The Wigwam building on U.S. 1 in Hanover County will be moved the week of Sept. 9 to the back of the 7-acre property. It will be renovated and expanded to become an event site. Wigwam Crossing retail development will be built in its place.

The former Wigwam restaurant and dance hall on U.S. 1 in Hanover County is getting ready to be moved to make way for a new shopping center.

The landmark log-cabin building, which opened in the 1920s, was a popular restaurant and nightclub destination until the late 1960s.

The Motley family acquired it in 1973 and converted it into Motleys Auction Gallery. The company, now called Motleys Asset Disposition Group, operated its gallery there until 1994 when it moved.

Mark Motley, the company's president, said the Wigwam building is being moved to the rear of the 7-acre property to make room for the 22,000-square-foot Wigwam Crossing shopping center along U.S. 1.  The property is about 1.5 miles north of Virginia Center Commons mall.

The plan is to remodel the Wigwam building, keeping the log cabin exterior intact, and add on 5,000 square feet for a ballroom. When completed, it will become an event space for special occasions, weddings, receptions and meetings, he said.

“I look forward to giving the Wigwam new life," Motley said.

Once the building is moved - that should take place the week of Sept. 9 - the site will be prepared for the shopping center. Construction would begin later this year.

No tenants have signed leases, but Motley said there has been interest in the center particularly from a couple of restaurants.

Motley had planned the shopping center more than a decade ago. "We think the timing is right as the area continues to grow," he said.

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