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    New Purcellville shopping center breaks ground for facelift

    photoFrom left to right: Purcellville Town Council Member Joan Lehr, Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro, White Star Investments Principal Rueben Bajaj and Walgreens Washington, D.C. District Manager Rick Connor break ground on Aug. 31 at the old Loudoun Valley Shopping Center now to become The Shoppes at Main & Maple. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/ Laura Peters

    Loudoun Valley Shopping Center was once among the only shopping centers in western Loudoun before the 1980s, according to Mike Holden, whose father owned the shopping center from 1966, when it was built, until 2000. Now owned by White Star Investments Principal Rueben Bajaj, the shopping center is to be renamed The Shoppes at Main & Maple and will be receiving a facelift along with the addition of a Walgreens at the former location of Al’s Pizza.

    “The entire center is going to be touched in some sort of way,” Bajaj said. “We are renovating the existing center, giving it a new facade, making it look newer and having architectural wrapping around the columns, taking down the center piece where the sign band is – basically we’re going to make it look pretty.”

    According to Holden, whose father Charles Holden Jr. was one of the four people in the partnership that owned the shopping center, started out with a Safeway and a Drug Fair. Over the years, many tenants left. And once the Blue Ridge Shopping Center, where Food Lion, now Bloom was constructed,  many stores moved to the newer site.

    When Holden purchased the shopping center from his father in 1992, 70 percent of the storefronts were vacant. But by the end of 1992, the stores were again occupied.

    It’s been 10 years of push and pull from town residents and tenants since Bajaj’s mother bought the shopping center in 2000.

    “There’s been issues, a lot of friction between my company and the town,” Bajaj said. “Those frictions eased over time and I think we all wanted the same thing. At the end of the day we came to an agreement of to what was acceptable to the town and what we could deliver.”

    According to Bajaj,  the main reason for the renovation of the shops is that he thinks most of the town is tired of looking at an “ugly center.”

    “I think we’ve all stared at it and said that’s a 1964 shopping center something needs to be done with it. I just think the prettier the town is when you come into it, the more at home you feel,” Bajaj said. “We’re going to make this place look like it should be and make it look like it belongs in Purcellville.”

    The plan is to start with a pad site for Walgreens to move in and then the next step is to expand the BB&T building – adding additional office space.

    “It’s very exciting,” Channing Jones, an employee of BB&T said. “It’s been a long time in the making.”

    On Aug. 31 Bajaj, Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro and council member Joan Lehr, along with Walgreens Washington, D.C. District Manager Rick Connor put their shovels to work on breaking ground on the new center.

    “It’s good for the tax pace, it’s good for jobs and it’s all the things that folks are asking for,” Lazaro said.

    Existing stores like the shoe repair shop, Eden Cleaners, the Purcellville Marketplace, BB&T, Mickey’s Barbershop and Vocelli will remain tenants in the new shopping center. During the construction process, each tenant will temporarily vacate so workers can remove asbestos and rebuild.

    “People are delighted. Even before I was elected people would say, ‘What are they going to do with that shopping center, it’s so sixties.’ So no doubt about it people are happy,” Lazaro said. “These people are making a great investment too, architecture is very nice, new jobs for the community, and Purcellville has a thriving tax base.”

    Comments

    Thank you Steve for addressing it, the real readers appreciate your efforts.


    It’s over for Purcellville.  You’ve just Leesburged yourself.  Tearing down Al’s Pizza was a HUGE mistake !  Oh well, enjoy your cookie cutter suburban town, because I’m through with it.


    purcellville wishes it could be leesburg.  but it never will be.


    Any of you companiess want to locate in Purcellville?  We’ll gladly condemn farmland, knock down historic buildings, and cut down ancient oak trees for you.


    Hey, I got a great idea, if any of these news stories get lots of comments critical of us, let’s just steer some comment spam that way to dilute the critics!  Louboutin, Tiffany, North Face, come and get it!


    Hey..what’s with all the Patrick Henry bashing?  I guarantee you this side of Pakistan, there aren’t all that many towns the size of Purcellville that have their very own Madrassa.  That Mike Farris is a real visionary and the fact that every couple of weeks I get Ben Weber’s whack Gazette rag..well, c’mon P-ville, we’re in a very special place.  Enjoy it.


    I love it when I read someone’s comments and realize they totally get it.  Here’s my favorite from this stream:

    Purcellville has been afflicted by the same illness that Leesburg caught years ago


    Purcellville has been afflicted by the same illness that Leesburg caught years ago…it thought that getting “chain” stores and restaurants made them special…so they booted out the old places that made it special, and welcomed the ugly “outlets”, and every chain known to man, and gave up what made it special. I would have thought P’ville would have learned a lessong, but it seems the citizens there think a Dunkin Donuts gives it credibility, in reality, it just makes P’ville look like every other small town in America…boring and similar…but it keeps the “newbies” happy…glad I left…it is sad to see it being duplicated again.


    Would be nice to see a Starbucks or a Dunkin Donuts there. Heard there was a DD there before, so I wonder what happened?


    The town doesn’t need Bob Lazaro either but there are enough people voting him back in so we are stuck with this mess.  Time to move.  We may as well just call it Patrickhenryville and let Mike Farris run the town.


    why does Purcellville need a walgreens next to a rite aid and 3 grocery stores (Bloom, Harris Teeter, and Giant) all within 1/2 mile of each other.  That is ridiculous.


    Purcellville is turning into Assburn and Sterling and Leesburg, GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!


    New Center = Higher Rents = More Expensive Haircuts @ Mickey


    Missing Al’s Pizza


    In 1992, I became the manager; not the owner.
    The Bajaj family were always great to work with, I wish them well with this endevor.Hope Purcellville enjoys Walgreens. Just what the town needs.


    I miss Al’s. It was the only pizza in P-ville I would eat. And do we really need a Walgreens right next to a Rite-Aid and across the street from Giant?


    BTW, I don’t “hate” anybody - for the record.


    “...ignores the fact that Ms. Clarke wasn


    And Phil Tran (Clarke’s unpaid PR consultant and third largest in-kind contributor) - huh??


    Maybe INOVA and Purcellville Copy can open up satellite offices there!


    Strange how no one mentions the barn that was destroyed on the Cole farm.


    Too bad Eric Deaver thinks that a run down shopping center is what a community desires. Perhaps he wants some burnt out buildings too! And, in his blind hate of Janet Clarke he ignores the fact that Ms. Clarke wasn’t on the Council when this was approved for rehabilitation.


    Will Al’s resurface in this new center?? So we lost an independent pizza joint? And we’re left with domino’s which you can see inthe background of the photo…great.


    The new Purcellville…brought to you by Janet Clarke - Candidate for BOS.


    Purcellville was a beautiful town. Was.

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