AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A locally-owned retail real estate firm believes the possibilities are endless at the Regency Mall.
Hull Property Group Managing Principle Jim Hull says people are visual. So the focus shouldn’t be on just redeveloping Regency Mall, but rather painting the scenery that leads to the mall and just past it.
Take a drive down Gordon Highway and you’ll find one vacant property after another. Regency Mall was once the heart of Augusta, but back in 2002 the 800,000 square foot property was closed down permanently.
“Frankly the way it looks right now, I’m not sure who you can attract to the corridor.” Hull told WJBF NewsChannel 6.
As Augusta’s leaders determine what to do with the abandoned shopping center, Hull suggests that the redevelopment should start at Milledgeville Road and stretch the 2.4 miles to Tubman Home Road.
Hull says the area is in a vicious cycle because vacant and neglected properties are not appealing to potential business-owners. The Managing Principle says the key to restoring life into the once-prosperous Gordon Highway is about defining the area. Yet he adds, this can only be done through demolishing the current unused buildings and creating some visually appealing properties.
“No property is an island onto itself. So you can’t have a redeveloped Regency Mall and have a blighted area all surrounding it,” said Hull.
Although Hull has never taken on a project like the Regency Mall, he says redevelopment is about looking at it as an investment. He says that can be accomplished through the right private-public partnership.
“Then at the end of the day someone is going to come along and want it and pay for it,” Hull said.
Hull Property Group Managing Principle also suggests that tax incentives for potential business-owners will help the redevelopment process.