A Story of Family and Community
Virginia Village began in the mid-1950’s, under the visionary direction of John Ours, who was Leesburg’s first commercial developer, and the father of three sons who assumed ownership until June 2017 – Brian, Warren and John Ours.
“You can imagine what people thought when dad came from Falls Church all the way out here to this farmland to start a shopping center,” Brian Ours said. “But he had the vision.” John Ours told the Loudoun Times-Mirror in 1987 that the attraction to the property was the town’s nearby water and sewer plant, and the ability to rezone from agriculture to highway and village commercial use. Then, Ours was able to offer space to the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) store, which is still in operation there today.
“I knew if we got that and the Safeway Store (now the Rite Aid), we would have the food and drink and that would be the key,” Ours told the Loudoun Times-Mirror.
Over time, of course, the storefronts periodically changed hands. But many of the current tenants have been there for decades.
“Dad was famous for helping people get their businesses up and running,” Brian Ours said. “In fact, we just came across Bruce Roberts’ original business plan for the pharmacy, where his daughter still works. And a lot of our tenants are in their second and third generation of family ownership – for example Sterling Carpets, Kettermans, H&R Block, Coin Laundry and Signs by Dave to name a few.”
It’s why Ours said he feels so good about selling the property to Keane Enterprises. Led by Brian Cullen, Keane is itself a small Loudoun County business, and has owned and developed property in Leesburg for almost 15 years.
“We wanted the property to go to someone local, with a face and a name, who would carry on the stewardship but also give Virginia Village a renewed sense of vitality and vibrancy. Brian is very sensitive to the tradition and the history, as well as to what the town needs in the future. He’s the right guy to do this and I feel really, really good about it,” Ours said.
For the next few years, Virginia Village will continue running as a shopping center, but Keane plans to make it a more top-of-mind destination by expanding the Farmers’ Market that is already a weekly institution in the town, and bringing new events and entertainment to the property.
“John Ours had incredible foresight and we want to pay deference to that in all of our plans,” said Brian Cullen. “When and if there is alignment between what the town wants and what Virginia Village could become, we will have a dialogue about redevelopment plans that would best serve everyone involved.”
For Brian Ours’ part, he’s hoping to see the property’s potential expressed as fully as his father thought was possible. “I think he is probably looking down smiling,” Ours said. “What Keane has talked about doing over the next 10 years or so is what dad’s vision would have been.”
He continued, “Think about walking down Harrison Street or King Street, with interesting things along the way, all coming together at Virginia Village. It will be an incredible centerpiece for an expanding downtown Leesburg,” Ours said. “I think the town is going to come out the winner on this.”