‘Activity breeds activity’: Regency finishing first phase of apartments

People have started to move into the Rise at Regency, a new 320-unit apartment complex at Regency mall in Henrico County. (Photos courtesy of Regency)

Regency has reached a milestone in its ongoing shift from the retail-heavy model of its past into its future as a mixed-use development.

Residents have started to move into the Henrico County mall’s first phase of apartments, a $65 million, 320-unit complex called The Rise at Regency.

The apartments are a key element in the redevelopment project at Regency, as its owners Thalhimer Realty Partners and Rebkee Co. continue to plot its transformation.

“The driving force in our minds is that Regency needed to become relevant again to the community,” said TRP Principal Mark Slusher. “By having residential on the property, not only is it what the market wants, it signals a transition at Regency to put it back into the minds of the community. It creates a critical mass of activity that draws people in. Activity breeds activity.”

Construction on the apartments started in summer 2020, on the site of the mall’s now-demolished Sears store. Purcell Construction is the project’s general contractor. Poole and Poole Architecture designed the apartments.

Work on the apartments is in its final phases. Eighty-nine units are currently available and 75 percent of those are leased.

“It’s way beyond our expectations,” Slusher said of renters’ interest in the units. “There’s been no real new apartments available in the Regency area for probably 20 years. The idea of a new product coming on board is really being well received by the market.”

The entire complex is actively leasing and is expected to have all units move-in ready by the end of August. People began to move into the complex last month.

The Rise features 195 one-bedroom units, 116 two-bedroom units and nine three-bedroom units.

The Rise at Regency apartment complex is located on the site of the now-demolished Sears store.

The one-bedroom units are up to 714 square feet in size, while the two-bedroom units are up to 1,300 square feet and the nine three-bedroom units are 1,445 square feet each.

Rental rates for one-bedroom units range from $1,429 to $1,559. Two-bedroom units go for $1,824 to $2,079 a month, and three-bedroom units are priced $2,739 to $2,884.

The complex features four clubhouses, a heated pool and a coffee bar among its amenities, all of which are expected to be fully rolled out by the summer. The complex’s residents have exclusive access to a 372-car parking structure.

The next phase of residential development is expected to be an additional 226 apartments between The Rise at Regency and Starling Drive. The plan is to break ground on the project this year and complete it in 2024, Slusher said.

“Construction prices are so high right now, we’d like to see them stabilize a bit,” he said. “We wouldn’t wait indefinitely. In general our expectation is to deliver them two years from now.”

Regency is zoned to have as many as 1,250 apartments, and Slusher said the plan was to eventually take full advantage of that capacity.

Regency’s previously discussed plans for a hotel on the property are on the backburner, a decision that Slusher said was prompted by a lack of interest from hoteliers.

“We talked to some hotel people but there’s been no strong interest at this time,” he said.

Near the apartments, the Sears Tire of America building was recently demolished to make way for an upcoming Sheetz location. The mall is also planning to revamp its food court into an outdoor plaza and food hall.

“You can really start to see what Regency will look like 15 years from now,” Slusher said. “Regency is really the heart of the original West End of the Richmond area and that heart is beating stronger every day.”

People have started to move into the Rise at Regency, a new 320-unit apartment complex at Regency mall in Henrico County. (Photos courtesy of Regency)

Regency has reached a milestone in its ongoing shift from the retail-heavy model of its past into its future as a mixed-use development.

Residents have started to move into the Henrico County mall’s first phase of apartments, a $65 million, 320-unit complex called The Rise at Regency.

The apartments are a key element in the redevelopment project at Regency, as its owners Thalhimer Realty Partners and Rebkee Co. continue to plot its transformation.

“The driving force in our minds is that Regency needed to become relevant again to the community,” said TRP Principal Mark Slusher. “By having residential on the property, not only is it what the market wants, it signals a transition at Regency to put it back into the minds of the community. It creates a critical mass of activity that draws people in. Activity breeds activity.”

Construction on the apartments started in summer 2020, on the site of the mall’s now-demolished Sears store. Purcell Construction is the project’s general contractor. Poole and Poole Architecture designed the apartments.

Work on the apartments is in its final phases. Eighty-nine units are currently available and 75 percent of those are leased.

“It’s way beyond our expectations,” Slusher said of renters’ interest in the units. “There’s been no real new apartments available in the Regency area for probably 20 years. The idea of a new product coming on board is really being well received by the market.”

The entire complex is actively leasing and is expected to have all units move-in ready by the end of August. People began to move into the complex last month.

The Rise features 195 one-bedroom units, 116 two-bedroom units and nine three-bedroom units.

The Rise at Regency apartment complex is located on the site of the now-demolished Sears store.

The one-bedroom units are up to 714 square feet in size, while the two-bedroom units are up to 1,300 square feet and the nine three-bedroom units are 1,445 square feet each.

Rental rates for one-bedroom units range from $1,429 to $1,559. Two-bedroom units go for $1,824 to $2,079 a month, and three-bedroom units are priced $2,739 to $2,884.

The complex features four clubhouses, a heated pool and a coffee bar among its amenities, all of which are expected to be fully rolled out by the summer. The complex’s residents have exclusive access to a 372-car parking structure.

The next phase of residential development is expected to be an additional 226 apartments between The Rise at Regency and Starling Drive. The plan is to break ground on the project this year and complete it in 2024, Slusher said.

“Construction prices are so high right now, we’d like to see them stabilize a bit,” he said. “We wouldn’t wait indefinitely. In general our expectation is to deliver them two years from now.”

Regency is zoned to have as many as 1,250 apartments, and Slusher said the plan was to eventually take full advantage of that capacity.

Regency’s previously discussed plans for a hotel on the property are on the backburner, a decision that Slusher said was prompted by a lack of interest from hoteliers.

“We talked to some hotel people but there’s been no strong interest at this time,” he said.

Near the apartments, the Sears Tire of America building was recently demolished to make way for an upcoming Sheetz location. The mall is also planning to revamp its food court into an outdoor plaza and food hall.

“You can really start to see what Regency will look like 15 years from now,” Slusher said. “Regency is really the heart of the original West End of the Richmond area and that heart is beating stronger every day.”

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Brian Glass
Brian Glass
1 month ago

Good news for the Wal-Mart across the street.

Rental rates continue to rise at an alarming rate. There still appears to be a shortage of apartments in the MSA as well as single family homes. This is still a result of the “Great Recession” of 2007-2012. At some point in time the bubble, as it always does will burst!

Lee Gaskins
Lee Gaskins
1 month ago

“You can really start to see what Regency will look like 15 years from now”. Yep, you sure can. Judging from the set of 4 automobile tires and junk I saw on someone’s balcony there today, I’m not so sure exactly what it’s going to look like. They need to put some strict aesthetic rules in place. In a hurry.

Brandie Wells
Brandie Wells
1 month ago

Has anyone done the math on the parking situation yet?? Well I did very quickly after seeing what they are charging for rent. The “residents have exclusive access to a 372-car parking structure.” , there are 320 apartments, 195, 129, and 9 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom respectfully. They are paying between $1,492 – $2,884 for the apartments. I don’t know about you but it’s my understanding that most of us are 2 income homes, even those that just have roommates to make the bills. These rent rates are higher than a lot of the mortgages for people… Read more »

Lee Gaskins
Lee Gaskins
1 month ago
Reply to  Brandie Wells

Such a great point. The grassroots organization that was against over-building the area, but in support of the revitalization and redevelopment was told that the developers would “never put as many as 1000 apartment units in the area”. They were told that by a Henrico County Supervisor. You can see what’s happening. The organization even suggested making at least a portion of the apartments for 55+, to perhaps cut down on multiple vehicles per apartment. The county wouldn’t hear of it.

Matt Faris
Matt Faris
1 month ago
Reply to  Brandie Wells

The mixed use parking rate allows for less exclusive parking as overflow from the retail uses are assumed to have a daytime peak while the apartment will have an evening peak. This is true for every mixed use plan I’ve ever seen. The nearby bus line may also help lower demand.

The parking for the new Innslake Place project has similar a parking strategy.

Nathaniel Walsh
Nathaniel Walsh
1 month ago

Rental prices such as these are being propped up and supported by the teleworking phenomenon. If we fall into a recession as some predict (and I sincerely hope we don’t) many of these people could get laid off. They will be in for a rude awakening when they find that, while $1500 a month may be cheap by Northern Virginia standards, it’s still very problematic for Richmond.