Augusta Mall Entrance
|Location||Augusta, Georgia, United States|
|Opening date||August 3, 1978|
|Developer||The Rouse Company|
|Management||General Growth Properties|
|Owner||General Growth Properties|
|No. of stores and services||134|
|No. of anchor tenants||6|
|Total retail floor area||1,107,000 sq ft (102,800 m2)|
|No. of floors||2|
Augusta Mall is an upscale two level super-regional shopping mall located in Augusta, Georgia. It opened on August 3, 1978, one week after the now-defunct Regency Mall. It is one of the largest malls in the state of Georgia, and it is the largest mall in the Augusta metro area. Augusta Mall has six anchors: Dillard's, JCPenney, Sears, Macy's, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Barnes & Noble. The mall features many higher-end tenants, some of which cannot be found outside of Atlanta. Stores include Apple, Teavana, Banana Republic, a multi level H&M, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Pandora, Sephora, Michael Kors, White House/Black Market, Williams-Sonoma, and a two level dual gender Forever 21.
Augusta Mall had about 90 retail spaces when it first opened, anchored by two department stores: Rich's and Davison's. Many of the mall's design features were borrowed from other successful malls in Rouse Company's portfolio. The space frame ceiling is a replica of The Mall in Columbia, Governor's Square Mall, Tampa Bay Center and Hulen Mall while the center fountain and elevator was taken from Beachwood Place, which opened the same month as Augusta. Also in 1978 was the opening of close retail rival Regency Mall. Many references to either mall will often mention the other. A summary of this history is effectively described in a Greater Augusta Area proposal to revitalize the now-defunct Regency Mall:
- The same year Regency Mall was built Augusta Mall was constructed only 3 miles away. In the late 1980’s household growth trends shifted towards the northwest and closer to the Augusta Mall. As these trends continued, population and traffic dropped in the Regency Mall area.
In addition to the demographic shifts to the malls’ surrounding areas, Augusta Mall also fared better than its rival by continually expanding and renovating. Since its opening, the mall has undergone five major expansions, and several smaller renovations. The first of these began in 1987, when the mall added a 132,000-square-foot expansion for an additional anchore store J. C. Penney.
In 1990, Augusta Mall underwent its second expansion, when Sears decided to join as the fourth anchor, in a 157,000-square-foot department store. The $32 million renovation project also updated the interior of the mall, and expanded the number of retail spaces from about 100 to more than 130. For the next several years after this, much of Augusta’s retail growth would continue to shift to the northwest towards Augusta Mall.
By 1998, when the third expansion was announced, Augusta Mall had become the region’s prime shopping area. J. B. White closed its store at Regency Mall and relocated to Augusta Mall to become its fifth anchor store. With all the retail traffic becoming more concentrated, congestion became a problem on Wrightsboro Road and Interstate 520 - the main freeway connecting the mall. The city funded a $231,000 project for expanded lanes, as well as road improvements and new exit ramps to the mall.
In 2002, Regency Mall was officially closed to the public, and boarded up. In the same year, Augusta Mall continued to upgrade their infrastructure, including: storm drain maintenance, a new parking lot, and other interior work. Macy’s closed down during this time, and its lower level was converted into a furniture store.
In 2006, “The Augusta Promenade”, a 180,000 sq ft (17,000 m2) lifestyle center addition to the mall was announced. Construction of the development started in the summer of 2006, with the grand opening on November 8, 2007. It brought many upscale stores and restaurants new to the area - many that were new to Georgia outside of Atlanta. Some of these include Williams-Sonoma, The Walking Company, Sephora, The Buckle, and P. F. Chang's China Bistro.
Augusta mall serves the approximately +571,000 residents living in the Augusta-Richmond County, and GGP considers it the mall’s primary “trade area”. In a 2011 survey, Neilsen estimated the mall captured a notable 89% of its trade area, and 71% of residents responded they shop at Augusta mall the most.
Augusta mall is nestled in one of the more affluent areas of the city Augusta. It is situated in the Forest Hill neighbourhood within the wider West Augusta area, surrounded by other similarly affluent neighbourhoods including: Sand Hills and Daniel Field to the east, and Ridgecrest to the north. Within a 10-mile radius of the mall, over 60% of people have a post-secondary degree and are white-collar workers, while the median household income is about $59,627.
1992 Presidential Rally
In 1992, U.S. Vice-president Dan Quayle held a rally at Augusta Mall during the final stretch of the Bush/Quayle re-election campaign. The plan called for roughly 1,000 attendants, but over 5,000 Republican supporters showed up to the crowded event.
The prestigious Masters Tournament, hosted annually in Augusta, draws participants from all over the world during the first full week in April. From players and fans, to reporters and celebrities, the event brings an influx of visitors to the nearby Augusta Mall each year. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce also uses the event to attract businesses to the state. It has spurred several national companies, such as April Cornell, to locate their businesses in the mall, and to its surrounding areas.
- Dillard's — formerly J.B. White, became Dillard's in 1998 shortly after move from Regency Mall
- JCPenney — opened in 1987
- Sears — opened in 1990, replacing free-standing location in downtown Augusta
- Macy's — formerly operated as separate Macy's and Rich's locations, the two stores merged into the Rich's location in 2003 (branded Rich's-Macy's); store didn't change exterior Rich's sign until they officially became Macy's in 2005
- Macy's THISIT - former Macy's Furniture Store
- Dick's Sporting Goods — opened October 2007 in the original lower level of the old Davison's/Macy's building
- Barnes & Noble — opened Fall 2008 in Promenade section, replacing former location on Augusta West Parkway
- Macy's Furniture Showroom — opened in 2003, closed in 2006 to make way for Promenade addition, now THISIT store.
- Rich's — opened in 1978, became Rich's-Macy's in 2003, then became Macy's in 2005
- Davison's — opened in 1979, became Macy's in 1986, Macy's closed in 2000, lower level became Macy's Furniture Showroom in 2003, closed in 2006, upper level demolished as part of Promenade addition. The lower level and its exterior remodeled for Dick's Sporting Goods.
- A Redevelopment Strategy for Regency Mall and the Surrounding Area (PDF), Winward Properties, LLC., 2000, p. 5[permanent dead link]
- "Augusta Mall". General Growth Properties. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- "Interior mall renovations to complement 'village center'". The Augusta Chronicle. 3 Dec 2006. Retrieved 4 Jul 2013.
- "Mall Area Traffic Horrendous". Augusta Chronicle. 6 Jan 1998.
- "Project Portfolio: Augusta Mall". Beam’s Contracting. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- Cline, Damon (23 Jan 2002). "Augusta Mall's first big loss...". The Augusta Chronicle.
- Youngs, Laura (9 June 2007). "Plaza will change inside, outside of Augusta Mall". The Augusta Chronicle.
- "Augusta Mall" (PDF). General Growth Properties. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- "Augusta Mall: Quick Facts Report" (PDF). The Neilsen Company. 21 Feb 2012.
- Mall Average Household Income Map.pdf Augusta Mall: Average Household Income Check
|url=value (help) (PDF) (Map) (2011 ed.). General Growth Properties. Retrieved 4 Jul 2013.
- De Witt, Karen (30 Oct 1992). "THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: The Vice President; In the Final Push, Quayle Rallies Turn Into a Blur". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 Jul 2013.
- Gallagher, James (7 Apr 2005). "Masters is used to lure industry". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved 4 Jul 2013.
- Augusta Mall — official website