Demolition of the former Richmond Shopping Center on West Cary Street has started to make way for the planned Carytown Exchange development.

Work began the week of June 10 and is expected to take two to three months to complete, according to a spokeswoman for Carytown Exchange.

Construction on the new shopping center should begin late in the fourth quarter, the spokeswoman said.

Regency Centers Corp., a Florida-based shopping center developer, wants to transform the former Richmond Shopping Center into Carytown Exchange, a 120,000-square-foot center. The $40 million project is about 20,000 square feet larger than the existing shopping center and will include 20 to 25 tenants for retail and restaurant space.

A Publix grocery store will be the anchor tenant in the development. The chain signed a lease in late December to put a 45,000-square-foot grocery store there.

Carytown Exchange plans to open to its first tenants in the first quarter of 2021.

Richmond Shopping Center is one of the region’s older strip centers. The earliest sections of the shopping center were built in 1949, with additional sections built in 1950, 1965, 1969, 1990 and 1998, according to tax records.

Ukrop’s Super Markets operated one of its busiest stores there for decades until the family-owned chain sold to Martin’s Food Markets in 2010. The Martin’s store there closed in July 2017 as the chain exited the Richmond market. That was one of 10 former Martin’s locations that Publix picked up.

All of the existing buildings at the shopping center, including the former Martin’s grocery store, are being demolished, except for a CVS pharmacy at Ellwood Avenue and Nansemond Street and the Atlantic Union Bank branch at Cary and Thompson streets.

Under the plans, the Publix store will be near the Ellwood Avenue and South Thompson Street edge of the property.

Parking would be under the grocery store and in a two-level parking garage adjacent to the store — essentially where the Martin’s store was. Lower-level parking would be on grade with Ellwood Avenue, while upper-level parking and the grocery store would be on grade with Cary Street.

Facing Cary Street would be three buildings divided into various sizes for small shops ranging in size from 1,200 to 2,500 square feet. A fourth building would be behind the building at Cary and Nansemond streets.

A building along Ellwood Avenue would front the lower level of the parking deck.

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