Retail Commercial Development



The region is a strong retail destination, with urban centers undergoing revitalization, opening opportunities for neighborhood and convenience retail and mixed-use development.

Market Strengths

  • Steadily growing consumer base: The consumer base or the retail trade area extends to the 45-mile area radius from the center of the Gateway Region, encompassing a population of almost 1.5 million. The consumer base is expected to grow at a rate of 0.93 percent per year in the six years to 2023 (source: ESRI, forecasts for 2018 and 2023).
  • Consumers have the cash: The median household income is $64,372, which is nearly 12 percent higher than the national median household income of $57,652 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau's 2013-2017 American Community Survey).
  • Reliable business location: Diversified in multiple industries and home to a major Army post, the region has a steady supply of consumers in a historically stable economy.

Retail Gap

The city of Colonial Heights in the Gateway Region represents a well-established and concentrated retail destination. The city pulls consumers living in the region, but also further than a 30-mile radius from its center. This is due to the fact that some retail needs of the population residing in the areas surrounding the region remain untapped or under-served. The following chart indicates the available retail opportunities within the Gateway Region's retail trade area (45-mile radius).

Retail Industry-Sectors (NAICS Code) Leakage/Surplus Factor
Motor Vehicle & Parts Dealers (441) -2.1
Furniture & Home Furnishings Stores (442) 3.8
Electronics & Appliance Stores (443) 11.0
Food & Beverage Stores (445) -1.7
Health & Personal Care Stores (446) 0.8
Gasoline Stations (447) -0.9
Clothing & Clothing Accessories Stores (448) 4.6
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book & Music Stores (451) -3.0
General Merchandise Stores (452) 2.1
Food Services & Drinking Places (722) -3.6

Note: The Leakage/Surplus Factor measures the relationship between supply and demand ranging +100 (total leakage) to -100 (total surplus). A positive value indicates that there is a leakage of retail sales outside the trade area or that customers residing in the trade area are shopping outside the area; whereas, a negative value indicates that there is a surplus of retail sales or that customers are pulled in from outside the trade area. Contact us for more information regarding retail and/or opportunities for a more detailed-industry level in the region. Sources: ESRI and Infogroup, 2018 data.

Retail Trade Area Data

Factor Gateway Region Area/30-Mile Radius Retail Trade Area/45-Mile Radius
Population 491,568 1,430,041
Households 178,190 539,934
Median Household Income $68,076 $64,372
Median Age 39.0 years 39.2 years
Taxable Sales $6.3 billion $16.4$ billion
Taxable Sales, 1-Year Percent Change 4.0% 2.9%

Note: The 30-miles radius area (from the center of the Gateway Region) includes all Gateway Region's eight communities, which are the counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry, and Sussex, and the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg. The 45-Mile radius area (from the center of the Gateway Region) includes the Gateway Region's eight communities and the counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Charles City, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, James City, New Kent, Nottoway, Powhattan, and Southampton, and the city of Emporia. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau's 2013-2017 American Community Survey and Weldon Cooper Center for Economic Policy Studies (University of Virginia)'s 2017 and 2018 Annual Taxable Sales estimates.

Sample Wages & Employment

Occupation Title (SOC) Workforce Area Average Annual Wage National  Average Annual Wage Workforce Area Employment  Workforce Area Extended Employment
Sales Managers (11-2022) $165,300 $140,300 1,193 247,582
Combined Food Preparations & Serving Workers, Incl. Fast Food (35-3021) $19,300 $22,100 17,468 40,670
Retail Salespersons (41-2031) $26,700 $28,300 20,640 84,096
Cashiers (41-2011) $21,200 $23,200 21,324 60,577

Note: Extended employment includes trainable persons currently employed in occupations with similar skills than the specified occupation. Source: JobsEQ, Second Quarter of 2019 (preliminary data excluded).

Local Opportunities

Walkable Shopping Districts
There's no shortage of interesting sights and character in the region’s most character-rich shopping districts. Downtown Petersburg is host to a diverse selection of shops and businesses in a restored national historic district that routinely serves as a set for the filming of colonial and antebellum era movies and TV shows. Downtown Hopewell is steps from the boating and swimming action on two rivers, and has its own collection of restaurants, shops, offices and apartments and entertainment options like the beautifully restored Beacon Theatre, which attracts thousands each month for music and entertainment shows. Districts have sidewalk-fronting spaces as well as greenfield sites and redevelopment opportunities.

Shopping Malls and Shopping Centers
The traditional shopping experience has a prominent presence in the region with the centerpiece Southpark Mall and surrounding retail center, and additional shopping malls in the region. These malls have had strong and steady sales over the years and serve as retail magnets for department stores. Numerous parcels, outparcels and buildings are available for retail development in key shopping locations in the region.

Mixed-Use Centers
A number of mixed-use centers have sprouted up in recent years, often anchored by the most modern grocery stores in the region. Retail parcels and building spaces are currently available in these areas. A number of publicly and privately owned sites are available for new mixed-use centers in very attractive locations adjacent to major employment centers, housing and transportation infrastructure.

Contact Us for location-specific market data and assistance with selecting the ideal location for retail or mixed-use development.