Monday was a big day for business with the ceremonial Ground Breaking of the new Hilltop Village Center that will contain the long-awaited Wegmans Grocery Store. A group of more than sixty gathered at the cleared field at the intersection of Telegraph Road and Beulah Street to commemorate this occasion and throw a little bit of dirt.
Hilltop Village Center will be a dynamic mixed used center with 250,000 square feet of retail stores and 100,000 square feet of office space. It will feature a pedestrian-friendly “main street” with stores, restaurants, and professional office space. This project will be a regional destination as Wegmans draws a trade area three times larger than competing grocers.
Michael Gailliot, current chairman of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce, and the President of Hilltop Sand and Gravel welcomed and conducted the Ground Breaking. Hilltop Village Center will be a regional destination and provide a huge economic benefit for this part of Fairfax County.
The Gailliot Family has owned this property for generations. They began with a chicken farm in 1917, turned it into a sand and gravel operation in the 1950s, started a clean construction debris landfill in the 1970s, and built an award-winning nine-hole golf course on part of the landfill.
Congratulations to the Gailliot family for reinventing this property one more time. And kudos to them for persisting with this project and dealing in a positive way with the delays and obstructions. Partnering in this project with the Gailliot family is Weingarten Realty, represented by Robert Smith. Coming from Houston, Robert mentioned the “compelling dynamics” of the Northern Virginia market and expressed their excitement of entering the DC market through development of the Hilltop Village Center.
Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, says the two questions he gets asked most are: When will Springfield Mall be re-developed? And when will the Wegmans be built? Now he can tell people that the projected opening of the new Wegmans is 2014.
In order to create Hilltop Village Center, the existing baseball field on the Hilltop property will be relocated on a plateau created above the construction debris landfill. At their own expense, the Gailliot family built and maintained the baseball field used by Pioneer Baseball. A new baseball field will be complimented by an adult soccer field, practice field, tot lot, and pavillion. These new recreational facilities will also be for the use of Fairfax County residents.