Posted April 21, 2007 12:21 pm

Is Augusta Mall siphoning retailers from Villages?

They said there would be a construction delay, and they weren’t kidding.

he MGHerring Group, of Dallas, the developers of the massive Villages at Riverwatch shopping center project at the southeast corner of River Watch Parkway and Interstate 20, said last month that they would delay the project six to nine months to study ways to “enhance” the 800,000-square-foot shopping center to a mixed-use ( less retail) concept.

True to their word, the gates to the 170-acre site have been closed for weeks.

With a similarly huge “lifestyle center” retail project under way at Augusta Mall, it’s obvious the Village at Riverwatch developers are facing a retail tenant shortage. So when (or if) the project moves forward later this year or early next year, you can expect to see fewer stores and more hotels and restaurants built around the Dillard’s and Belk-anchored shopping center.

Long before the Texas developers got a hold of the property, the land was marketed as a high-end office park called River Shoals (this is why the Comcast and Delta Air Lines offices line its eastern entrance). If the hunt for retail doesn’t improve, the Villages at Riverwalk may end up being more like a place where people work than shop.