Regency Mall revival: Housing, supermarket, retail planned

Published: May. 31, 2022 at 9:12 AM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Plans were announced Tuesday morning for a major redevelopment of the site of the partially demolished Regency Mall.

There would be housing for up to 2,000 residents, plus a grocery store, several restaurants, a fitness center, a performing arts center, an “academic facility,” green space, and stores at what’s being called Cardinal Town Square.

Leading the announcement about Cardinal Town Square was Steven Kendrick, a former Richmond County tax commissioner who’s running for mayor. He resigned the tax commissioner post after he announced his candidacy for mayor. He’s also a board member of the Augusta Economic Development Authority.

Kendrick said the housing is key to the businesses that will be on the site and in the area because the residents will be the major customers who will infuse the area with a new life.

The owners are the ones who planned this project, Kendrick said in announcing the plans at the site of the mall at Gordon Highway and Deans Bridge Road.

“We’re standing here on a property that’s been talked about in our community for the last 25 years,” said Kendrick.

25 years of big plans.

25 years of decay.

25 years of nothing.

Kendrick acknowledged there may be skepticism about the grand plans.

“I realize there might be skepticism, but this one is different,” he said.

Plans for "Cardinal Town Square" at the site of the old Regency Mall.
Plans for "Cardinal Town Square" at the site of the old Regency Mall.(WRDW)

The 50-acre site has been unused for two decades since the mall closed.

One commissioner said this mall has held south Augusta hostage. Just the presence of the 50-acre property has stunned growth in the area for decades. This new proposal will bring some life back to this area.

Brandon Garrett, commissioner for District 8 said: “We always talk about the potential that’s there. Now we’re seeing what the potential could actually look like.”

Plans for "Cardinal Town Square" at the site of the old Regency Mall.
Plans for "Cardinal Town Square" at the site of the old Regency Mall.(WRDW)

With help from the Augusta Development Authority and local architects, plans have been in the works for a little over a year. We noticed bulldozers back in October of 2020.

The interior of the mall was gutted and sealed up because people were sneaking into it. And several months ago, parts of the mall were demolished, but that work seemed to stop.

The new project may explain why the work stopped.

That’s because the new project would utilize part of the remaining mall structure. All of the new Cardinal Town Square except for some restaurants and the apartments would be inside the existing mall structure.

The restaurants and apartments would be built around the remaining mall building.

Garrett said: “That’s one of the things south Augusta has been missing out on is new development. As we look at big projects, especially something of this magnitude, the opportunities are endless.”

Site plans for "Cardinal Town Square" at the site of the old Regency Mall.
Site plans for "Cardinal Town Square" at the site of the old Regency Mall.(WRDW)

“Finally, help is on the way” for south Augusta, an area that’s long been ignored, Kendrick said at the event that was partially an unveiling of plans and partially a campaign speech.

“We expect this to be the catalyst” for the corridor between Fort Gordon and downtown Augusta, Kendrick said.

Kendrick couldn’t give a timetable for the project but said, “I hope and certainly most of this community hopes it will be soon.”

He called it “probably one of the largest mixed-use projects in Augusta’s history.”

The developer has not requested any incentives so far, said Kendrick, who called the project a private investment.

“This opportunity is different in that actual plans have been submitted to Augusta Planning and Development for approval of this transformational project,” he said. “This could be a real game-changer for all of Augusta.”

Making a campaign pitch, Kendrick said he’ll do everything he can to make the plans come true if he’s elected mayor.

But, he said, “the real winners here stand to be the citizens of Augusta.”

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