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Revitalization plans for Aquia Towne Center may be up in the air again, but local residents are also looking ahead to The Garrison at Stafford, to satisfy their community needs.

As this summer draws to a close, residents can anticipate a future summer when a luxury movie theater will be open in Stafford County.

Initially referred to as Stafford Village, The Garrison at Stafford is currently an undeveloped, 57 acre-property in the 400-block of the south side of Garrisonville Road, at the intersection with Travis Lane. However, a mixed-use development is on its way.

“It is moving along,” said Stafford County Supervisor Laura Sellers, who represents the Garrisonville District.

Sellers said that the plan has always been to work on stormwater infrastructure in conjunction with the current Garrisonville Road widening construction.

The construction going on near the opening of what will be The Garrison is essentially prep work for the widening of Garrisonville Road, she said, preparing entrances and the land, as well as utility needs. The plan has been for developers to work on the front two buildings and Regal Cinemas, at the same time, she said.

The Garrison is expected to open in the summer of 2018. It will include The Regal Garrison 12 high-end movie theater, with 1,230 luxury recliners and footrests as well as swivel tables for dining. The menu will feature enhanced food and beverage options as well as traditional cinema snacks. The lobby will hold a lounge where guests can relax before or after the movies and table seating to accommodate appetizers, entrées, desserts and drinks. The theater will offer traditional and 3D films on all 12 screens.

Marketing materials for The Garrison suggest Longhorn Steakhouse and The Olive Garden will occupy buildings at the front of the development.

The Garrison at Stafford map

The Garrison at Stafford. Marketing materials, May 2017

Through a retail survey, the county previously determined that a higher-end movie theater is something that residents most wanted. The theater will replace the closed Regal at Aquia Towne Center.

Last week at a Stafford County Supervisors meeting, it was announced that Mosaic, the developer of Aquia Towne Center, withdrew its request to amend an existing memorandum of understanding to increase incentives for the Aquia Towne Center project.

Stafford Supervisor Paul Milde, R-Aquia, said: “Due to the existing confidentiality agreement in place between the county and Mosaic, the board will have no further comment at this time. The county continues to look forward to the redevelopment of Aquia Towne Center.”

Earlier in the summer, the developer asked that future incremental tax revenue it would receive be increased from $6.25 million to $18.25 million.

Now, locals are wondering where plans will lead next. Plans to bring a Harris Teeter to ATC were in the works, but the county chose not to comment further on the plaza’s future.

Over at The Garrison at Stafford, tenants also will include Total Wine, a gas station and a drive-through bank, along with up to 500,000 square feet of office and retail commercial space, and more than 400 multi-family residential units.

Plans for other tenants, including an anchor store, will be announced as leases are signed and finalized, according to the developer, the Pence Group.

Sellers noted that although the county has been in ongoing contact with Pence, she often hears various rumors about what’s coming to the plaza. Sellers said she hopes The Garrison is completed “sooner rather than later.” Discussions to develop The Garrison began in 2014.

In May, the board agreed to a change order for upgrades to the existing sanitary sewer line along Garrisonville Road from a utilities fund.

In 2012, the board agreed to a Stafford County Retail Attraction Initiative, in order to aggressively market Stafford County’s business advantages to retail developers, businesses and real estate professionals.

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