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China Max, Richland Mall: May 2014 (moved)   16 comments

Posted at 12:00 am in Uncategorized





If you look closely at the three pictures above (especially the last one), you can see China Max in operation at the (second) Richland Mall food court.

Commenter MrBO sends in the next two pictures, showing that China Max has now moved shop from the food court to Harden Street. I believe this leaves the food court completely empty, possibly leading some of the call center folks to actually try the pizza at the Barnes & Nobel cafe.



This is another in a long series of blows to the mall, which would be bad enough, but management adds to the problem by adopting an air of defeat, as in, for instance, turning off the elevator fountains and pool, retiring the Christmas singing bears and more recently, closing off the upper level entrance and walk-through for Belk's:





(Hat tip to commenter MrBO)

15 July 2014 -- added an additional picture, though it doesn't really add much value.

Written by ted on June 13th, 2014

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16 Responses to 'China Max, Richland Mall: May 2014 (moved)'

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  1. It is really sad to see what has happened here.
    Growing up, before the old mall was torn down, I loved going there, now... not so much love, more like hate going there.


    13 Jun 14 at 10:53 am

  2. It has now been 4 years since Century Capitol Group bought this property. They've sought to revitalize it and even tapped Kahn Development to aid in this process.

    The first thing they did was to rebrand it as Richland it just me or is that the only notable success they've had with any type of staying power in the intervening years???


    13 Jun 14 at 12:42 pm

  3. The day of the covered mall has passed. And this one will, too, ultimately. And it wouldn't surprise me at all to see it redeveloped to look more like the old (open air) Richland Mall, as that business model seems to be the current trend.


    13 Jun 14 at 1:52 pm

  4. I understand that it would cost millions of dollars to tear this mall down and rebuild it into an old style mall, as badger mentioned but, it would make the best business since to do so. It may take many years to recoup their money but, it would be better than what they have now.

    Just saying.
    And why do people say "just saying"? I don't even know why I said it.
    Must be the Ta-kill-ya. Ha ha haaaa


    13 Jun 14 at 5:15 pm

  5. I doubt that a developer would rebuild Richland Mall into its former format without tenants willing to occupy the spaces. At the very least, they'd need the support of an anchor tenant.

    I think something like what you find at Sparkleberry Square is more likely...My vision is for it to feature an upgraded Kroger and was just thinking about it featuring a Dick's Sporting Goods...


    13 Jun 14 at 10:20 pm

  6. That *was* the last one in the food court. It's all dark now. All that's left is AnDeli's (which make decent chili dogs) and Jackson's buffet which I'll frequent, but I find it a bit bland.

    You're also right. This caused me to go to Barnes & Nobel. Tried their Chicken-bacon sandwich (which was pretty good) and their black iced tea (which was the weakest tea I ever had) Gonna have to try the Pizza next.

    I think I mentioned elsewhere that I remember the strip mall with the Winne Dixie, Hickory Farms, the Plitt theater, and the post office Kiosk. Even if they never built that mall, those would likely be long gone by now.


    14 Jun 14 at 9:29 am

  7. @Everybody - I vaguely remember the original Richland Mall. Someone tell me if I am wrong, but didn't the 'open mall' concept consist of something like a ring of stores that had covered 'sidewalks' but the central part was open to the elements?


    15 Jun 14 at 1:23 am

  8. Yes, the mall was basically a rectangle with stores on the front, back and ends, parking all the way around, and an open-to-the-air corridor down the center. If it was raining and you wanted to go from store to store, you would get wet.

    Commenter Dennis drew a map from memory some time back, it is here.


    15 Jun 14 at 1:34 am

  9. Thanks for that map. I couldn't remember the name of the J.B. Whites store. It had a small restaurant in it that served dry tasteless blue-haired lady sandwiches with soup for $1.75. My manager liked the place and would drag me there from time to time.


    15 Jun 14 at 6:36 am

  10. Read an article some time back that said the biggest problem trying to get new tenets into the mall is the parking garage which obscures the view of the mall. (Apparently would be-tenets want an unobscured view of the mall.)Allegedly, the people in charge of leasing the mall want to get rid of it, but the owners do not.


    16 Jun 14 at 6:06 am

  11. Being someone that works there, I appreciate that garage being there. It keeps your car out of the sun and provides a cooler place to have my stogie breaks.

    I can see a point to wanting some frontage space to advertise, but getting rid of the ample parking it provides would also be a detraction.

    Then again, Trader Joe's seems to thrive on providing slightly insufficient parking.....

    Wonder if they could just plaster neon signs on the street facing walls of the garage or perhaps those tall multi-tenent billboard type signs you see at most malls.


    16 Jun 14 at 4:11 pm

  12. Driving by, viewing Richland Mall from Forest Drive or Beltline, it appears uninviting.

    There needs to be a look people in the south can appreciate,
    a look that says "How ya'll doing, come on in."
    Please, no body slams on my quote, I am a true southerner.


    16 Jun 14 at 4:22 pm

  13. @Rick - you hit the nail on the head...the current version of Richland Mall is not -nor ever has been - very aesthetically appealing. I always thought the parking garage should've been in the back where the big parking lot is- if they absolutely HAVE to have a parking garage. I can't stand them, they make me claustrophobic and paranoid. They could do away with it altogether and operate on the Trader Joe's concept like MrBO mentioned. I think Trader Joe's has minimal parking, so it always looks crowded and popular. Then, everyone thinks they simply must go shop there, because it seems like everyone else is already shopping there so it must be great. LOL


    16 Jun 14 at 7:12 pm

  14. Wasn't (or isn't) one of the anchor stores located smack i the middle of the mall so you have to walk through it to get from one end to the other. Might be mistaken, but it has been YEARS since I checked this place out....


    17 Jun 14 at 12:48 am

  15. Homer, the Belk is located in the middle of Richland Mall. Frankly Belk (and to a lesser extent Barnes & Noble) are about the only thing keeping Richland Mall ticking. I have a recollection of reading somewhere a few years ago that lead me to believe that Richland Mall's Belk does better than the one at the Village at Sandhill.

    If something happened to Belk at Richland Mall, the place might as well shut down and get razed in favor of the Sparkelberry Square type of overhaul I envision for it.

    Despite it being 4 years, the only success with any type of staying power that Century Capiotl Group has had (in conjuction with Kahn Development) was rebrand it in such a manner as to say, "folks, you can now grow unaccustomed to calling it Midtown at Forest Acres become reaccustomed to calling it Richland Mall as the first step in our plans to bring new life into this facility is to rename it Richland Mall."


    17 Jun 14 at 2:00 am

  16. I don't really give a hoot about the aesthetics, I just want some decent downtown shopping. I live and work in the downtown/ Forest Acres area and have for the past 20 years. I really hate going to Sandhills or Columbiana and cannot believe that with some the affluent areas downtown, such as Shandon, Forest Lake, etc. we cannot sustain a mall/shopping center with quality stores.


    14 Aug 14 at 1:07 pm

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