AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Regency Mall may be one step closer to revitalization. Monday Augusta-Richmond County Planning Commission approved a petition for rezoning the property.

The Regency Mall has been vacant for some time. Now the property owner, Cardinal Management Group, is ready to make changes.

“Certainly the owner still wants to put forth the project with the apartments that he’s wanting to do. There’s a fitness center, there’s retail, there’s restaurants, all of them are a part of an overall concept that will be phased in,” chairman of Augusta Economic Development Authority, Steven Kendrick said.

The 72 acre development would be known as Cardinal Town Square, and it would include an arts theatre, several apartment buildings, and parking decks.

During Monday’s meeting, one resident asked what income level would be required for the apartments.

“This particular project is not aimed at affordable housing, it’s aimed at market rate housing, specifically so it can bring the types of incomes to the area that would help uplift it so that the businesses that will follow will be able to continue to thrive and grow,” Kendrick said.

In order to put shovels in the ground, the property must be rezoned from general business to planned unit development. Monday, the Planning Commission recommended the rezoning under seven standard conditions.

“We’re just excited that we got to this point. That we got approval from the Planning Commission, which is further than we’ve ever been as it relates to this project. We’re hopeful that this is going to transform the South Augusta area as we discussed,” Kendrick said.

Recommendation from the Planning Commission does NOT give the developers the green light on construction. The full Augusta-Richmond County Commission will take a vote on August 16th. 

Kendrick says the Planning Commission’s approval is a step in the right direction.

“We’re certainly closer to the owner being able to finally put together a concept that we can start to see real actions start to happen at that place. In the past people have talked about it, there have been pictures drawn, but nobody’s ever actually gone to the city and said here’s what we want to do and gotten approval,” Kendrick said.