Richland Mall to be demolished and redeveloped, largest investment in three decades to Forest Acres

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – A fixture of Forest Acres is being demolished and redeveloped.

The City of Forest Acres said the Richland Mall is scheduled to be sold and demolished, calling it the single largest investment in the area in 35 years.

Southeastern Development of Augusta, GA is under contract to purchase the property. It is estimated the redevelopment will provide a value of approximately $100 million. The plan on the 32-acre site includes mixed-use property for retail, a brewery or tap room, a large space for events and concerts, a grocery store, and apartments.

“This is a historic day for Forest Acres and Richland County,” says Forest Acres Mayor Frank Brunson.

Councilman Thomas Andrews said the city has spent two and a half years working on the project.

Richland Mall opened in 1961 and was the first mall in the area. The open-air center was later converted into an indoor mall in the 1980s. Currently, only three tenants are occupying the roughly one million square feet of retail space.

As part of the partnership, the city will purchase the green space for $3 million and oversee park development. The city said the company is expected to close on the property in the near future. The next step will include hiring an architect to draw plans for the site, which is expected to take at least six months.

Next Southeastern will rehab the old Parisian building along Forest Drive, Belk will relocate to the building once complete. This will take approximately 12 to 18 months, during that time Belk will remain open at their current store.

Afterward Southeastern will begin tearing down the structure, which should take roughly another 12 to 18 months. The mall is estimated at around 931,000 feet of concrete.

In total, planners are expecting the project to take four to five years before it opens for business.

WIS has embedded the full release below.

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