HENRICO – Regency Square Mall has started to undergo a $30 million renovation to refresh its look and bring in new retailers.
Joint owners Thalhimer and Rebkee received approval from the Henrico County Planning Commission to begin the project, which started in April. The mall was constructed in 1974.
Steven Bonniville, the mall’s general manager, said the project’s goal is “to create a dining and retail atmosphere that appeals to our neighbors and shoppers. We envision this as more of a mixed-use development when everything is complete.”
As part of the redesign, Regal Cinemas will replace Macy’s as the mall’s anchor. Moreover, the parking deck on the north side of the mall will be demolished to make way for an additional 12,000 square feet of retail space.
A three-story parking deck will be constructed on the south side of the mall, with apartments to be built around it in the second phase of construction. J.C. Penney will remain as the mall’s anchor retail store because ownership of that building is not under Regency Square Mall.
The current flyover entrance to the mall will be reconstructed to be an even-level entrance with a traffic signal. New signage and landscaping will come with the redesigned entrance. Sidewalks and other road improvements will be made so that the new entrance is more accessible and visually appealing.
The existing vacant Bank of America building will be repurposed to house new retail space, including Chipotle and Seattle-based MOD Pizza. Starbucks will join as a new retailer in a separate building along the entrance.
Local residents are happy to see the mall get a new lease on life. Shauna White, who has been a resident of Henrico County for more than 20 years, is excited to see the facility being renovated.
“This mall has been dying for years. Nobody comes here anymore, so I’m really happy that it is getting a second chance,” she said. White said she will definitely make plans to visit Regency Square Mall more often when the redevelopment is complete.
The mall’s proposed master plan included a request to increase the ceiling heights in both former Macy’s buildings. The proposed increase would accommodate businesses and activities such as movie theaters, breweries, laser tag and trampoline parks, Mark Slusher, vice president of Thalhimer, told the Henrico County Planning Commission in January.
The Planning Commission unanimously approved the project, saying the area needs revitalization. “Regency Square and the community it serves still have all the elements that make it a wonderful retail destination,” Slusher said in a 2015 press release.
The mall’s owners have not announced a specific timeline for completion of the project.