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Land Rush BERNSTEIN COMPANIES IS DEVELOPING a 170-acre industrially zoned tract of land in the commercial area of Route 17 near Interstate 95 in the southern part of Stafford County. Mark Vogel is sitting on 2,000 acres in the same area. Richard Hazel, Mark Fried, and Trammell Crow are developing large mixed-use projects across the Rappahannock River in Spotsylvania County.
"The big boys are here," says Charles McDaniel, the president of Hilldrup Moving & Storage in Fredericksburg. McDaniel, who is also involved in development projects in the area, is referring to the fact that in the past few years a healthy percentage of the Washington development community's top players has moved into Stafford CountyM Spotsylvania County, and the city of Fredericksburg, which together comprise one of the most receptive and attractive markets for industrial, retail, and residential development in the greater Washington area.
"Fredericksburg and the counties of Stafford and Spotsylvania form one of the fastest-growing regions in Virginia over the past five years in terms of population, retail sales, and housing growth rates," says Tim Eden, a commercial real estate agent with McLeanhs Cassidy & Pinkard who has studied the area extensively. "Real estate development to support and promote this growth has been impressive."
The developers who have moved into the Fredericksburg area see it as one of the last affordable markets near Washington. "We've found, like every other developer in Northern Virginia, that it's getting tough to find ground at a reasonable cost," says Michael Van Berg, a senior vice president of Fried Companies, a large Northern Virginia developer. "So we decided to go south. We've kind of 'invaded' the Fredericksburg market. We think it's a real good market for everything."
In addition to having built four large residential projects. Fried recently began the construction of its industrial park, 95 Business Park, which is located on 390 acres near I-95 just off the Route 17 …