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Renovation, new stores on the way for McLean’s Chesterbrook Shopping Center

Construction has begun on a renovation of Chesterbrook Shopping Center in McLean (courtesy Federal Realty)

(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) Construction has begun on a substantial renovation of Chesterbrook Shopping Center in McLean.

Barricades, signage and other equipment started emerging at the Safeway-anchored retail strip in mid-August, reader Mike Whatley told FFXnow.

An overhaul of Chesterbrook has been anticipated since longtime property manager Federal Realty Investment Trust took ownership of the 90,000-square-foot property at 6214 and 6246 Old Dominion Drive in May 2021, calling the site “well-positioned for future growth.”

Federal Realty confirmed to the Washington Business Journal last week that construction is underway on a $8.5 million “facelift” for the shopping center, which was originally built in 1967, according to Fairfax County property records.

According to the WBJ report, Federal Realty has no plans to turn Chesterbrook into a dense, mixed-use neighborhood. Instead, the focus is on modernizing the building facades and introducing new outdoor amenities akin to its recent renovations of Birch & Broad in Falls Church and Old Keene Mill Shopping Center in Springfield.

Here’s more from the WBJ:

“Today, customers are more likely to spend time with friends and family closer to home,” a trend Federal hopes to tap into by creating a “destination” within the community, Deirdre Johnson, the company’s senior vice president of asset management, said in an email.

Federal, which managed the property for 19 years before buying a majority stake in 2021, envisions a comprehensive modernization of the façade, storefronts, landscape, lighting and outdoor gathering spaces, as well as the addition of new restaurants and retail. Construction has already begun and will be completed in phases over the next two years.

The renovation has already shaken up the tenant mix at the shopping center.

The growing number of vacancies at Chesterbrook, including a 9,764-square-foot space that has been empty since Rite Aid shuttered, is part of an intentional “remerchandising” plan, per the WBJ.

In addition to the smoothie chain South Block, newcomers to the mall will include Kosmo Nail Bar and the clothing store J. McLaughlin.

Kosmo announced in May that it would be expanding to Chesterbrook, adding a second McLean location to its existing site at 1365 Beverly Road. The nail salon is expected to open this fall, according to Federal Realty’s website for the shopping center.

After previously telling FFXnow that it hopes to open next summer, South Block is now projecting a spring 2023 opening. J. McLaughlin didn’t return a request for comment.

Johnson told the WBJ that Federal Realty “is working on ‘several’ letters of intent with additional new prospective tenants.”

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