Williamsburg Pottery Unveils Redevelopment Plans

August 31st, 2010 by karenadmin

PotteryFactoryCourtyardThe Williamsburg Pottery owner unveiled plans Tuesday for a new, $20 million, 146,800-square-foot retail development along Richmond Road.


Kim Maloney, president and owner of the Williamsburg Pottery, and her assembled “dream team” of Project Advisor and former James City County Administrator Sandy Wanner, architect Tom Tingle of Guernsey Tingle Architects, Bill Strack, president of Henderson, Inc. and others, addressed a packed house at Tuesday’s press conference. Attendees included state Sen. Tommy Norment and state Del. Brenda Pogge.

In 2007, the Williamsburg Pottery received approval from county supervisors to tear down old structures on the portion of property that fronts Richmond Road and build a strip mall-type retail space. Maloney is now ready to go forward with the redevelopment, which will include three large buildings in a “European market” style, along with a courtyard equipped with a stage for performances and “pocket parks” and gardens.

Executive Vice President of the Williamsburg Pottery Peter Kao said the Pottery has always worked hard to give back to the community, and has brought revenue and jobs to the county. He estimates that 60 or more jobs will be created now and in the coming months as the renovation progresses.

He also said the new Pottery will bring even more tourists to the area. Although fewer people visit now compared to the Pottery’s heyday when it boasted millions of guests and its own Amtrak stop, the location still brings in 500,000 people a year, according to Kao. About two-thirds of those people are from out-of-state, he said.

“Change is never easy, but change will never stop,” Kao told the audience. “But our hardworking spirit will never change.” The plan is “our newest, biggest change in the Pottery’s 72-year history.”

Although the Pottery is proud of its humble beginnings, “we’re not all about the past,” he said. Kao joked that while he’s very excited about the undertaking, he’s also never been as stressed.

The Pottery is known for its garden nursery, ceramics manufacturing, custom framing, floral arrangements and imported goods at low prices. All the goods and services currently provided, along with some new inventory, will be moved to the new storefronts, which are located towards the front of the property along Richmond Road. A café, bakery and deli are included in the new plan, which will include indoor and outdoor seating.

The buildings in the rear, beyond the railroad tracks, will be used as warehousing once the project is complete.

The new Pottery building designs reflect the influence of Dutch Colonial architecture, Tingle told the audience after the artist’s renderings and wood model of the plan were unveiled. He said the design was “about creating a space,” and used the idea of individual storefronts, steep roofs and gables, iron baskets and other Dutch Colonial ideas along with the desire to offer people attractive places to gather.

Maloney said her late husband, James Maloney, had traveled extensively in Europe and this design was in keeping with his vision for the future.

She also highlighted the Jimmy Maloney Foundation, which contributes scholarship money to local students as well as charitable contributions to other organizations in the community, and said she had assembled her “dream team” to work on the project with the intention of keeping all the work with local firms.

Strack said he was looking forward to starting the project, and that “this is the most important project we’ve had the opportunity to build in Williamsburg,” and “it will be great for our economy.”

After the presentation, James City County Powhatan District Supervisor Jim Icenhour said, “I’m really impressed. I think they’ll get a fairly good reception from the board [of supervisors],” because the redevelopment plans are well-designed and “a real step up from the old [2007] plan.” The previous plan set aside an area for a large grocery store, which is no longer included.

The old plan was more like a strip mall, Icenhour said, and he thinks the designers have done a good job working within the limitations of the site.

Bob Harris, Vice President for Tourism at the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance, said “The plan is exciting. The Pottery has always been an important part of the destination experience here… this renaissance with exceptional construction and lovely streetscapes will be something new [for the tourist] to see.”

He thinks concerts and events at the outdoor stage area will also be a good draw.

Demolition will begin in September, with a groundbreaking ceremony in the beginning of December. Construction will be complete in spring of 2012, with a grand opening scheduled for April 5, 2012, the date which would have been Jimmy Maloney’s 100th birthday.

18 Responses to Williamsburg Pottery Unveils Redevelopment Plans

  1. Anonymous

    August 31, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Bill Strack is president of Henderson Inc the General Contractor. thank you

  2. Anonymous

    August 31, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Fact Check: Bill Strack is President of Henderson Inc. General Contractors, Richard Costello is President of AES Consulting Engineers!

    Everything else was nicely done!

  3. Anonymous

    September 1, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Oh boy, more retail. The politicians are excited because the new buildings will certainly spruce up the area and no trees will need to be cut down. But where will the customers come from? I hope the Pottery Owners spent as much time on their business plan as they did on the site plan.

  4. Anonymous

    September 1, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I cannot see how Williamsburg/JCC needs anymore retail space. Let us review:
    Prime Outlets – some vacancies
    New Town – more vacancies
    High Street – even more vacancies
    Williamsburg Outlet Mall – lots of vacancies (how is this place still open)
    The Marquis (York County): Was supposed to have 250 stores… it has 5.
    Williamsburg Marketplace: Ukrops bailed and the remaining stores don’t seem to be doing well. I believe this was supposed to become on the key shopping places on the I-64 corridor.
    No to mention the older, smaller shopping centers that are increasingly vacant and poorly kept.
    I would consider Prime Outlets and the Monticello Marketplace to be fairly successful. The others seem to cover a broad range of failure.
    It isn’t like the 80’s- early 90’s when Williamsburg was the place to shop. Every city on Peninsula and Southside has their own version of the town center/new downtown shopping.

  5. Lolovivi

    September 1, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    [quote name=”Hopley Yeaton”]Oh boy, more retail. The politicians are excited because the new buildings will certainly spruce up the area and no trees will need to be cut down. But where will the customers come from? I hope the Pottery Owners spent as much time on their business plan as they did on the site plan.[/quote]
    If the prices are REALLY good (i.e. low), the customers will be there. I’ll be there. Living paycheck to paycheck, I [b]LOVE[/b] a good bargain.

    It will be tough for them to beat the deals I have been able to get in WallyWorld, Target and Ross’s, though. The last time I was in the Pottery (admittedly, a number of years ago), I was shocked at how high the prices were and how unhelpful the employees were. I haven’t been back since. I’m willing to give them another shot, though.

  6. Anonymous

    September 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Hey Hopley…it’s not MORE retail because it’s already currently retail…really crappy, dilapidated, crummy looking retail that is an eyesore on richmond road…i fail to see how transforming it into something that is architecturally pleasing and attempting to bring this landmark back to relevance and a tourist destination is a bad thing…in fact it has the ability to spark a rejuvenation of that entire section of richmond road…just look at prime outlets right down the road on any given weekend and it proves that a landmark destination can expand successfully…i don’t think anyone is bemoaning the demolition of that hotel that was there before…frankly i’m tired of all the anti-change boo-birds in this town and in these comments…if you don’t think a place like the pottery in it’s current state needs to change for the better then you need your heads checked…the pottery owners are taking a risk to vastly improve a landmark in williamsburg that will generate much needed tax revenue and create jobs which is more than your constant complaining has accomplished…

  7. Anonymous

    September 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Well, it’s not really ‘more retaii’. Seems the pottery is mostly just giving their current operations a new, more attractive housing. Thank god it’s not another strip mall.

    I visited the pottery a couple months ago. If cleaned up and marketed well, they could have themselves a pretty good operation, I thought. But not really addressed to the wal-mart warrior. Let wal-mart and that sort fight over people who want to pay the absolute least for consumer goods. The Pottery couldn’t compete for that crowd, but they could do okay offering eclectic goods at good prices.

    But I wonder where are all the people last week who were defending the ‘yet another strip mall’ for that location.

    They’re including my stage or bandshell or whatever you want to call it according to the Norfolk paper. Now if they’d just trade some of that pocket park’ stuff for a dogwalk.

  8. Anonymous

    September 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    more minimum wage jobs. Hurray!! 😮

  9. Anonymous

    September 1, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Hey Burger,

    Those minimum wage jobs have a function in our society. It’s where our teenagers get their first work experience, develop their work ethic, and decide what kind of future they want out of life. Without minimum wage jobs, you would have no entry point for individuals to enter the workforce.

  10. Anonymous

    September 2, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Where are the brick buildings???

  11. Anonymous

    September 2, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Mr. Maloney would be proud of the plans.

  12. Anonymous

    September 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Sam…nobody but you wants others to spend their money on your dogwalk. You want a dogwalk…pony up the money for them to put one in. We all don’t care about your corgi…walk him in your own neighborhood. Democrat!

  13. Anonymous

    September 3, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    “Looking Forward” – You said it perfectly. I started at a minimum wage job at 15 and loved every paycheck. My friends never had money and I did. That was a great feeling at 15, 16 or 17 years old. It was a heck of a motivator in the future when I wanted something better in life and decided to get my college education and currently living the American Dream by my own measurement. These jobs are not going to pay for 3 or 4 kids and a home. They are not meant to. “Burger” – stop waiting for everyone else to give you the perfect job and start working for it.

  14. Anonymous

    December 14, 2010 at 7:07 pm


    THIS is PERFECT for the Pottery! With a target date of April 2012 Grand Re-Opening, this would REALLY boost the tourism in Williamsburg. Especially since nearby Busch Gardens Williamsburg will debut a NEW roller coaster that replaces the Big Bad Wolf, there will be TONS of tourists going through that area!!

    MAJOR MAJOR STUFF!! Can’t wait to see the new changes!

  15. Anonymous

    April 13, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I loved the pottery as a child and I still love the pottery! Looks like it’s going to be better than ever! How exciting!!!
    Now I won’t have to defend it’s honor any longer.

  16. Anonymous

    September 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Is there an update on new tenants for the revitalized Williamsburg Pottery, including restaurants? 😕

  17. Dennis Smith

    December 20, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I think without the old large buildings included as a public part of the pottery it will be doomed,because I have been coming there for so many years,and that was the reason,it wasn’t all flashy,like so many other places,it stood out from the crowd>>>
    The charm the old buildings behind the tracks had was the key ingredient to it success,,,you always felt like you were in a whole other wolrd,and not just another place filled with over priced things,that most average people wouldn’t buy anyway.
    Why not use both parts…at least the first 4,or 5 buildings closest to the tracks,and walking through the tunnel,well without that it just”IS NOT” the pottery>>>
    and never will be again>>>
    Sad to see a good thing die>>>
    Dennis Smith

  18. terri

    March 9, 2012 at 2:02 am

    My early memories of the pottery were wonderful times following my mom and sisters around and gettting to pick out a huge piece of handblown colored glass – which my mom still has – and the cement garden.furniture, statues, which we also still have – things you got at the pottery LASTED. And they were affordable. You can’t buy stuff like that now, made onsite like it was at the old Potttery. It’s all from other countries and overpriced. Those items we bought there over the past 40 years bring back very pleasant thoughts.

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