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 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.”