An ailing national retailer’s bankruptcy has claimed Regency Square’s last remaining legacy anchor tenant, giving the mall’s owners the chance they’ve been waiting for to snatch up the big box space.
JCPenney plans to permanently shutter its Regency store by mid-November. The store is one of more than 150 locations JCPenney has announced will close down as part of the retail giant’s ongoing restructuring plan.
JCPenney has a contract pending to sell the 159,000-square-foot Regency store to The Rebkee Co. and Thalhimer Realty Partners, which has owned the rest of the mall since 2015.
TRP principal Mark Slusher said the JCPenney store will be a key element of Regency’s ongoing redevelopment away from a suburban mall of yesteryear toward a mixed-use property.
“It’s the last puzzle piece to assemble Regency,” he said of the JCPenney store. He added there are several options on the table for the store’s future, but he did not comment further.
Slusher also declined to share what the mall will pay for the property. That deal is expected to close in October. The property was most recently valued at $3.2 million.
The impending closure of JCPenney follows the departures of the mall’s other former anchor tenants — Macy’s, which left its two Regency stores in 2016, and Sears, which left in 2017. Apartments are slated for the site of the former Sears. The two former Macy’s buildings are being converted into a trampoline park and a swimming facility for Nova Aquatics.
The mall owners also have begun to sell off some of the site’s redeveloped portions when they unloaded a newly constructed retail strip for $7.4 million.
Headquartered in Plano, Texas, JCPenney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. It has laid the blame for its bankruptcy and associated store closings at the feet of the coronavirus pandemic, which has been particularly disruptive to the retail sector.
“All store closure decisions are made based on a comprehensive evaluation of the JCPenney retail footprint and a careful analysis of store performance and future strategic fit for JCPenney,” the spokeswoman said in an email Thursday.
The company has announced the permanent closing of four of its stores in Virginia. No announcements have been made regarding its other Richmond-area stores at Chesterfield Towne Center and White Oak Village.
The Regency store’s liquidation sale starts Sept. 3.