Branch Properties Sells Walmart-Anchored Shopping Center in Hampton Roads Region

Walmart and Marshalls anchor Mercury Plaza, which is situated at the intersection of West Mercury Boulevard and Power Plant Parkway in Hampton, Virginia, 21 miles north of downtown Norfolk.

Hampton, Va. — Branch Properties has sold Mercury Plaza, a 98,066-square-foot shopping center in Hampton. Walmart Neighborhood Market and Marshalls anchor the center, which is situated at the intersection of West Mercury Boulevard and Power Plant Parkway, 21 miles north of downtown Norfolk in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region. Branch acquired the property in 2018 for $25 million and invested $2.6 million to build a new building on the site. The Atlanta-based seller also sold four outparcels in 2019 for $9.7 million. Fain Hicks, Margaret Jones, John Owendoff and Lane Breedlove of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller in the transaction. The buyer and sales price were not disclosed.

South Huntsville growing with new Publix-anchored center

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle
Huntsville, Ala., Mayor Tommy Battle stands in front of a soon-to-be demolished strip shopping center on south Memorial Parkway making way for a new commercial development.

By Lee Roop | lroop@al.com

Huntsville leaders today celebrated a $24 million investment in a new south Memorial Parkway shopping center anchored by a Publix grocery. Mayor Tommy Battle called the area “another growth corridor … south south Huntsville.’

Publix will open in the new complex called “The Market at Hays Farm” in the fall of 2021, developers said. Demolition of the Haysland Square strip center will begin next week, lead developer Richard Lee said.

The center will ultimately house 150,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and “service tenants” in “roughly five separate buildings,” Lee said. The Staples store now on the property will remain.

The new development will help fuel what landowner and developer John Hays called a “renaissance” in the area. Hays and his family own the land they are developing into Hays Farm, a residential area of up to 1,000 new homes located behind the shopping center and next to growing Redstone Arsenal.

That development including a 9-acre city park, 6-acre lake and an entertainment area is expected to enter an already growing real estate market in the city. Fueling that growth is a large FBI center moving to the arsenal, a joint Toyota and Mazda automobile factory and growing aerospace, defense and technology segments of the economy.

“This is a dream a long time coming,” Hays said today. “We’ve met and talked with (homeowners’ associations) as far back as 15 years ago with this idea of what might happen here. The dream is now a reality, and I think you’ll see home prices reflect that as of 10 o’clock this morning (the time of the announcement).”

Battle said the new development will bring new homes, retail and office space together “in an urban development that makes people want to come together as a community.”

“This is going to be one of the best things to happen to (the area) in a long time,” area City Councilwoman Jennie Robinson said. “The ripples will go up and down the Parkway.”

The developer of the center, Branch Properties, is based in Atlanta. It has developed 45 Publix-anchored shopping centers around the Southeast, Lee said. Collaborating on the project is Florida-based Tailwinds Development, which has built more than 15 Publix-anchored centers.

Publix-anchored shopping center planned for Tucker

Officials from Branch Properties, Publix and city of Tucker broke ground Nov. 5 at the location of the future Hugh Howell Marketplace.

Officials from Branch Properties—an Atlanta-based private real estate investment firm focused on grocery store anchored shopping centers—said Hugh Howell Marketplace is slated for completion in late summer 2021 and will span 89,510 square feet on the corner of Hugh Howell Road and Mountain Industrial Boulevard at 4650 Hugh Howell Road in Tucker.

Officials from Branch Properties and Tucker said the shopping center will address the needs of residents of Tucker and the Smoke Rise neighborhood.

“This has been a long time coming,” said councilmember Pat Soltys. “We have now put another jewel in the ground for Tucker that ensures not only our economic stability and meets the needs of our consumers in the area, but also … helps people with job opportunities and helps people see other ways to meet their needs.”

The shopping center will be anchored by a 48,387-square-foot Publix supermarket, which is relocating from 4422 Hugh Howell Road. Branch Properties officials said the development will include space for a variety of retail and service offerings, and that Chase Bank has signed on to occupy space in the center. 

Branch Properties President Nick Telesca thanked Tucker officials for helping with the permitting process, and he said construction will begin Nov. 6.

“Hugh Howell Marketplace will bring an elevated and convenient shopping experience to the Tucker community, with opportunities to shop, dine and more, all within one development,” said Telesca. “We are grateful to the city of Tucker officials, our development partners and our partners at Publix who have made and continue to make this project a smooth process.”

Mayor Frank Auman acknowledged staff from Tucker and Branch Properties for continuing to work on the project throughout the pandemic.

He said, “$25 million in the middle of a pandemic and we’re about to go break ground because the future is coming. I’m grateful for our city council and city staff who also worked through [the pandemic].”