Village At Leesburg Kicks Off Wednesday Night Movie Series

Every Wednesday through Sept. 2, the Village at Leesburg is hosting “Movies Under the Stars,” an event that will also include family-themed activities.

Each movie starts at about 8:30 p.m., with activities such as mascot appearances and games hosted by Village merchants. Promotions include a free draw string backpack to the first 50 attendees each week sponsored by Premier Promotional Products and Salon Montage, a board breaking game and prizes from Elite Martial Arts, a hole in one challenge from Glow Golf, lawn games from Metropolitan, hand sewing kits from CraftyStitches, and goody bags and prizes from Comfort One Shoes.

Bello Pranzo Pizza will sell pizza near the movie area and Rita’s Italian Ice will also sell its products in the viewing area.

At the end of every month, fan voting on the Village at Leesburg’s Facebook page will determine the final movie shown.

The movie schedule is as follows: July 1, Paddington; July 8, Despicable Me 2; July 15, The Lorax; July 22, Frozen Sing-A-Long; July 29, fan voting between Back to the Future, The Lego Movie, and Annie; August 5, Brave; August 12, Monsters, Inc.; August 19, The Incredibles; August 26, fan voting between The Muppets 2011, Ratatouille, ET, and UP; and September 2 will be voted on from the season’s rain outs, including Big Hero 6 and Mary Poppins.

Plaza Azteca coming to Village at Leesburg; construction at Village continues

Plaza Azteca’s Mexican food franchise is coming to Village at Leesburg, presumably after cosmetic construction on the surrounding shopping center wraps up.

Finnigan’s Pub used to frequent the building that now is leased to Plaza Azteca. The Village didn’t have to wait too long find the new tenant, according to Jarnell Bonds, senior director of marketing at Rappaport, the asset manager for the Village.

“Plaza Azteca will become its own staple in the village,” she said.

The 5,200-square-foot restaurant should open later this summer, Bonds said.

Another addition to the Village announced earlier this month is Rita’s Italian Ice, which opened June 22 in the Village.

In the past 18 months, the Village has leased out 80,000 square feet of space, according to Bonds.

“They’re constantly enhancing the property, making it more consumer friendly to community events,” she said. “That’s why they attract retailers so quickly.”

The Village construction that began in the spring is about 90 percent complete, according to Darin Tallant, property manager of Rappaport.

“This is the last of our major projects,” he said. “I mean, obviously there will be little things, but this is the last of all of our major construction.”

A pop-up water fountain for kids, two kinetic art sculptures at either end of the Village, a center court area and fire and water fountain court are the big ticket items added to the landscape.

Tallant said the finished projects won’t affect traffic, although traffic is currently split with the introduction of the central courtyard area near Travinia’s.

Removable barrier poles have been added to the courtyard to create a more pedestrian friendly section of the plaza. On weekends the barriers will be added, making the courtyard more walker-friendly and creating a turnaround for vehicles on both the Wegmans and Cobb Theater halves of the shopping center.

Despite the construction and closed roads, Tallant said complaints have been few.

“We’ve had some feedback from the shops, but it’s all part of the growth that happens,” Tallant said. “You’re going to have some complaints but it’s not been too bad.”

Village at Leesburg To Host Free Weekly Outdoor Movie Night

Village at Leesburg has announced a weekly “Movies Under the Stars” event taking place every Wednesday through Sept. 2. Weather permitting, family-friendly films will be shown on the Village Green. Merchants will offer a variety of family-themed activities, such as mascot appearances, games and more, before each film starting at 7:30 p.m. Movies will start at approximately 8:30 p.m.

At the end of every month, fan voting on the center’s Facebook page will determine the last movie shown. Guests are encouraged to come before for dinner and to also visit the Village at Leesburg Facebook page for a change to get premier seating and weather updates.

The movie schedule is as follows: June 24, Fan Favorite Voting (Jumanji, Escape From Planet Earth, Rango); July 1, Paddington; July 8, Despicable Me 2; July 15, The Lorax; July 22, Frozen Sing-A-Long; July 29, Fan Favorite Voting (Back to the Future, The Lego Movie, Annie (2014)); August 5, Brave; August 12, Monsters Inc.; August 19, The Incredibles; August 26, Fan Favorite Voting (The Muppets 2011, Ratatouille, ET, UP); Sept. 2 movie will be voted on from this season’s rainouts, including Big Hero 6 and Mary Poppins on the Village at Leesburg Facebook page.

Village at Leesburg is along Route 7 at the Crosstrail Boulevard/River Creek Parkway exit in Leesburg. It includes a roster of nearly 60 national, regional and boutique retail shops and restaurants such as Wegmans Food Market, Smokehouse Live, Cobb Village 12 Cinemas, LA Fitness, King Pinz Bowling, Ulta, Orvis, Firebirds, Sweet & Sassy and Travinia Italian Kitchen.

Options Growing At The Village At Leesburg

By the end of the summer, the Village at Leesburg will have filled more than 70,000 square feet of retail space over the past 18 months, and a visual makeover there will be complete.

The shopping center’s boom comes three years after its draw for retailers lagged and its occupancy hovered between 60 and 75 percent.

“Retailers are attracted by other retailers,” said Jarnell Bonds, senior marketing director for Rappaport, the leasing company that oversees the Village. “They see activity has sparked at the Village, and it’s becoming a magnet.”

That more than 70,000 square feet of new retail that’s arrived during the past seven months included Smokehouse Live, a barbecue restaurant and live music venue that opened two weeks ago.

Others will soon follow.

In the food category, Rita’s Italian Ice soon will be serving up Italian ice and frozen custard next to a new kids play area. Also this summer, the popular Korean-style fried chicken chain BonChon will open its doors. And this fall, Mexican restaurant Plaza Azteca will add yet another dining choice.

“We have great food options in numerous categories,” Village at Leesburg’s Marketing Director Staci Harris said.

Other new businesses include Hair Cuttery, set to open its fourth Leesburg location in June, and Banfield Pet Hospital, which will begin taking customers in the late fall or early winter.

European Wax Center, a salon specializing in wax services, will begin serving its niche clientele in the fall, and Spokes Etc., voted among America’s Best Bike Shops in 2014 by the National Bicycle Dealers Association, will open in August.

“It’s a community center that’s got something for everyone,” Bonds said.

On top of the new business openings, the Village Market Square, right in the center of Village Market Boulevard, is undergoing improvements to entice patrons into enjoying the outdoors.

Enhancements include a children’s pop-up water fountain, with daily bubble shows, to complement the existing kids climbing and play area. An area for expanded outdoor seating options, new landscaping and a dual fire pit and water fountain will be added. Concerts on the Village Market Square also are in the works.

“We wanted to create a warm, welcoming gathering space,” Harris said.

Also, a series of kinetic wind sculptures, some as tall as 30 feet, has been built by artist Lyman Whitaker at each entrance to the main retail strip.

All of the work is slated to be complete before the Village’s sixth annual Summer Block Party on July 25. Another big event in the near future is the June 27 Wine and Food Festival, featuring more than 220 wines from 20-plus wineries.

“We hope to keep up this pace because it’s an attractive demographic,” Bonds said. “It’s becoming an entertainment and dining mecca.”

For more information, go to villageatleesburg.com.