Plans for Richland Mall redevelopment

Here is a look at what could become of the Richland Mall in Forest Acres.

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) – Here is a look at what could become of the Richland Mall in Forest Acres. This comes after Richland County Council approved a tax incentive agreement with a developer to revamp the property and Forest Acres City Council approved the purchase of a portion of the property for a city park.

The Richland Mall sits with almost a million square feet of retail space with only a few stores occupying it including Barnes and Noble and Belk. Forest Acres City Councilman Tom Andrews says a developer continues to show interest in transforming the area. 

“They’ve really been engaged with the city and shared a vision of a mixed use model that has retail, restaurant, and new residents and then also a city park. We think it is exciting and its going to bring people to this area and increase our tax base and just be something that everyone can be proud of,” says Councilman Andrews. 

This week Forest Acres council members approved the purchase of a portion of the property, 5.5 acres on the backside of the mall for a park. Councilman Andrews says it would be a venue open to the arts, performances, and community use. According to city leaders, as it stands now the park will cost the city $3 million and will be paid using hospitality tax dollars. A price nowhere near how much the developers will pay for the rest of the property. 

“The developers think this is going to be a $1 million investment sort of at least, it’s probably going to be more than that. We’ve never had that size investment in Forest Acres that i’m aware of and so its exciting and it shows what a special place we are and that people are willing to invest in it to,” says Councilman Andrews. 

According to Forest Acres city leaders, the purchase is contingent on the developers closing on the property which has yet to done but city leaders say they’re hopeful it will happen before the end of the year. 

“Still a lot to be done in sort of finalizing a concept plan into a real concrete plan but certainly one of the first steps is going to be Belk continuing here and they’re probably going to go into the old Parisian building. So really before anything happens the Parisian building has to be renovated for the Belk so they can be moved. Then you’re going to see most of this area flattened, most of the existing mall and then things are going to start rising up,” says Councilman Andrews. 

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