Shortly after Sugar Shack announced it was bringing its sugary sweetness to Stafford, Duck Doughnuts announced that it will be opening its doors in Stafford as well. For many years, Dunkin’ Donuts enjoyed being the only sweet confectionery in North Stafford. However, by this time next year, Dunkin’ Donuts may be facing different obstacles altogether, because Stafford is headed for some major economic growth.
Dunkin’ is not the only business to face steep competition. For the past two years, there have been new gyms opening up in the area and more recreation. After a long hiatus, The building of Aquia Town Center has resumed, with a change of contractors to Mosaic Realty Partners. Not only are the new apartments being erected there, but also we will gain a gourmet grocery store. The bedroom community of Stafford is truly becoming a thriving suburban area.
So what’s with the steep competition?
The population in Stafford County started rising during the housing boom in the early 2000’s. Government workers began taking refuge in this county, making it a bedroom community for many years.
As time went on, the families of Stafford needed, more local restaurants and attractions close to their communities. Like the Embrey Mills community created as part of their Urban Development Plan, to accommodate the increasing population and their needs.
Because the population in Stafford County is by 36.5% within the next 24 years. The Virginia Department of Transportation extended the HOV lanes down to Garrisonville Road in December 2014 and has already found a need to extend these lanes to points farther south, as outlined at a public meeting in February 2016. This would accommodate the increasing traffic throughout Stafford and the county’s southernmost points. Therefore, it’s likely that residents will see a lot more businesses opening – and competing with existing businesses – from here on out
The fact is the Stafford Economic Development Plan (a 5-year plan that addresses business retention, development, and local tourism) states that residents can expect to see some upscale restaurants and shops open through Stafford County in the near future. In particular, there will be more diverse food choices, some gourmet grocery stores (like Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s), some family and entertainment venues, and some multi-use town centers in Aquia (as well as along Courthouse Road).
Check the Stafford Economic development pages for more information about what’s happening.