Fredericksburg, VA, an independent city of 29,000 residents, is situated on the Interstate 95 corridor in central Virginia nestled between Stafford and Spotsylvania counties, midway between Washington, D.C. and the state capital at Richmond. Bordered on the north by the Rappahannock River, Fredericksburg was a prominent port in Virginia during the colonial era and experienced two significant battles during the Civil War due to its strategic location between the opposing capitals. Today, tourism is a major component of the local economy, adding over $171 million annually in revenue with the many historic sites attracting 1.5 million visitors each year. Convenient access to the nearby larger metropolitan areas is provided by Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1, affording north-south transportation, and by VA Route 3, running east-west. Fredericksburg is also served by Amtrak and the Virginia Railway Express for rail service to Washington, D.C.
Fredericksburg has seen tremendous growth in recent years, having ranked as Virginia’s fastest-growing locality since 2010 with an increase in population of more than 15%. The region offers a highly educated workforce with almost 40% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or better. The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg is one of the city’s major employers, having expanded with two satellite campuses and serving more than 5,200 students. The university is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as sixth among public southern universities. Money Magazine and Forbes also include the University on their lists of “Best Colleges.” An additional major employer in the area is Mary Washington Healthcare, a 440-bed, full-service regional hospital featuring a Level II Trauma Center, surgical and critical care divisions, and a dialysis unit. A regional office of GEICO employs a staff of 2,800 on its 44-acre campus in Fredericksburg.
Fredericksburg is home to several major commercial centers adding to the vibrant business community of the city. Historic Downtown Fredericksburg is a 40-block area containing more than 350 original 18th and 19th century buildings and offering more than 100 boutique stores, antique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Nearby is the proposed Liberty Place, a new mixed-use redevelopment project which will include 49 luxury condos and 55,000 square feet of commercial space with delivery slated for late 2017. Just south of the river lies Celebrate Virginia South, a commercial center anchored by Wegman’s Grocery, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, and the Fredericksburg Expo Center which hosts more than 250 events each year. Adjacent is Central Park, one of the largest retail centers on the East Coast, with over 90 retail and entertainment venues and 50 restaurants in more than 2.4 million square feet.
This market report features six shopping centers in Fredericksburg. In the Fredericksburg submarket, triple net inline asking rents average in the mid-teens per square foot which is an increase of 13.7% over the previous year. The vacancy rate for the submarket for Q4 2016 stands at 5.3%, down from 5.5% in Q3 2016 with an overall increase of 0.8% for the past year.
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