Winchester, Virginia is an economically healthy community with an affluent resident population — along with a daytime population that increases by 50 percent thanks to the size of local employers, regional healthcare providers, and excellent highway access. That population has created a strong and growing demand for a wide range of retail businesses. Winchester’s retail businesses are concentrated into three informal districts, each with its own character and needs.
The vibrant downtown district in the city’s heart has earned a reputation for lively nightlife and the arts. This walkable district is home to a host of independent boutique-style shops, locally owned restaurants, coffee shops, and microbreweries that have made the downtown area a popular hangout, especially for our city’s younger residents and workers. U.S. Highways 11 and 50 see as many as 23,000 vehicles passing through the district each day.
The healthcare district adjacent to Valley Health Winchester Medical Center’s facility along U.S. 50 is the work location for more than 16,000 people each day (and nearby Virginia Route 37 sees an average of 34,000 vehicles on a daily basis). As you’d expect, the district is a magnet for healthcare services, such as medical practices, testing facilities, laboratories, clinics, and pharmacies. It has a growing need for hospitality services, especially hotels and restaurant chains from fast-food to sit-down formats. The large daytime population also creates excellent opportunities for national retailers and service providers.
Finally, the Interstate corridor district surrounds Interstate 81, which sees an average of between 52,000 and 68,000 vehicles a day. Nearly 31,000 vehicles use the interchange between I-81 and U.S. 50 each day, and the Shenandoah University campus is in this area. That provides high-traffic, high-visibility locations for hotels, fast-food and sit-down restaurants, and national retail chains — and many outstanding sites that are ready for development.