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Faces of 2019: Former Sears building at Regency mall to be demolished to make way for 320-unit apartment complex
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Faces of 2019: Former Sears building at Regency mall to be demolished to make way for 320-unit apartment complex

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Why you know the project: Regency mall in western Henrico County is undergoing a transformation from being simply a mall into a mixed-use development with retail, restaurants, apartments, offices and entertainment. The two-level mall, known for decades as Regency Square, opened in 1975.

Thalhimer Realty Partners, the investment and development subsidiary of the Henrico-based commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, and Richmond-based The Rebkee Co. bought the enclosed part of the mall, the two former Macy’s buildings and related parking lots in early 2015. The owners subsequently bought the Sears properties.

The owners have been working on plans to redevelop the mall.

What’s new: Demolition of the former 151,571-square-foot Sears store should take place in the next couple of months to make way for a planned apartment complex.

Plans call for a five-story building to be constructed where the Sears store is now for a 320-unit complex.

Construction on the $50 million-plus apartment complex should begin sometime in the spring.

The first apartments should be ready for occupancy in early 2021 with the entire complex completed in 2022. A driveway and outside plaza will separate the apartment building from the mall.

“The residential is a major move for us that really defines what we are doing,” said Rob Hargett, a co-founder and principal of The Rebkee Co., which co-owns the mall.

“Everything else until now has been filling up boxes or vacant places,” he said. “Now this really starts to fulfill our strategy of making it a place to have a live, work and play community.”

The owners also are in talks with a company that wants to build a senior housing complex.

More projects and development are planned for Regency.

A Surge Trampoline Park will take over the former Macy’s North Building. That is slated to open in early February.

A First Watch restaurant also should open in January along the Quioccasin Road side of the development. The Florida-based chain serves breakfast and lunch and has two other locations in the Richmond area.

First Watch will join Panera Bread, MOD Pizza, Chipotle and Starbucks as new dining options.

Construction also is expected to begin early in 2020 on an aquatics center to be located in the former Macy’s South building. The goal is to open the aquatics center in the third quarter of 2021.

NOVA of Virginia Aquatics will operate the new swimming facility under a 20-year lease. The aquatics center will include two 25-meter pools and an Olympic-size 50-meter pool.

Regency’s owners also are trying to bring a movie theater complex to the development. A proposal announced in May 2017 to bring a Regal Cinemas theater to the Macy’s South building at the mall is not happening, Hargett said.

— Gregory J. Gilligan

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