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Short Pump goes shopping for suggestions

Burl Rolett June 5, 2013 28
Short Pump Town Center houses more than 140 retailers. (Photo by Burl Rolett)

Short Pump Town Center houses more than 140 retailers. (Photo by Burl Rolett)

Short Pump Town Center is slated for an upgrade as one of the mall’s co-owners prepares to sell a nearly 25 percent ownership stake in the 1.3 million-square-foot shopping center.

Developer Forest City Enterprises is planning to begin extensive renovations at Short Pump Town Center in early 2014, company spokesman Jeff Linton said.

“[We have] very exciting plans for major renovations,” said Tommy Pruitt, a principal at Pruitt Associates which, along with Forest City, co-owns the shopping center.

Neither Forest City nor Short Pump mall management would provide specifics on the planned changes or the costs, but mall marketing director Pam Howland said it would include new retailers, landscaping, events and amenities.

On Monday, Cleveland-based Forest City announced a deal to sell 49 percent of its ownership stake in eight U.S. malls, including Short Pump, to Australian institutional investment firm QIC.

Forest City has 50 percent ownership of Short Pump Town Center, with the other half belonging to Richmond-based Pruitt Associates. Forest City will sell 49 percent of its stake – or 24.5 percent of the mall – to QIC. Pruitt will retain its 50 percent.

“Basically nothing changes with Short Pump Town Center.,” said Pruitt. “Short Pump Town Center is just part of a larger deal Forest City and QIC put together.”

Terms of sale were not disclosed, but Linton said that the deal is expected to generate about $330 million in proceeds for Forest City when it is closed. Linton expects the agreement to be finalized by the end of October.

Forest City plans to use most of the cash from the transaction to reduce debt. Another portion of the money will fund upgrades at Short Pump, as well as renovations at malls in Nevada and California. Forest City will continue to handle leasing, marketing and management operations at each of the properties.

Short Pump Town Center, which houses more than 140 retailers, has since April been soliciting input for improvements. The mall, which opened in 2003, launched the campaign in celebration of its 10th anniversary, Howland said.

“Our customers can tell us what they want to see here, whether it’s more fire pits or specific restaurants or retailers,” she said.

IKEA, the Container Store and Lush Cosmetics are among the most-requested retailers, according to an online suggestion board. Shoppers also say they want a farmers market and Wi-Fi.

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28 Comments »

  1. Ruben Foster June 5, 2013 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Richmond needs a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

  2. Steve June 5, 2013 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Good for them for not letting the mall get stale. Not sure where they are going to find the land to add additional stores/restaurants though. I suspect it will eat up parking unless they add a third floor to some area’s. Hope they add Gordon Biersch.

    • Shelly June 5, 2013 at 10:21 am - Reply

      Gordon Biersch is an excellent idea.

  3. Brian Glass June 5, 2013 at 8:39 am - Reply

    The footprint of the Town Center can’t accomodate the size of an Ikea, and quite frankly our market isn’t large enought to support it.

    The Container Store would be a nice addition, if they feel the market is large enough.

    Both of these retailers are major metro centric.

  4. Tom C June 5, 2013 at 8:42 am - Reply

    They need to address the traffic light problem…I go to American Family in Short Pump…..When coming out of the mall in the early morning (when it is still dark); if you are trying to make a left on to Broad Street, the light does not change to green.

    Also, how many other people have felt like they will NEVER get out of there when it is busy…..The incoming traffic always has the right of way even when they are turning left…The speed limit posted is like 20 or 25 MPH…..If you try to obey that you will get run over…..

    Instead of “Escape From New York”, they should do a movie “Escape From Short Pump Town Center”

  5. Nick June 5, 2013 at 9:38 am - Reply

    TRAFFIC! Congestion around the mall is ridiculous! There should be an interstate exit that leads you right into the mall so you don’t clog Broad Street with traffic! Most of my friends, including myself dread having to drive into Short Pump because of traffic.

    Small business owners in the area shot this idea down because they said it would reduce the audience of cars that drive by their stores…. ummm.. You seriously think congested traffic is dramatically increasing sales? You increase sales because you have a good product and friendly/knowledgeable staff. The reputation, product and customer service will send customers your way. Plus, most of the places on the way to the mall our large retail giants anyway…

    • Scott June 5, 2013 at 10:45 am - Reply

      If Henrico County can’t get approval yet for an interchange at North Gayton how do you think the Highway administration would approve a mall entrance? Eventually an interchange will be built at North Gayton, but the mall property is too close to the 295 interchange to get its own entrance.

  6. Steve June 5, 2013 at 10:46 am - Reply

    actually a new exit onto the mall is one of the idea’s on the plate right now.

  7. Scott June 5, 2013 at 10:50 am - Reply

    I would love to see it become a true Town Center and add some residential to the mix. Also if they are going to remodel, I hate the way the upstairs floor is not really secured to the structure it just feels cheap.

    As for retailers, I agree a container store would be awesome, but please leave Ikea at Potomac Mills out of easy reach of my wife.

  8. Kristle BJ June 5, 2013 at 10:55 am - Reply

    Traffic!!!! I believe an exit from I-64 to Short Pump Mall from the back side where AF or near the mini shopping strip where the Dollar Tree is located should be included in the future plans. This will reduce the Broad St traffic a lot. The Aldo accessory story would be nice along with Bloomingdale, Carters, a Micheal Kors and few more. IKEA is to large and the economy isn’t ready. I believe this stores listed by me and the others will increase the customer satisfactions.

  9. Morgan June 5, 2013 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Along with what Scott said, adding the residential component would be really interesting, but also a few more boutique-esque restaurants that are mixed throughout. Maybe scrap the food court all together and have those restaurants dotted throughout the mall. It would make for a more urban experience and less of a mall/suburban feel.

  10. Sallie June 5, 2013 at 11:29 am - Reply

    I really love Short Pump, it’s my favorite mall ever. Living in the West End of Henrico, VA there’s no other mall cooler than Short Pump Mall. I suggest that they add more musical events and activities, and build modern theaters too.

  11. Sal June 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Please add a Dogfish Head Brew Pub to Short Pump Town Center! It would be the ONE restaurant/PUB that would actually rock it!

  12. Mike June 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    TRAFFIC! Agree there should be an interstate exit either at Pouncy Tract, North Gayton or one that leads you right into the mall.

  13. Brian June 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    How about bulldoze it and turn it back into green space and send all the transplanted northerns back up north?

    • Ethan June 11, 2013 at 9:06 am - Reply

      *like*

  14. scot June 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    A cheddars casual cafe would be great or a good seafood restaraunt

  15. Robyn June 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Would LOVE to see a container store and a lush cosmetics. Sephora would be cool too. Oh and please a better food court that includes a ben and jerrys :).
    A bigger nordstrom ……..

  16. Jay June 6, 2013 at 8:11 am - Reply

    To all who mentioned IKEA being too large (physically) for Short Pump Town Center, I don’t really think that’s an issue.

    Look at the site that IKEA occupies in Woodbridge, VA, for example. That IKEA store features enclosed parking to take up less surface area.

    They could easily fit it on one of the back lots by Macy’s or Dillards.

    That being said, I don’t think IKEA is necessarily interested in being directly in the Richmond market (yet). They’ll probably put a store in the Hampton Roads area first…

  17. Angel June 6, 2013 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Here’s hoping that they don’t jump on the easy road of duplicating the same stores/restaurants that are at Stony Point or Chesterfield like some of the Popularise entries have suggested.

    Look at the big picture, Short Pump, people want retail that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the area!

    • Shelly June 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      ….couldn’t have said it any better.

    • Will June 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      I agree with the great comments and I find that Richmond does NEED more diversity. The shopping here in our fair city is truly Cookie-Cutter, which make sit all the same. This city which is the capital should be a huge driving force for the rest of the state. However, we cannot have it both ways, production and progression means ALL participating, which means also that the infrastructure should be looked at closely to crate better highways in the city so that the populace can move around without gridlocking all the time would be so serene and wonderful for all. How about Walmarts inside the city????

  18. Eddy June 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I would concentrate on changing the open concept to an enclosed mall. If you plan a day of shopping and the weather is rainy, cold and windy, you may skip the shopping and head to the VMFA! Perhaps there could be open – garden like spaces, but a way to shield the walkways from foul weather?
    Taking that into consideration would make young families enjoy the mall all year round and help people with disabilities enjoy a day out that is easy to manage.
    Also, underestimating our community in their desire for upscale shops, not “c” stores is a mistake. Bring in shops that offer up to date merchandise; healthy dining options; plenty of parking and obvious security and the mall will be fabulous!

    • Steve June 7, 2013 at 8:10 am - Reply

      Closing up the mall would be huge mistake imo. That is what makes Short Pump great imo. Even in the winter. I love the open mall concept. I don’t even like going to closed malls anymore.

  19. Mary Lee Schultz June 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    I cannot see them enclosing the Mall. I would like to see a bigger Nordstrom’s and a Sephora, like the one is Towsontown Center.

  20. Tatinya June 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Short pump mall needs to open up a Zara it is a men and ladies store and so many people love the store already including me

  21. Scott June 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Bigger Nordstrom’s? The few times I venture into it, there’s more employees than customers.

  22. Indy July 18, 2013 at 9:55 am - Reply

    The developers need to take a trip to Liverpool.U.K. And see Liverpool one shopping center or Trafford center in Manchester to see what a shopping mall should look Ike, short pump is behind the times !

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