UPDATED: Southern Shores approves The Marketplace renovations, paving way for a Marshall’s

Owners of The Marketplace plan to tear down the wing to the left of CVS. [Caroline Walker photo]

UPDATED, Sept. 8, 3 p.m.: The Southern Shores Town Council on Tuesday approved renovations at The Marketplace shopping center along US 158 that will allow Marshall’s to open a location in 2023.

A section of the western wing of the mall built in the late 1980s will be torn down and replaced with the discount retailer, along with removal of a green space and revamped parking lot.

The proposal generated some opposition from town residents. Despite concerns over the change in aesthetics to the property, council members noted that town ordinances allowed for the changes and voted unanimously to approve.

A long-discussed remake of The Marketplace in Southern Shores appears to be moving towards reality, while one popular eatery in the shopping center that fronts U.S. 158 is calling it quits ahead of the changes.

According to a report by The Southern Shores Beacon, the Southern Shores Planning Board heard an initial proposal Monday that includes tearing down the wing of shops next to CVS, which would be replaced with a 24,000 square foot Marshalls store and another 6,000 square foot retail space.

The Marketplace is owned by Ashton Properties, which presented redevelopment plan that would demolish 19,775 square feet of existing shops and “reconfigure” about two acres of existing parking lot, adding 27 new parking spaces.

Marshalls is owned by the parent company of T.J. Maxx and Home Goods and has more than 1,000 stores in the United States and 61 stores in Canada. Three Marshalls stores are in the Hampton Roads area, including one in Chesapeake.

Ashton Properties Company representative L. Karen Partee also said the developer would construct a 6,000-square-foot retail outlet for a “national soft goods retailer”.

Partee also said they would assist one impacted tenant, Coastal Rehab, with relocating. But another tenant, Barrier Island Bagels, announced in July they apparently are not part of future plans for the shopping center.

Barrier Island Bagels has won OBX Today’s Best of the Beach category for Best Bagels four of the last five years. A Facebook post later said all of their restaurant equipment was immediately up for sale.

According to Partee, the Marshalls project is “phase one of trying to get the center where it needs to be.”

Ashton intends to do a “good bit of redevelopment,” she told the Planning Board, to “upgrade” and “right-size” The Marketplace, which has “far too many” small shops, many of which are currently vacant.

If the town and Ashton come to terms on the project, demolition could start as early as the end of this year, Partee told The Beacon after the meeting.

She projected a tentative opening date for the Marshalls store of spring 2023.

Ashton’s plans must be reviewed first by the Southern Shores Planning Board, which would make a recommendation to the Town Council for final approval.

Planning Board members expressed concerns yesterday about increased stormwater runoff into the canal behind The Marketplace caused by the construction, which will increase ground coverage by roughly 10,000 square feet.

Board member Robert McClendon said he would like “to see some infiltration system before water goes into the canal.”

Board member Ed Lawler agreed, saying “We shouldn’t be straight-piping any water straight into the canal.”

“Straight-piping” into the same pipes that were installed in 1987 when The Marketplace was built is what is currently occurring with stormwater runoff around the shopping center.

Partee said Ashton has not integrated a new stormwater-runoff treatment plan into its project, but it is looking at using permeable surface in the parking area.

“If stormwater changes get put on top of this project,” she said, “it could cripple it.”

In response to a question about the appearance of the Marshalls department store and the adjacent 6,000-square-foot shop, Partee said that the developer would not try to “match up” the new facades with existing building facades. She said the single-story structures would most resemble the appearance of Food Lion.

Ashton will make a full presentation about its Marketplace redevelopment plan at the Planning Board’s August 16 meeting.

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Sam Walker was news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.