Richland Mall redevelopment includes apartments, a grocery store, and a park

Parts of the Richland Mall will be demolished in the process and be rebuilt into apartments, a brewery, retail spaces, and more.


Rendering of the upcoming development project at Richland Mall. | Provided by the City of Forest Acres

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Several months ago, Richland County Council voted to approve tax incentives on the $100 million project to offset the cost of redevelopment for developers.

In November, Forest Acres City Council approved zoning changes for the redeveloped Richland Mall project. This week, Forest Acres City Council approved a $2 million state grant from the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism for the neew city park in the redevelopment project.

The $100 million plan includes:

  • replacing Richland Mall with a six-acre park
  • over 500 apartments
  • restaurants
  • retail spaces
  • a grocery store
  • a brewery

What could it look like?

The 32-acre site — near the intersection of Forest Drive and Beltline Boulevard — will be redeveloped by the Southeastern Development based in Augusta, GA which will demolish parts of the mall and redevelop others. Southeastern is no stranger to redeveloping obsolete malls into multi-use properties. The company is currently working on a similar project on 44 acres at the former Aiken Mall.

Barnes & Noble, the bookstore scented with fresh coffee + paperbacks will now stir a twinge of sadness for its upcoming closure + relocation at the first of the year due to the Richland Mall’s redevelopment.

Richland mall Aerial .jpeg

Aerial shot of the Richland Mall development in 1961. | Photo via Richland Library Digital Archives

Let’s take a quick look at the Richland Mall property over the years.


  • 1961 — Richland Mall opens as the first mall in Columbia. It was an open-air mall that housed 27 stores including a Winn-Dixie grocery store and a movie theater.
  • 1980s – The open-air mall concept was considered outdated and converted into an indoor shopping mall named Richland Fashion Mall. The $150 million expansion in 1988 was the largest industrial investment in the county to date.
  • 1990s — The mall changed its name back to Richland Mall in 1996 and the Barnes and Noble opened the following year.
  • 2000s — Plans to redevelop the mall into a mixed-use retail and residential development called Midtown at Forest Acres never came to fruition.
  • 2020 — The City of Forest Acres and Southeastern Development start work on a plan to redevelop the property.
  • Winter 2022/23 — Southeastern Development is projected to close on the mall property and begin phase one of redevelopment.
  • ~2028 — Phase one of the redevelopment is set to be completed within five years.
  • ~2033 — The estimated completion of the second phase which includes more retail space + apartments.
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