Regency Mall will most likely be up for sale in the next two years, mall management confirmed Thursday.
In an email to Racine County Eye reader Marlene Hintz, Regency’s General Manager Curt Pruitt said the mall is likely on the list of 21 properties CBL & Associates is looking to sell.
“You read correctly that Regency Mall will likely be sold in the next couple of years,” he wrote. “(They feel) that a more local private development/investment firm could benefit from new ownership.”
Some of the properties CBL plans to retain could transition into “lifestyle centers,” community destinations featuring more dining and entertainment options. Racine County Eye asked readers on Facebook for their suggestions on how to move Regency from operating as a shopping mall to a community destination.
Racine County Eye suggested that Hintz send her ideas to CBL. Hintz wrote to the company, which is headquartered in Chattanooga, TN, to offer suggestions on how Regency could change to better fit the needs of the metro-Racine area and remain a viable center for the community.
“It might be a good idea to turn it into a community center style mall, like an indoor mini city. Anchor stores should include a large grocery like Woodman’s or World Market; a sporting goods store like Bass Pro Shop,” part of her message read.
Hintz also suggested creating a “Taste of Racine” food court featuring local restaurants and shops for tourist destinations based on the most classic SC Johnson products and J.I. Case collectibles. Additionally, she thought having a movie theater – possibly even a 1950s style drive-in – and small pubs with live music and Friday fish fry might make Regency more of a community center.
Pruitt told Hintz that her note put a smile on his face and that he passed her suggestions up the chain of command to better understand how residents see the mall.
“I had a grin on my face from your opening words to the last. I have copied (various teams) so they’ll gain a better understanding of how Regency Mall is viewed in Racine and how we might proceed as we consider many various development options,” he continued. “Accordingly, we are now marketing the mall to those who would be happy to see your enthusiasm and great suggestions for our tenant mix.”
Hintz thinks residents should make their ideas known to better the chances that Regency Mall changes into something that lasts.
“I think if the community wants something like this, they should push for its redevelopment and help CBL find an appropriate local developer to buy it and get things moving,” she wrote.