History of The Shops At Hilltop

What started in the 1940’s as the Potter’s family farmland has evolved into one of Virginia Beach’s largest, most popular, upscale retail districts. Head west from the oceanfront on Laskin Road about two miles, and you can’t miss Hilltop’s mecca of shops, boutiques, restaurants, banks and office buildings.

How did it all begin? In 1945, land-owner Dean Potter broke ground, building an Esso service station at the corner of Laskin and First Colonial Roads. Upon discovering the property had the highest elevation in Virginia Beach, Potter aptly named the area “Hilltop.”

In 1948, the construction of the ‘Hilltop Motor Court” followed, built at the western edge of what is now known as Hilltop West Shopping center. Renamed the “Hilltop Motel”, this guest spot became popular with military families and tourists visiting the beach. During the late 1950’s and early 60’s, more attractions were added to the Potter’s property, including a driving range, a miniature golf course, and a slide.

In January, 1973, with bigger plans in sight, the motel was demolished to make way for the construction of Hilltop West shopping center. Soon thereafter, the family continued development of the entire tract of property, adding Hilltop North and Hilltop East shopping centers to the mix.

Today, situated among the most heavily trafficked commercial real estate in town, the corner of Laskin and First Colonial road, The Shops At Hilltop is a delightful mix of 120 charming boutique shops and restaurants nestled sweetly amongst Hampton Roads icons on 455,000 square feet of space. The Shops At Hilltop is also home to the Hilltop Family YMCA, housed on two acres of land donated by the Potter family in 1994.