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Officials find no mold in Regency

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Inspectors allowed to tour what once was Georgia's largest shopping mall found many empty storefronts and some vandalism, but no moldy, dilapidated mess inside.

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Inspectors toured Regency Mall on Tuesday afternoon. The team of inspectors said the building appears structurally sound.   Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Inspectors toured Regency Mall on Tuesday afternoon. The team of inspectors said the building appears structurally sound.

"It's like a ghost town," said Augusta Licensing and Inspections Director Rob Sherman, who inspected the 800,000-square-foot building for about an hour Tuesday with a team of inspectors sent in to ensure that the former mall complied with the city's mothballed properties ordinance.

The building appears structurally sound, with a few places the roof previously has leaked and some signs of damage, mainly broken glass and broken wallboard, Sherman said.

The primary concerns that inspectors had were that the mall and its parking lot should be better secured against trespassers, that fire sprinklers function properly and that overgrown shrubbery be cut back, he said.

Mark Axler, the vice president for mall owner Cardinal Entities, was in Augusta on Tuesday to let the group inside. In recent weeks, Cardinal removed the mall's rooftop air conditioning units that were damaged by copper thieves; then they secured the roof, Axler said.

The mall has been vacant since a Richmond County Marshal's Office substation moved out in March, and substantially so since its last anchor tenant, Montgomery Ward, moved out a decade ago.

"When I go through the mall, I think it's awesome because I can see the mall reopened," said Axler, who said his company buys and refurbishes malls around the United States and is weary of the public perception that Regency is dilapidated and filled with mold.

The Augusta Commission has had other ideas for Regency, but a 2009 proposal to spend $8 million in sales tax revenue to buy and demolish the mall fell flat when Cardinal announced its price -- $50 million -- even though the company paid only $9 million for the entire 72-acre parcel.

The same year, Cardinal successfully appealed a reassessment that increased the mall's value to $16 million.

"If you want to sell your house, you don't want the tax man to tax you on what you're asking for it," Axler said.

Cardinal's asking price for the mall now stands at $52.5 million, and a Japanese company has shown interest in buying the mall and reopening it, he said.

"Before the real estate market went into the tank, the mall was sold," with a buyer putting up $700,000 toward its purchase, he said.

Commissioner Bill Lockett, who campaigned on the issue of redeveloping the Gordon Highway tract and served on the board of assessors when it increased the mall's value, said inspectors needed to go in the mall because they hadn't done so in years.

"Even if it is mothballed and everything is proper, it's still an eyesore to the community," Lockett said. "Develop it, or let someone develop it that wants to."

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broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 06/14/11 - 12:40 pm
0
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so could we have bought it
Unpublished

so could we have bought it for the sheriff' station? the board of ed? the tee center? how much are they selling it for and how much did we spend on each of these things while our city deciders kept crying that the mall is overpriced?

seenitB4
88080
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seenitB4 06/14/11 - 12:43 pm
0
0
WOW!! Now let's see some

WOW!! Now let's see some action with that place....what will surprise everyone is that this could be a booming area again....near interstates.....I can see property values going up.

ECDanes
1
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ECDanes 06/14/11 - 01:11 pm
0
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near interstates? I thought

near interstates? I thought that was one of the main problems with the mall, was that it was mnot located right off an interstate. I think the owners have wanted too much for it. I liked an idea Brad Owens had a while back.. turn it into a training facility for the US military for urban combat, or market it as a filiming location for the next zombie movie.

DawgnSC69
271
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DawgnSC69 06/14/11 - 01:13 pm
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That whole Gordon Hwy

That whole Gordon Hwy corridor is a total dump and a complete embarassment to the city of Augusta and it's not he only area. That building will never be anything but empty unless things are cleaned up.

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 06/14/11 - 01:16 pm
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An article last year said the
Unpublished

An article last year said the sale price $52 million

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/09/24/met_549370.shtml

ECDanes
1
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ECDanes 06/14/11 - 01:17 pm
0
0
implode it.

implode it.

ECDanes
1
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ECDanes 06/14/11 - 01:23 pm
0
0
In their dreams

In their dreams

AutumnLeaves
8057
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AutumnLeaves 06/14/11 - 01:30 pm
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0
If the Regency Mall is in

If the Regency Mall is in perfect shape, well then, so am I...LOL

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 06/14/11 - 01:33 pm
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oh, 52 million is a lot.
Unpublished

oh, 52 million is a lot. still a good deal for a tee center though. i'm joking. there's no such thing as a good deal on something you don't need, can't use, and have a service contract you're gonna have to keep paying on regardless.

iLove
626
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iLove 06/14/11 - 01:38 pm
0
0
Thanks Mr. Lockett for
Unpublished

Thanks Mr. Lockett for re-rolling the ball on this.

Zombie movie? "Urban" (code word) combat zone?

How about a giant trailer park with free Mich. Ultra, PBR, and High Life for the tenants.

ECDanes
1
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ECDanes 06/14/11 - 01:47 pm
0
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I guess some folks really

I guess some folks really miss Orange Julius and Merry Go Round

Many Arrows
-1
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Many Arrows 06/14/11 - 02:02 pm
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$52 million? You would have

$52 million?

You would have to be INSANE to give them 1/10th that.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 06/14/11 - 02:13 pm
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thanks for the link,
Unpublished

thanks for the link, crackertroy. so the owners say it's worth 52 million but only pay taxes on a worth of 4.2 million. they protest when we try to raise the assessed value. good stuff. i bet we could run the bus and the cabbage patch on those taxes.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 06/14/11 - 02:14 pm
0
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adjusted assessment value not
Unpublished

adjusted assessment value not current.

countyman
20236
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countyman 06/14/11 - 02:14 pm
0
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Give the public sector a few

Give the public sector a few extra months to see if there's a potential buyer.. If not then demolish the mall and turn the property into a massive park.. Gym, dog park, green space, walking trails, skateboard park, bmx track, baseball/soccer fields, tennis courts etc... Name the park Rock Creek to go along with the Richmond County master plan created last year.. The millions in splost going towards creating the Lake near the mall fits nicely with the park idea..

countyman
20236
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countyman 06/14/11 - 02:24 pm
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DawgSC69.. I think you mean

DawgSC69.. I think you mean the Gordon Hwy in South Augusta from Northleg rd towards downtown needs to be cleaned up. There's a multi million residential community(Gordon Hwy/Sibley/Milledgeville under construction helping clean up the area.. The city is using the gateway grants for the intersection of Deans Bridge/Gordon Hwy.. The Southgate shopping center is almost at 100% occupancy..

The part of Gordon Hwy in South Augusta between Jimmie Dyess Pkwy and I-520 has several new hotels, American Tire facility, golf range, new hotel under construction, and the road was recently repaved...

The part of Gordon Hwy in Southwest Augusta aka SWAG between Jimmie Dyess Pkwy and the city of Harlem is growing REALLY fast.. The subdivision Willhaven created phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3.. There's two new neighborhoods about to begin construction in the area.. The 200 acre Haynes Station and the 62 acre residential/1 acre commercial Mccoys Creek..
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4158
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4187

ECDanes
1
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ECDanes 06/14/11 - 02:21 pm
0
0
It seems I remember about 8

It seems I remember about 8 years ago there was some big study paid for with a government grant with all of these fancy drawings that called for turning it into a mixed-use town center style development and calling it Town Center at Rocky Creek.

raul
5011
Points
raul 06/14/11 - 02:24 pm
0
0
Countryman, how do you

Countryman, how do you demolish someone else's property? Do you mean have the county buy it and demolish it? I don't follow.

the_source
0
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the_source 06/14/11 - 02:25 pm
0
0
According to public records,

According to public records, the Regency Mall last sold on June 28, 2002 for $2,226,000, not $52 million. Current tax value is $2,500,000. Whoever thinks that eyesore would sell for $52 million is smoking some of the good stuff that's being dealt in the area. This can seen on the property card at: http://mapweb.augustaga.gov/augusta/printPreview.aspx?PrintOptData=Augus... County Map|0|0|true|false|true|true|true|694748.713320939|1249480.35660121|699908.782798657|1253579.5565317|5|51319|0.8840946552369246&govUser=false&validUser=false

the_source
0
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the_source 06/14/11 - 02:26 pm
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0
Oops, link was too long.

Oops, link was too long. Just go to http://augustaga.gov/ and navigate through the links to the property card.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 06/14/11 - 02:27 pm
0
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i actually don't mind that
Unpublished

i actually don't mind that idea, countyman. makes me feel like i'm missing something. well, we cut funding for parks and rec, for one thing. i tried pushing a wildflower initiative to fred russell. i'm thinking since they say we can't afford to mow, what if we tilled up grass areas and other neglected public areas to plant native wildflower seeds? cheap and one time effort. they reseed themselves and only need one mowing a year in the autumn to keep weed trees from growing. they'd be so abundant peopke could pick them when they felt like it. i think it coulld be pretty adorable, especially in tourist trap areas and anywhere little kids wouldn't otherwise get to pick flowers for their mama. also guys could start bringing a flower or two on a date. class the place up.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 06/14/11 - 02:28 pm
0
0
can we put in a drive-in
Unpublished

can we put in a drive-in theatre?

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 06/14/11 - 02:37 pm
0
0
No matter who buys it.. or
Unpublished

No matter who buys it.. or what's done with it.. I just don't see it lasting for long once all the local thugs in the area start stealing, raping, and tearing it up again. When both malls were open, I rarely went to Regency because of all the gang-like people walking around. They seem to like intimidating the rest of us by walking 3 or 4 or more abreast and don't move out of your way. I hated that place and could care less if it rots and falls down. The only good thing that could come of this is it opens, and the thugs leave the Augusta Mall and return to the project mall.

the_source
0
Points
the_source 06/14/11 - 02:41 pm
0
0
To those who have nice ideas

To those who have nice ideas like putting in a park, lake, zombie movie props, or whatever, keep in mind that it all boils down to return on investment. What kind of cash flow would a park, lake, or zombie movie props produce? Not much.

If Regency Mall couldn't survive with all the rent-paying tenants there (until they started leaving), how would a park/lake/zombie movie props generate more cash flow than that? Cash flow is what will give value to a place like the Regency Mall lot. The last recorded sale price of $2.226 million was the value to the poor chumps who bought it but they'll find it almost impossible to sell it for a profit unless they can completely reposition it into something that gives even more value to someone else who can actually buy it. Even though many may want something, it's only those who can actually buy it that give it value.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 06/14/11 - 02:48 pm
0
0
some people think south
Unpublished

some people think south augusta is due for a municipal pick-me-up like downtown gets.

ECDanes
1
Points
ECDanes 06/14/11 - 02:48 pm
0
0
Filming location for a remake

Filming location for a remake of the remake of Dawn of the Dead would be awesome.

the_source
0
Points
the_source 06/14/11 - 03:08 pm
0
0
Goooood stuff they sell at

Goooood stuff they sell at the Regency Mall these days! (puff, puff, puff...)

Clux99
0
Points
Clux99 06/14/11 - 03:16 pm
0
0
The owners of the property

The owners of the property would probably make more money if they tore down the building and subdivided the property. Not many folks are going to pony up the dough for a huge chunk of land with a dead mall on it...

countyman
20236
Points
countyman 06/14/11 - 03:28 pm
0
0
Two of the eleven projects

Two of the eleven projects created in the Richmond County master plan(not to be confused with the Augusta/North Augusta master plan) last year... They included the Rocky Creek Park Regional mix-use center and the Southgate Urban Village..

The new lake and gateway grants should be two of the first big signs of gentrification..

countyman
20236
Points
countyman 06/14/11 - 03:38 pm
0
0
The Regency Mall may finally

The Regency Mall may finally be redeveloped soon...

The article from April 2011 said the demolishing talks were slowed down due to a potential buyer..
http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/government/2011-04-25/potential-buyer-...

Now the article from May 2011 says a Japanese company is interested in buying the site and reopening it as a mall..

While the immediate area surrounding the mall is lower middle class... The disposable income in South Augusta(Goshen, parts of Brown rd, Willis Foreman rd, Southlake Estates, Diamond Lakes, Hwy 56 and Peach Orchard south of Tobacco rd, etc) can still access the mall in thirty minutes of less.. This doesn't include the potential shoppers from Mcbean, Hephzibah, Blythe, Burke County, or Jefferson County..

I think some type of outletmall would do great on the property..

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