Could two local development firms rehab the aging Regency Square Mall, or is another use in the works?
Two of the biggest and most well-known real estate and development companies, The Rebkee Co. and Thalhimer Realty Partners, may have their eyes on Regency Square Mall, according to Richmond BizSense.
Thalhimer specializes in real estate acquisition; Rebkee is known largely for large scale developments including shopping centers and planned developments. The firm also recently renovated the former Interbake Foods plant on Boulevard as the Cookie Factory Lofts.
Regency Square, once the West End’s premier shopping destination in its heyday, has since declined and is now a bank-owned property. Says BizSense’s Katie Demeria:
The 818,000-square-foot mall, built in 1975, sits on 46 acres at the busy intersection of Parham and Quioccasin roads. It has been on the market since at least early November, said Sean Barrie with the real estate tracking firm Trepp.
Ownership of the mall was turned over to Bank of America in lieu of foreclosure in 2012 after Michigan-based mall giant Taubman Centers stopped making payments on a $72 million loan backed by Regency.
Based on Thalhimer and Rebkee’s portfolio of past projects, and the mall’s current state, could the property be ripe for redevelopment?
Unlike an open-air center like Willow Lawn, which has morphed and changed over the years to remain a viable shopping destination, Regency is a more challenging property, given that it’s a completely enclosed, two-story building.
Bulldozing the mall to make way for a larger scale development, such as a mixed use project (think West Broad Village) also presents possible challenges, since Regency Square anchors J.C. Penny and Sears own their buildings, which are attached to the mall.
The area surrounding the mall has had its own share of upgrades in recent days–including the addition of a Fresh Market, Walmart Supercenter, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and a forthcoming Aldi supermarket, among other places–is the Regency property a natural next step to provide a cohesive anchor for this area of town?
Photo: Malls & Retail Wiki