Yesterday, I had time to kill between lunch w J and my scheduled time in the pool. The First Watch we visited is located on an outparcel of the Regency Square Mall property, here in suburban Richmond, VA. I had not been inside Regency Mall for years. The “anchor” stores have all closed over a period of years, Macy’s, Sears, J.C. Penney. The lesser stores nearly all closed too. What remains include ethnic hair care salons, a healthcare uniform shop, a tobacconist that promotes their carrying of CBD products, and Spencer Gifts.
This mall , twenty six years ago, had, as its “kitchen store”, The Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium. I quit the insurance business one day, walked into this store, applied for a job, and was hired. I had lots of fun for about three years, working there. I was underpaid, surviving on my divorce settlement. On balance, it was the best money I ever spent.
Now, the mall is reinventing itself, like so many other malls. The Surge Adventure Park, whatever that is, and Nova Aquatics, a natatorium for high school and club swimming, will be the new anchors. This is an interesting new trend, activity replacing consumerism.
When I worked at “The Mall”, in what seems not all that long ago, the enclosed mall had the reputation as a perennial fixture of American retailing. Now, young “Vlog-ers” are chronicling their demise across the country. These hobbyist journalists were the “mall rats” of yesteryear, the time of video arcades, Swiss Pretzel Shops, Baskin-Robbins, Sbarro’s, and Spencer Gifts. These folks are recording the lost venues of their youth.
So strange, but encouraging, to see the transformation of Regency Square.
slave sindee said:
indeed malls across this country need to find ways to bring back a cash flow. As more and more are using online shopping these big box stores are closing. Macy’s at Water Tower on Michigan Ave just closed. Big space to fill. and so it goes.
The repurposing of a mall produces interesting new places for the community.
slave sindee said:
i have read that some have been turned into senior housing with indoor parks as their center piece.
Whatever works in brings a positive cash flow
Oh, for sure. They are still viable entities. The developers demolished the Sears store and are building apartments there. Taking off the roof in the middle of the enclosed area would be a good idea here.