Nearly an entire city block at the western end of Carytown is set to be razed and redeveloped.
Regency Centers, a Florida-based developer, on Tuesday unveiled plans for Carytown Exchange, a Publix-anchored shopping center that will replace the Richmond Shopping Center.
The development, expected to cost between $40 million and $45 million, will house 120,000 square feet of retail space bounded by Thompson, Cary and Nansemond streets and Ellwood Avenue.
That includes a 49,000-square-foot store for Publix, which is still finalizing its lease, and 71,000 square feet of additional retail space that will face West Cary Street and Ellwood Avenue, providing room for about 25 additional tenants.
Regency will raze the now-vacant Martin’s grocery shell along with nearly every other building on the block, excepting the CVS at 3514 W. Cary St. which will remain intact and in operation.
Chris Widmayer, Regency’s vice president of investments, said the project has been six years in the making.
“(We were) waiting for the right time to go and execute on it, and the real opportunity was when Publix bought the lease from Martin’s,” Widmayer said.
Ahead of Martin’s exit from the Richmond market in summer 2016, Publix purchased the grocer’s lease on the building. It has been vacant since Martin’s closed the last of its Richmond stores last summer.
Regency will not purchase the land, which has been owned since 1913 by the family of the late Hilton W. Goodwyn, who served as city attorney for the City of Manchester when it merged with Richmond.
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Connie Jordan Nielsen, Jim Ashby and David Crawford have been retained as leasing agents for Carytown Exchange. Widmayer said pre-leasing is starting now and they’re targeting high-end retailers and restaurants to fill out storefronts.
The center will feature a parking deck accessible from Ellwood Avenue and add 100 parking spaces to the shopping center.
Demolition is set to begin in 2019 and Widmayer said Publix could open as early as 2020, with the rest of the development being completed in 2021.
Regency’s next step will be to file plans with the city. Freeman Morgan Architects is designing Carytown Exchange, and Widmayer said it has not yet selected a general contractor.
The announcement comes months after tenants in the shopping center began their exit, citing at the time uncertainty regarding their leases.
Widmayer said he is unsure when the rest of the retailers in the Richmond Shopping Center would close down. CVS will remain open through construction.
In the winter, Carytown Burgers & Fries’ operations manager Jordan Leonard said the burger joint’s lease at 3500 W. Cary St. is good until October, and that it is looking for a new location.
Councilman Parker Agelasto, whose district includes Carytown, held a community meeting Tuesday in the former Martin’s store to discuss the project. Representatives of Regency Centers and Publix attended.
Carytown Exchange will be Regency’s fourth development in the Richmond region, joining Hanover Village in Mechanicsville and Gayton Crossing and Village Shopping Center in the West End.