoke store for troubles drawing customers, along with competition from the area’s long established grocery chains, including Kroger and Food Lion. .

    Two separate supermarket industry publications have reported in the past two months that Ukrop’s is in talks with a buyer, possibly a private equity group, for its entire 28-store chain. Ukrop’s has declined to confirm these reports.