Brambleton Town Center: An Ashburn Amenity in Loudoun CountyFriday, December 21, 2007
Grass Roots Community Efforts WORK: Overcoming Negative Perceptions of Market Areas or Slow Conditions
(reprinted from 11.10.2007 at www.activerain.com/Kae.Davis)
I was cruising the internet today and looking up information about my local area. As you all know, I am right outside DC in Northern Virginia. I am fortunate enough to live in and work around a wonderful newly developing town called Ashburn. In that, I am happy to be directly involved with many of our local neighborhood communities, including one of my favorites: a place called BRAMBLETON.
The blog spot I found at brambleton.wordpress.com had a post by the writer “brambleton”. To my chagrin and surprise the writer publicly said,
“I wonder how Brambleton developer would like to categorize or promote shopping center as. Some how, it is not visualized to be an attractive destination. In fact, shops are not even similar to a strip mall where you would typically find nails, party or lower end decorative shops, etc. On the other hand, there are a few specialty shops and are not meant to attract masses. Barnes & Nobles delayed their presence by a year or more. Here is an interactive map of what is expected soon, all shops in phase I are on the right frame of this page: Brambleton Shops. Posted in 20148, brambleton, commercial, shops |
Response: No Comments”
Now, my first though on reading the post was whoever wrote that must be disillusioned with the present market conditions. It occurred to me that if they had built early enough in Brambleton’s history or had purchased in late summer or fall of 2005 before the market dropped, that the tedious but steady progress made by the Brambleton Town Center to complete their ambitious project has frustrated them. However, this type of caustic post, rooted in discontent, DOES NOTHING TO BENEFIT THE AREA MARKET CONDITIONS.
The blogger “brambleton”, just as we all are, is probably less angry and more anxious to see the plaza become a HUGE success for probably one undisclosed yet fundamentally important reason. Once the Brambleton Town Center Shopping Plaza features and related amenities are finished, they will undoubtedly increase property values for all homes in our Ashburn area. Moreover, a thriving commercial use venue so close to home will most directly positively affect all the current property owners in Brambleton. To those ends, I agree that the property agents placing business in Brambleton must be incredibly careful to select those restaurants, shops, and retail establishments that will draw business to our area—but also to keep in mind that the store they approve ought to be tailored to benefit primary use by our residents.
The discrepancy, then, comes into play when you think about the benefit of “brambleton” posting blog commentary that specifically damages or disregards the truth about our Brambleton lifestyle or current market situation. Representing Brambleton to the world (and ultimately suggesting the tone and tenor of all Ashburn and Northern Virginia residents), they have negated the positive plan of our area, have done deliberate public harm to our retailers, and have set forth their opinions of our marketplace as popular opinion. As ambassadors to the world about Brambleton (by virtue of their self declared web title position), they have essentially cut their own nose of to spite their face by not choosing the words more carefully to aid the developers in improving our collective situation.
To counteract and voice a comment of positive support to Brambleton businesses and residents, I crafted the following response. Whether or not this “freedom of speech” dissenting opinion comment will be approved by their moderation, I’m not certain, but I wanted to share my thoughts here with active rain on what to do when you find a negative opinion floating about damaging the reputation of your client’s markets. Aggressively support positivism. Befriend the people you want to see stay in business—and be loyal patrons. Speak kind words about your neighbors, your neighborhoods, and friends. Don’t be afraid to be objective disseminating information—and be proud to indicate when what you have said is wholly subjective opinion. Please see below, and if you are ever in the area and are interesting in investing, I know a great agent.
Kae Davis, Licensed Virginia Real Estate Agent and Concerned Neighborhood Watch Citizen
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Brokerage Ashburn Dulles
44050 Ashburn Shopping Plaza
Suite 163 of the Ashburn Village Shopping Plaza
Ashburn, Virginia 20147
COMMENT POSTED IN REPLY TO CRITICISM OF BRAMBLETON TOWN CENTER:
Wow–we love the Brambleton Town center and have such a different perspective.
As the host of a residential shopping plaza, Brambleton residents are utilizing so many of the Brambleton Town center features! Though we are all a bit frustrated with delays building the center and all the new construction along Ryan Road and Loudoun County Parkway is slowing us down, we have access to some pretty wonderful stuff already placed and open.
*Harris Teeter (24 hour, Pharmacy, Floral Department, Bakery, Seafood and Meat, Organic Produce, Sushi Bar, and $0.99 SUBS are the BOMB)
*Caribou Coffee (drive through option, free wireless Internet access, and with some of the best caffeine fixes around)
*My Thai (the most delicious Thai food in Loudoun county, atmosphere or a Washingtonian elite Night spot, best Mojitos in Loudoun)
*Subway (which is everywhere but they sure are handy when you want and easy place to grab a six foot sub for a party crowd)
*California Tortilla (hundred of hot sauce flavor combinations, fresh fast food, and big tables for large groups or families with children)
*Nick’s Corner Grill (with an upscale gourmet atmosphere and quiet HUGE screen televisions it’s the perfect wife-meets-football place in town, late nights, full bar)
*GO BANANAS Toy Store (absolutely one of the most thrilling educational and retro toy stores, clever “kids pick” toy storage for birthday and holiday selections–keeping everything a surprise because you come back without the children)
*Edible Arrangements (with stylized fresh fruit arrangements that look like floral bouquets, the perfect gifts to send in Brambleton for fun or as treats all over the nation)
*UPS Store (easy package drop off)
*Hair Cuttery (ask for Wendy or Hannah and bring pictures, great men’s barber shop cuts, excellent to keep our growing kids looking well coiffed during all the seasons)
*Nail Salon (Pedicures and Manicures, Massage Chairs-but make an appointment if you want to get in)
*Fox Cinemas (sixteen screen stadium seating with rocking recliner seats in an Art Nouveau setting, hot pizza pretzels sound gross but taste amazing for a different movie tradition treat, frozen cokes for the ideal brain freeze)
*Chevy Chase Bank (yes–they DO have a drive up ATM)
*Leesburg Canine Country Club (a dog friendly Adult Recreation 26 acre area right down the road from us-take Ryan to a right on Evergreen Mills and it is just a hop skip and jump down on the left
Combine these destinations already open with the coming soon attractions and the Brambleton planners really do seem to be making Brambleton a very easy place to live. [Barnes and Nobel, a pain your own pottery location, a chocolate shop, a paper goods store for stationary and whatnots, a Birkenstock shop for those comfortable casual wearing, a specialty closet shop that will help all residents get their storage life happily in order are all coming attractions.] If we just had a “First Watch” and “Sweet Tomatoes” franchises (plus a really nice gas station), it would be an ideal daily living situation.
[Did I mention I work with investors and also commercial clients?]
** Please note I regretfully forgot to mention the wonderful place I go most often for Lunch in Brambleton, FROOTS. I’m addicted to their fresh juices, awesome salads and wraps, and their delightful ownership–it is such a friendly establishment!
I will admit to have the Art and Frame store connection be one of our first opened features was a bit off in their use planning, but the owners are such nice and wonderful people that I believe in the long run, once all is said and done, we will have supported their business and the Brambleton Town center will be happy to have them.
NOTE: The Brambleton ice cream shop “Coldstone Creamery” is struggling in comparison to other franchise establishments now, too. The corporation has built a lovely new shop up the road in the WEGMANS plaza. Under a different franchise (owner so those of us addicted to true Coldstone can still get our mix-in fun), guests with kids to the new store also have the benefit of a children’s playground outside. As a whole, however, the Brambleton Town Center is still A+.
Local amenities are everything. If you can’t find whatever comfort food, solution product, or specialty item you need, we are so close to the areas other competing plazas (South Riding, Shellhorn Road, Ashburn Village Plaza, Ashburn Commons, the Dulles Town Center, Broadlands, South Walk, the newly building Loudoun Valley Estates, Waxpool Road, Farmwell Road, and the Auto Park by the giant Wegmans and Target Plaza off Pacific Boulevard and the 28 Waxpool fly over exit) that you can BE to what or where you need in under 15 minutes. [Home Depot, Home Goods, Bloom, Giant, Safeway, CVS, Walgreens, 100 more restaurant choices from fast food to four stars, hotel suites, local wineries or bed and breakfasts, Dulles International Airport, the Dulles Greenway (267 Toll Road), whatever.]
Patience is a virtue, and regardless of delays or any perceived aesthetic discontinuity right now while we are under construction Brambleton has a huge set out here of its “Brambletonian Lifestyle” fans. Visit http://www.brambleton.com for more information or stop by the Visitors Center. One last perk and thumbs up for our specific local area? Brambleton is a neighborhood full of friendly professional and personal friends.
Kindest regards to all Brambletonians,
Kae Davis, Happy Resident