Shooting at Regency mall creates unwelcome publicity
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Monday's shooting at the Regency Square mall was unwelcome publicity. The mall has weathered a couple shaky years financially, switching management and recovering from the loss of several popular stores. However, Regency Square marketing manager Secille Siverio says the shooting was an isolated incident, and the shopping center's security is solid.
"I can assure you that the safety of our shoppers and employees is a top priority for our mall," said Siverio. "As part of our commitment to promote a safe shopping environment, we maintain a highly trained security staff that is prepared to respond to a variety of emergency situations."
However, many people in the neighborhood said that they're going to base future shopping decisions mostly on the stores, as opposed to security.
"It is my mall. It's a really good mall, and it's been here for a really long time," said loyal shopper Cynthia Stewart, who says she lives near Regency Square.
Within the last two years, the mall has lost several big draws- Williams- Sonoma, For Your Entertainment (FYE), Famous Footwear and the Texas De Brazil restaurant.
Local resident Heather Covais says the mall doesn't seem as bustling as it did years ago. "We grew up going to Regency, and it was always so crowded. Now, you definitely see fewer people in there," said Covais.
However, Covais says she'll continue to take trips to the Regency, despite Monday afternoon's violent outburst.
The mall's new management, real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, is continuing with plans to revive the Regency, like improving the parking lot and signage. Siverio also says that storefronts are 94 percent occupied.
"I'll definitely keep going there. I mean...things happen, but you shouldn't be scared," said Stewart.
Siverio says sales are up for a number of stores, and several businesses have renewed their leases.
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