With the recession, every town has had its share of store closings and retail that's gone belly up. Few shopping centers, though, have had as much hard luck as Woodbridge Crossing.
Inside of the few years, major retailers who were tenants at Woodbridge Crossing shuttered their stores: Linens and Things and Circuit City. But it was when The Great Indoors, a Sears entity, closed its anchor store in 2009 that the large bi-level outdoor mall began to resemble a ghost town.
Some stores remain, such as Thomasville Furniture and . But the most action the empty stores got was this fall, when used the vacant Linens and Things space for a Halloween haunted house fundraiser.
Things might be turning around, though.
The Great Indoors seems as if its found a tenant. Burlington Coat Factory is planning on opening a Woodbridge store by Fall, 2012.
The store, which originally started its business by discounting women's coats, has expanded to include attire for the entire family and some housewares items. The Woodbridge store will encompass 70,000 sq. ft., or one floor of the empty pavillion, said Burlington spokeswoman Chelsea Cowan.
According to their website, the company has more than 470 stores, with each averaging 80,000 sq. ft, "more than twice the size of most off-price competitors."
Burlington Coat Factory will also bring jobs to town - at least 100 new associates, Cowan estimated.
It's unclear whether the store will qualify for a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program, a means by which a business qualifies for a property tax break in return for locating in a municipality.
Mayor John McCormac did not return phone calls.