Regency Square has been under new ownership since February, and the owners have been mulling what might be the best way to update the image of the 40-year-old mall in Western Henrico County.
With the holiday shopping season approaching, the first changes are underway.
For starters, the mall has commissioned local mural artists Hamilton Glass and Matt Lively to work with students at nearby Douglas S. Freeman High School to create some big art for the mall.
Glass and Lively will enlist the help of 200 students — freshmen to seniors — along with the art faculty at Freeman to create a mural 12 feet tall and more than 47 feet long. The students will be painting canvas segments, each about 4 feet by 3.5 feet.
When the segments are assembled, they will form images of the Richmond area based on photos.
“By creating this mural, students will understand that everyone’s participation is vital in creating unity within a community,” said Taylor Baker-Neal, leader of the Freeman art department.
The mural will sit on the mall’s floor near the JCPenney store.
Regency also is bringing in more than a dozen pop-up stores for the holiday season. Some of them are already on site; all will be in place by the Friday after Thanksgiving. Several of the merchants will be in a mall environment for the first time.
Among the pop-ups: LaDiff, Fido Park Avenue, CaryTown Teas, Walkabout Outfitters.
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The original mall plan had four anchor stores. Sears and Penney's remain, but the Thalhimers and Miller & Rhodes are Macy's today.
A sign signals construction beginning of Regency Square on June 7, 1974.
Officials dug in to break ground for the mall on July 25, 1974.
Most of the steel for the mall appears to be in place in this March 29, 1975 photo.
An aerial of the mall as it nears its completion on May 19, 1975.
The finishing touches are put on the Sears store at Regency on September 28, 1975
The two-level Thalhimers store was nearing completion on Sept. 28, 1975. The malls' official grand opening was Oct. 15, 1975.
Workers put the finishing touches on the mall's interior on Oct 13, 1975, the day before the mall opened.
Left: Shoppers walk past statuary outside and shop inside the newly-opened Regency Square on Oct 15, 1975.
Shoppers walk around Regency Square on April 4, 1976.
Getting for giving - Shoppers thronged in stores as festive displays added glitter to the excitement of holiday shopping on Dec. 17, 1982. At Regency Square, gift purchasers rode past a fantasy display.
Cars are parked outside the Sears Garden Shop at Regency on September 23, 1983. The Garden Shop no longer exits.
Scaffolding and workers inside the mall on Feb. 16, 1987 during its first renovation. which cost $5 million.
It doesn't look like much in the April 15, 1987 photo, but this would become the mall's first food court.
Diners enjoy their meals during the opening day of the mall's "Food Park," which included 11 eateries clustered on the lower level between Miller & Rhoads (Now Macy's) and Sears.
Shoppers pass by the entrance to the malls redesigned "Food Park" on May 27, 1987, the first day it was opened.
Diners enjoy the food court after a remodeling on October 30, 1987.
Last-minute shoppers filled the mall on Christmas Eve of 1990.
High school and middle school students from Henrico County compete in the computer-aided Design Contest at Regency on Feb. 10, 1998, designing things ranging from rudimentary drawings to three-dimensional architectural designs.
Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, pauses from autographing pieces of Wedgewood China at Hecht's at Regency Square on March 22, 2000 to read a sign held by Michael White and Kendall Massengill, who wore hats decorated like the British flag.
Interior of Regency Square Mall food court on Aug. 22, 2003, after renovation.
Exterior of Regency Square Mall food court on Aug. 22, 2003, after renovation.
Interior of Regency Square Mall on Aug. 22, 2003, after recent renovation.
Cpl. Philip Cook of Richmond, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, looks over some of the signatures on the "World's Largest Thank You Card" unveiled at Regency Square on Aug. 27, 2005. Bed Sheet or bedsheets were used.
The Regency Dancers perform during a ceremony officially changing the name of Hecht's to Macy's at Regency Square Saturday, September 9, 2006.
Regency Square: Confetti flies after Jeff Saylor (one with his hand raised in center), general manager of Macy's at Regency Square, cuts the ribbon to officially change the name of Hecht's to Macy's at Regency Square Saturday, September 9, 2006. Diann Mahood, executive vice president of marketing for Macy's, is left of Saylor.
Shoppers on the second level of Regency Square Mall on Feb. 8, 2009.
A shooting in the restroom area of the food court at Regency on Oct. 8, 2012 injured two people
Regency Square, at 1420 N. Parham Road, has about 820,000 square feet and sits on about 50 acres. Besides JCPenney, the mall’s other anchor tenants are Sears and a pair of Macy’s stores.
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View of the 6th Street Marketplace construction, taken from the 600 Building at Sixth and East Broad street, showed how much progress had been made on the $23 million project on Oct 3, 1984, sixth months after the groundbreaking in April, 1984.
Grace Street and the Caprnter Center anchored the marketplace on the south
The support pilles and steel framework of the 6th Street Marketplace completely spanned Broad Street by March of 1985.
About 70 people took a stroll along the 6th Street Marketplace bridge on April 4, 1985 as part of a tour for guests of the Board of Directors of Richmond Renaissance.
A press conference on May 3, 1985 announced the first 11 tenants of the marketplace
With less than two weeks to go before opening day, construction of the 6th Street Marketplace snarled traffic on Broad Street.
A group of Rotarians toured the 6th Street Marketplace on Sept. 11, 1985, amid the construction rush.
"Guard" at the Blues Armory watches over the 6th Street Marketplace on Sept. 15, 1985, three days before its opening.
This aerial view, taken from the Richmond Marriott Hotel on Sept. 4, 1985, shows (from left) the Project I parking deck, Crystal Palace and Blues Armory, which were part of the 6th Street Marketplace.
Workers toiled around the clock on Sept. 16, 1985, two days before the 6th Street Marketplace opened.
Workers install the neon sign at the Broad St. entrance of the 6th Street Marketplace on Sept. 17, 1985, the day before it opened.
James W. Rouse, developer of the 6th Street Marketplace, entertained 150 dignitaries at a five-course "French service" dinner on the night before the marketplace's opening, Sept.17, 1985. Richmond Times-Dispatch photographer Masaaki Okada wasn't allowed inside, so he shot the scene from the Grace Street side.
A large crowd of people queued up to the Broat Street entrance on opening day, Sept. 18, 1985.
People crowd into the 6th Street Marketplace on Sept. 18, 1985, the opening day for the downtown mall.
The marketplace hosted an indoor beach party in January of 1988
City officials throw the switch for the Chrismas lights on Broad Street near the 6th Street Marketplace in 1986.
People dine in the 6th Street Marketplace food court, while a band performs onstage on May 26, 1987.
The VCU Ram mascot helped liven up festivities during a dance at the 6th Street Marketplace on Jan. 18, 1988
Caswell-Massey, a fancy perfume and soap store, went out of business in December of 1989.
Three-year-old Derek Harley (left) and Ryan Harley, 6, embraced a giant teddy bear outside the 6th Street Marketplace on Nov. 30, 1990.
Nancy Peal, left, and Irma Williams ran the Sixth St. News stand and were some of the original tennants of the 6th Street Marketplace.
The 6th Street Marketplace's Food Court still had customers in September of 1995, nearly 10 years after the marketplace opening.
By September of 1995, nearly 10 years after opening, the number of shoppers at the 6th Street Marketplace had slowed to a trickle.
Theodore Hope dances with his date at an end-of-school party held in the Sixth Street Marketplace bridge over Broad Street on August 18, 1996.
Jim Ahmed of The Clockworks repaired clock at 6th Street Marketplace on Grace St. at about 5:30 p.m. on April 2, 1997.
The 20 Below women's clothing store fiiled for bankruptcy liquidation and closed its stores including the one at Sixth Street Marketplace, in February of 1999.
A Richmond fire fighter cleans the floor of the entrance to the 6th Street Marketplace after a fire from a tranformer explosion on Thursday March 9, 2000.
Susan Skillin visited Santa in Santaland at the 6th Street Marketplace on Dec. 23, 2000.
An damaged electrical outlet inside the food court in 6th Street Marketplace in August of 2002. The vendors at the court said necessary repairs were being put off as the marketplace struggled to survive.
6th Street Marketplace bridge in July of 1983. The bridge was demolished two months later.
6th Street Marketplace looking South down 6th Street between the Market and the Carpenter Center, in July of 2003. Demotition of the bridge and most of the shopping center began in October of 2003.
A worker makes his way across a now open-air section of the 6th Street Marketplace bridge across East Broad street on Oct. 25, 2003.
A worker guides a heavy equipment operator from a now open-air section of the 6th Street Marketplace bridge across East Broad street on Oct. 25, 2003.
Even though the bridge over Broad Street was gone in 2003, the food court at the 6th Street Marketplace lived on. Here it is in June of 2007
Salman Hejaz, the owner of Captain Sam’s Seafood, helps pull away on his tap on his last day in the 6th Street Marketplace after 21 years in business on Friday, May 10, 2008.