Cathy Jett is the assistant business editor at The Free Lance-Star, and specializes in covering the area's retail scene.
It’s Wish List time: Which businesses do you want to see here in 2013?
Still pining for Trader Joe’s?
What about P.F. Chang’s, Whole Foods or an Apple store?
This is the time of year when I ask readers to let me know which restaurants, retailers and other businesses they’d like to see open in the Fredericksburg area.
Last year’s annual Wish List poll included two retailers that made the top 10 who did, in fact, come here this year. They’re the Barnes & Noble in Central Park and the HomeGoods located on an out parcel on the Spotsylvania Towne Centre property.
Others that made the list included Trader Joe’s, a perennial favorite that’s come in first place since the Wish List started in 2003.
Are you listening, T.J.’s?
Cheesecake Factory came in second. Alas, the restaurant known for its extensive menu, generous portions and namesake cheesecakes doesn’t appear to have plans for this area. But one did open just up the road in Potomac Mills shopping complex in Woodbridge.
Brent M. Heavner, spokesman for Prince William’s economic development department, credited the county’s demographics. It ranks nearly neck and neck with Stafford County in median income and growth rate, but has about three times the population.
“Retailers like dense markets,” according to a report Washington-based The Riddle Company completed for Stafford’s economic development department.
The other three retailers rounding out the top five places were Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble and an Apple store. HomeGoods snagged sixth place, followed by P.F. Chang’s, Harris Teeter, White Castle and Einstein Bros. Bagels.
Not all the names submitted last year were for major retailers, however. Some suggestions were general, such as for more bars, clubs and cloth diaper delivery services. Others wanted more businesses that would offer well-paying jobs, while a handful specifically asked for more retailers and restaurants in Stafford County.
The Wish List will operate the same way it did last year. You can send your suggestions to me by Dec. 27 either by e–mail, the address is email@example.com, or by mail to my attention at The Free Lance-Star, 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, Va. 22401.
You must include the name of the business you would like to see here, a short explanation of why you’d like to see it open here, and your name and contact information.
On Dec. 28, there will be a poll on fredericksburg.com’s Facebook page featuring the most requested businesses, so please check back then to vote for your favorite.
I’ll have an article on Jan. 5 about the Top 10 most popular, and will list the top 20 on my blog.