LYNCHBURG, Va. – “For a long time there’s been a lot rumors about what’s going on at River Ridge. I think it’s obvious that this mall needs an upgrade,” Katie Farris, marketing manager, said.
It's an upgrade that couldn’t come soon enough for Kathy Mosteller and friend Dana Andrews who have been shopping at River Ridge Mall since it opened in the 1980s.
“It had the Peanut Shack, and it had Belk and Tall Hammerouse,” Andrews said.
“We need updating. It will bring people from other areas and I think that will be good for the whole area,” Mosteller said.
In the first phase of a multimillion-dollar project, River Ridge officials will renovate center court of the mall.
“We’re very excited to make this a vibrant destination for not only the Lynchburg community, but Central Virginia as a whole,” Farris said.
New features will include an amphitheater, kiosk for food and beverages, and cellphone charging stations.
“I know there’s a lot of greenery and water features. I know that the community misses that. So we’re kind of bringing some of those elements back in,” Farris said.
“I think the plants will bring back the natural part of it. It would be really good and inviting,” Mosteller said.
Mall officials say remodeling will start at the end of the month and stores will stay open.
As for those-- Lisa Bower says there aren't a lot of choices at River Ridge. 10 News Reporter Magdala Louissaint asked her, “Do you think with the new changes you’ll be making your way back here more often?” Bowers replied, “I hope so, yes.”
Mall officials are still finalizing the second phase of the project and say the former Sears and Macy's will be demolished. Plans for that will be announced in July.