Shoppers at the Old Keene Mill Shopping Center in West Springfield are seeing signs of change as the center is getting a face lift.
The project started March 18 and will continue into the late fall this year. New features will include upgraded seating areas outside Starbucks and the Mezeh restaurant, a double-sided stone fireplace, new signage and landscaping. Federal Realty, long-term owners of the center, are collaborating with ARTSFAIRFAX to include an interactive component at the center as well.
“Federal Realty continually invests to enhance our properties to best meet the desires of the customers and community it serves,” said Sarah North, director of marketing at Federal Realty in Charlottesville.
There is a local group that meets for coffee at Starbucks in the mornings, and they usually sit outside, even in the colder months, so for now they are looking for other options. The project is fast tracking a spot for outdoor diners though in front of Starbucks, and it is expected to be open in May, said North.
“This space will remain active throughout the construction period providing customers a place to gather and enjoy takeout food while the outdoor cafes are under renovation,” she said.
Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) has been in talks with Federal Realty about the renovation and is happy with the plans. “I’m excited about the improvements being made, from the signing and façade changes to the new gathering spaces for our residents,” Herrity said.
Bailey Dawn at Honest Soul Yoga has a fence partially obscuring her entrance, but said it isn’t in the way. Yogis are known adjust easily. “The final plans seem beautiful and we're excited for the finished project,” she said.
Parking may get challenging throughout the project. The lot is big, but it may require walking a longer distance though. Springfield resident Jan Speerstra wasn’t too concerned as she walked to her car, pointing at the dated shopping center across Rolling Road. “The other side would have been better for renovations,” she said. That shopping center is in the Braddock District and got some new restaurants and stores in the recent past, but no renovations as of now.
Exiting from the center to northbound Rolling Road continues to be a challenge due to the side road and steep ramp onto Rolling Road, but that fix isn’t part of this project. Cars will continue to navigate this on the side of Whole Foods and down a steep ramp, occasionally scraping the bumper to get out on this main road.