HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – The developers behind the planned transformation of the decades-old Regency Square mall announced that Regal Cinemas has signed on as a future tenant.
“We are excited to be a part of the redevelopment of the Regency Square mall,” said Richard M. Grover, Vice President of Marketing & Communications with Regal Entertainment Group.
The planned theater, reported to open in spring 2019, brings first-run movies back to a neighborhood vacated by Ridge Cinema in 2002. That movie theaters wasn’t actually in the mall, but sat nearby on Ridge Road. The Henrico landmark was razed to make room for a Kroger.
Retail began moving west around that time and the mall eventually saw a severe drop in sales.
Regency is owned by a joint venture of Chesterfield-based Rebkee Company and the Henrico-based Thalhimer Realty Partners, Inc., who plan to invest more than $35 million to bring Regency back as one of Richmond’s premiere retail venues.
They purchased the struggling mall for $13 million in 2015.
“Our new Regal Cinemas will offer a whole new moviegoing experience featuring luxury amenities including king-size recliners that will certainly impress our guests and attract moviegoers from a wide region,” Grover said in an email, though he didn’t respond to other queries for detail.
The new master plan for the mall includes a redesign that will create 44,000-square feet of additional retail space; including four outparcel development sites, and a 12,000-square-foot building along the property. The existing flyover entrance located on Quioccasin Road will be removed and a new signature entrance, with pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, established.
As part of the new entrance, the parking deck outside the north Macy’s building will be demolished, which developers said will further increase the mall’s visibility and create an opportunity for outside entertainment and dining — though the 820,000 square foot mall will itself remain covered.
The new master plan can also accommodate future entertainment users by allowing the developer to raise the roof of either or both of the former Macys’ buildings. The south Macy’s building will be increased from 45 feet to 70 feet.
In addition to the proposed new buildings at Regency, façade improvements are shown conceptually in planning documents for the main mall building. This may include new storefront entryways, brick veneer, wood print and corrugated metal siding, and repainting of some existing brick elements to tie in with the proposed new features.
The vacant Bank of America building is anticipated to be renovated to accommodate a new user with drive-through facilities, and that may include the removal of the teller drive-through canopy.
Regency previously said that a national cafe brand will occupy the building, but declined to confirm if it was a Starbucks.
Proposed out parcel buildings are conceptually shown to be constructed of a combination of brick veneer, wood print metal siding, corrugated metal siding, and cast stone.
The redesign excludes the existing Sears, JC Penney’s and Firestone buildings, which are under separate ownership.