Residents react to potential developments coming to Richland Mall Property

Residents react to potential developments coming to Richland Mall Property

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – The nearly abandoned Richland Mall may have a new shot at life after the Richland county council approved a tax incentive agreement that could bring more businesses, housing, and a park to the area.

Tuesday night, council members voted on a plan to attract businesses to invest in the mall.

People we spoke with today say the majority of this mall has sat vacant for almost a decade. Right now the only two stores operating are Barnes and Noble and Belk.

April Allen has been living on Forest Acres for more than 15 years now and she says she remembers the Richland Mall back when it was known as the Richland Fashion Mall.

“This mall had everything in it. This is where everyone came, this was the community,” said April Allen.

But over the years many people have seen the mall and the property itself take a turn for the worse.

“To see it stand here deteriorating is just a bad thing,” said Allen.

“It’s kind of sad. We had the kitchen center or the food court and they closed that up when the call center came in,” said Darrell McDaniel.

But a new tax incentive agreement could revamp the property itself and bring more developments along with it. The county council approved a tax incentive agreement with Southeastern. That’s an Augusta-based company that’s breathed life into a lot of other properties in similar conditions.

McDaniel says, “I think the tax incentives would be great, I think to kind of beef it up because we just have the Belk and the Barnes and Noble. So, bringing business back to the mall would be great.”

The plan is to bring a public park, housing and more businesses to the area—it would be similar to the Bullstreet district which includes a baseball stadium, apartments, restaurants, and much more.

Now the council is still in the very early planning stages. A spokesperson for the council tells me nothing has been set in stone just yet other than the agreement with the developer—but she does tell me the council is excited to see how this redevelopment could be a positive economic impact on the community.

The spokesperson for the council says the stores in the mall will not remain in the same place—once the redesigning phase begins.

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