Remember this? Main Street Station’s short-lived 1980s shopping mall | From the Archives

ByBasilia D. Griffith

Apr 26, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In November 1985, Richmond’s historic Main Street Station reopened after a renovation to transform part of building into a shopping mall. One November 1985 advertisement described the new mall as having “The finest, most special specialty shops in all of Richmond.”

The $17 million project began in 1978 when David White and his partner Larry Shiflett started their efforts to redevelop the landmark. At first, their financing for the plan included a federal grant that ran into some delays with Richmond City Council until 1981. The deal was on the verge of going through when a fire broke out in October 1983, setting them back once again.

The mall finally opened in November 1985. The scheduled opening was November 7, 1985, but it was delayed by a week due to heavy rains and flooding. At its opening, the mall had 29 retail and seven food court tenants, a total of 70 percent of the spaces leased.

The train station’s mall never caught on however, and after just a few years, it closed in January 1988.