Big plans for abandoned Azalea Mall site - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Big plans for abandoned Azalea Mall site

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

The old Azalea Mall site on the Richmond/Henrico border has been vacant for years, but that could change. There is a proposal for a Martin's grocery store, and that's just the beginning.

The drawings show more than 300,000 square feet of space. Anchoring it all is a proposed Martin's grocery store. Across the parking lot are residential units, and to the left is a gas station. There is even room for future development.

Right now, many people working around the Azalea Mall site describe it as "a real eyesore," including David Overby, owner of All Tune & Lube on the Henrico side of the lot.

For 11 years, the view across this shop has been overgrown shrubs and cracked pavement.  The 48 acres that rest in Richmond's northside and part of Henrico show signs of abandonment.

It wasn't always like this. In the 1960s, it was Richmond's first enclosed mall.

"I remember," said Yvonne Coleman, "I used to shop there."

Coleman works at nearby laundry mat. She says most of the visitors to the site today are unwanted.

"People dump stuff over there," she said. "I mean like logs, trees mattresses, furniture."

Hearing the Azalea site is being advertised as a prime retail location gives people around here hope.

"We've been waiting anxiously to see when somebody was going to step in," said Overby. "It could be great for the neighborhood, great for Henrico."

Dewberry Capital owns the property. They haven't returned many calls from NBC12.

The real estate agency Cushman, Wakefield and Thalhimer says the site would be developed in phases, depending on the interest from buyers. No time frame has been announced just yet.

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