That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

April 3, 2005

Patrick Henry Mall to get a renovation

Filed under: patrick henry mall — Anita @ 8:42 pm

Set to start this month, the $25 million project will attempt to reflect the region’s colonial roots.


Published April 3, 2005

NEWPORT NEWS, VA — Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News is shedding its 1980s image for a new style that will attempt to evoke the region’s colonial beginnings.

A $25 million renovation set to start this month will include a remodeled food court with a super-sized fireplace, hearth and mantle like you might see in a Colonial Williamsburg home, only more dramatic, with an 8-foot-wide mantle.

Early American-style sconces will grace pillars encased in rich, dark woods. New skylights will bathe the area in natural light, and cushy seats will invite shoppers to linger. Large chandeliers will have the look of giant colonial-era lanterns.

Still trying to place the ambiance? Think Williamsburg’s Merchants Square storefronts meet Norfolk’s MacArthur Center Mall.

“It will be a complete renovation: new floors, lighting, ceiling, restrooms,” said Michael Fenchak, mall asset manager. “We’re taking a 1980s mall to a current state-of-the-art property.”

The makeover comes as the region’s shoppers have more modern mall choices if they’re willing to drive about 80 miles. The region’s newest malls – Richmond’s Short Pump Town Center and Stony Point Fashion Center – were built in 2003. Short Pump departed from the traditional mall design with open-air shopping designed around a courtyard, and Stony Point’s high-end stores are grouped around two outdoor plazas.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust bought Patrick Henry in 2003 with the intention of updating it, said Cheryl Dougherty, vice president of marketing.

“It is one of the top performing assets in our portfolio,” Dougherty said. “We feel there’s still an upside in taking it to another level.”

Create Architecture Planning & Design, of New York City, is creating the mall’s look. The building contractors who will complete most of the work have not yet been chosen, mall officials said.

The mall is adding a new section that will include a Dick’s Sporting Goods store, a major national bookstore and a restaurant. Fenchak said he could not disclose the names of the bookstore and restaurant because the deals are not yet signed.

Dillard’s department store recently consolidated its two Patrick Henry stores, and where the empty store currently sits will be a number of small retailers forming a corridor leading to the new anchor stores, Fenchak said, adding that mall officials are not ready to announce the names of the stores.

Construction is expected to take place in three phases, with the bookstore and restaurant set to open before Christmas.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is scheduled to open in March 2006. The Pittsburgh-based sporting goods chain has 234 stores after its acquisition of competitor Galyan’s in July. The new store will sit between the mall and Interstate 64.

Dick’s stores are set up as a series of areas it calls “shops,” selling footwear, golf equipment, fitness and exercise gear and clothing.

According to its Web site, it carries brand names including Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Callaway, Taylor Made, and a store brand called Adirondack Trading Co.

The chain has stores at Lynnhaven Mall and Town Center in Virginia Beach, plus one at Short Pump.

I’ve been by Patrick Henry hundreds of times, and I have to agree that it does need renovating. The mall has no “theme” at all. It’s just mostly … white walls? The mall is doing really well, though. But I am a little anxious, because it seems that a lot of malls die after their renovation. I mean Newmarket North (Hampton, VA–I wrote a feature for this mall for, and then I accidenty deleted the damn thing off my computer. I’m in the process of writing it again for this blog) had a renovation in 1990, and by 1992 half of the mall was closed.

The mall is adding a new section that will include a Dick’s Sporting Goods store, a major national bookstore and a restaurant.

Ohhh man, that might suck. There’s a really nice Barnes and Noble that has been in the area since the mid 1990’s and I really hope it doesn’t kill business.

I’m going to try my best to get down there this week and take “before” pics.


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