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Shoppers optimistic makeover could save Virginia Center Commons

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jun 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-04 19:22:30-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Some shoppers are hoping renovations and additional stores could revive the aging Virginia Center Commons mall in Henrico County.

"The mall is dead, there's nothing in the mall as far as me to take my family in the mall and walk around," said John Jones, who used to go the mall often.

When Virginia Center Commons opened in 1991, it was the premier mall in Central Virginia. But when two Dillard stores closed and Short Pump Town Center opened, the mall began to decline as did sales.

In fact, estimated gross sales released by Henrico County show the mall brought in $153.94 million in 2003. But ten years later, the county estimates sales dipped to $68.52 million in 2013.

A former owner had plans designed that show a renovation for the mall similar to how the Willow Lawn shopping center was recently transformed. But then the property was sold.

Former owner’s plan for Virginia Center Commons renovation

Former owner’s plan for Virginia Center Commons renovation

"You have to reinvent yourself," said Brian Glass, Senior Vice President for Colliers International. "Willow Lawn has done it several times. The current reinvention of Willow Lawn seems to be exceptionally well done,"

But to accomplish a transformation for a mall the size of Virginia Center Commons would take a considerable investment, according to Collier

"The question is how much is it going to cost -- and what can they do for how much they are willing to spend," he said.

Tejinder Kaurm believes a renovation like what happened at Willow Lawn would attract more shoppers and new businesses.

"Open air would be nice, that would be nice, just like the concept, an outlet mall, so that would be good."

Former owner’s plan for Virginia Center Commons renovation

Former owner’s plan for Virginia Center Commons renovation