Demolition of Racine’s Regency Mall begins, Woodman’s to replace Boston Store

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RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) — Those who live in Racine know that the Regency Mall holds a very special place in the history and culture of the city–but now-a-days malls aren’t what they used to be.

“We’re in the failed mall business frankly, and, you know, we stabilize, we transform and then we try to reimagine them,” said John Mulherin, the VP of Government Relations at Hull Property Group.

Monday marked a new beginning for the Regency Mall located on Durand Avenue.

“It was an area that for a long time had much, had a lot more economic activity,” said Racine Mayor Cory Mason.

Mason said plans to redevelop the property was a long time coming. The City of Racine partnered up with developer Hull Property Group.

“It gets to the right size, it gets to a place where we can support a Woodman’s (Market), support some housing, support some more restaurants and other things,” he added.

About 400,000 square feet are set to be revitalized into what the city hopes will become a vibrant hub — including the addition of a Woodman’s food market.

As part of Phase I, crews demolished what once was the ‘Boston Store’ on Monday as part of a kickoff celebration.

 by City of Racine

The Woodman’s Market, along with a gas station is set to begin construction in early July 2024.

 by City of Racine

Officials said it is expected to open summer of 2025. 

Phase II involves adding more than 200 apartments on the northeast side of the property; and Phase III will be adding retailers and restaurants to the area.

“When all three phases are completed, we think it’ll be about $120 million total investment,” added Mulherin.

It’s an investment at least one resident is excited for. 

“In my 20s I was there, I worked there a lot of fun memories with my family there,” the woman, who chose not to reveal her identity with CBS 58 News said. “It seems like it’ll serve a lot of people and I like the idea of it being on old ground that’s already been developed instead of ripping up farmland.”

At the kickoff, leaders said about 85 to 90 percent of materials acquired from clearing the land will be recycled.

At this time, officials said the time frame for when housing, restaurants, and new retailers will be open is unknown.

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