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Forest Acre’s Richland Mall is set to transform into a new city park

City officials and legislators announced a $3 million allocation for the redevelopment of the former Richland Mall site, marking the beginning of a transformative project in Forest Acres.

Richland Mall Redevelopment

Drone image of the Richland Mall site | Photo provided by the City of Forest Acres

The City of Forest Acres announced the redevelopment of the former Richland Mall site in a press conference yesterday. The city secured $3 million in state funding for a new city park. Southeastern Development, LLC., purchased the 32-acre property last year + plans to reimagine it as a modern space for the community.

Vision for the park

  • Outdoor performance area
  • Green space
  • Walking trails
  • Other amenities that mix outdoor space with retail shops and restaurants

“The City of Forest Acres is committed to this project not just an economic development, but as the creation of a true city center, " Mayor Andrews said. “We are planting a park here that will serve as a community space not just for the residents of Forest Acres, but for all of the Midlands.”

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A conceptual rendering from Southeastern Development LLC of what the final development may look like | Rendering provided by Southeastern Development LLC + City of Forest Acres

Next steps + timeline

The city is finalizing designs. Once complete, it will be looking for public input, and a master plan for the park will be created. The City expects construction to begin in roughly 18 months. The announcement also included a timeline for opening Gills Creek Memorial Park, which is set to open this spring.

Forest Acres’ growing business landscape

Along with the new parks, Forest Acres has seen an increase in new businesses including:

7 Brew | Drive-thru coffee kiosk | Open | 2230 N. Beltline Blvd

Chicken Salad Chick | A fast-casual chicken salad restaurant coming soon that will be located where BLD Diner used to be | 4840 Forest Dr., #26

Co | A Southeast Asian Cusine restaurant | Open | 4840 Forest Dr., Unit 65

Prisma Health Urgent Care | The new urgent care location is set to open before the end of the month. | 2220 N Beltline Blvd, Columbia

Skin and Brows Redefined | A skincare clinic | Open | 2100 N Beltline Blvd.

Slim Chickens | A Southern-style, fast-casual restaurant is coming soon to the former Golden Chick location | 2089 N Beltline Blvd.

TakoSushi | A Southwestern-Sushi Restaurant is set to open a new location in Forest Acres in Forest Park Shopping Center, anchored by Lowes Foods. | 4711 Forest Dr.

Vicious Biscuit | A brunch restaurant coming soon to the former Pizza Joint location | 3246 Forest Dr.

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