GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — If you’re a Goochland County resident craving a pumpkin spice latte, you’re in luck. Plans for the county’s first stand-alone Starbucks are officially in the works.
This project is part of a large-scale shopping center plan, the Oak Hill East Shopping Center, which is actually located closer to the Short Pump area of Henrico County than it is to Goochland County’s government and administration buildings.
Goochland County Principal Planner Tom Coleman told 8News that the county is excited about the project.
“A high-profile project like this coming to the county,” Coleman said. “It really sort of helps put this area on the map.”
Everyone recognizes Starbucks’s iconic green logo and most people have gotten a caffeine boost sipping on the popular chain’s drinks.
“It’s always exciting when you have a popular brand like that coming to the county,” Coleman said.
However, this isn’t necessarily the case for everyone. The plan to bring the Seattle-based coffee company — such a big commercialized chain — to the famously agricultural region of central Virginia has been met with controversy from some residents, who fear the county is losing its small-town charm.
Part of Goochland County’s development mission is to keep the community 85% rural. Officials told 8News that this zone falls in the 15% already revving-up for large-scale growth.
“This is an economic development area and part of our designated growth area,” Coleman said.
The project as a whole has been in the works since 2019. It’s strategically tucked near Patterson Avenue and Route 288 — spearheaded by local developers in a space intended for construction and development.
“This is a part of the area that’s an intended to be an economic driver,” Coleman explained.
Many recognize the rapid expansion happening in the community, such as a Chick-Fil-A that recently opened nearby. There’s also a polarizing e-commerce fulfillment center called “Project Rocky” and a new Honda dealership just over the Henrico County line.
Residents haven’t shied away from espresso-ing their thoughts. Some have vocalized their favor towards the idea of a quicker Starbucks trip, others are pushing people to support local businesses instead. Either way, Goochland County leaders hope the big-ticket business will pave the way for more growth.
“It’ll bring additional attention to it,” Coleman said. “Which, I’m sure, will lead to future economic development.”
Plans for the Starbucks are still in the early stages, but officials told 8News that once proper permits are filed, the ball will get rolling quickly and construction can begin.