NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Military Circle Mall closed for good after 52 years on Tuesday and now fans and just plain Tidewater nostalgia collectors alike have their chance to take home a piece of the former shopping destination.
Chesapeake-based-Lady Antiquity Estate Sales has been hired by the mall management to auction off as much of what has been left behind, before the majority of the 70-acre site is razed for potential redevelopment.
And they truly mean almost everything.
From the mall’s clock that hung above the information desk outside the food court, to the seasonal flag banners that hung out in the parking lot, light fixtures, kids’ play areas and even the palm trees are all set for sale to the highest bidder.
Tami Simonds with Divaris Property Management, the company hired by the Norfolk Economic Development Authority to manage the mall fowling their purchase of it in 2020, said much of the funds will be used to try and make up losses the EDA has faced keeping the mall open.
“They’ve started in the movie theater,” Simonds said. “To date, we have about $25,000 that they’ve been brought in, our share of that money. So hopefully by the end of it, we will have a nice chunk to continue helping us with our operating expenses.”
Simonds told the EDA Wednesday that its estimated the mall will incur $425,000 in expenses between now and June, even though its closed. Much of those costs attributed to on-site security and utilities.
The auctions are online only and will occur in phases. Items that have already sold include much of the Christmas décor.
“Someone is actually driving all the way from California to get the Santa set,” Simonds said.
As far as demolition goes, an RFP is expected to be released for contractors next month according to Sean Washington, the interim economic director for Norfolk.
“Getting the mall demolished is important as far as finances are concerned,’ Washington said.
However some parts of the property will remain.
The part of the mall that holds Ross Dress for Less, a junior anchor store, as well as the Sentara Healthcare/Optima Health location in the former JCPenney will remain. The latter was bought from the development authority in 2020.
Simonds said for the last several weeks architects and engineers have been working in the mall trying to figure out what walls must stay and which ones can go.
In addition Genghis Khan Mongolian Bar B Q, the Bank of America drive-thru, Hardee’s and All About Children which are in buildings outside the main mall structure will remain. All other buildings including the former of home of Piccadilly Cafeteria, The Palace Shops, China Garden, Swagath Plaza and Sears Auto Shop will all be demolished.
Roughly $180,000 worth of incentives were given to businesses that were forced to leave the mall. The incentives included a 50% rent reduction the last six months, rebates for recent improvements made to businesses and a longevity bonus.
“There were some tenants that have been in there for 20 plus years. We wanted to compensate them a little,” Simonds said.
At the time the impending closure was announced last August, Simonds said there were 91 short-term tenants. 48 tenants had yet to move out of their space of Tuesday.
Of those remaining, 12 are relocating to new space in Norfolk, two to Portsmouth and one business each will reopen in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Williamsburg per Simonds. Two business owners have told her they don’t plan on reopening. The rest are unknown.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.