Richmond, VA

Unexpected Transformation: Former Macy's Store Secures Surprising New Tenant

Ash Jurberg

A loss for shoppers will be a win for Pickleball enthusiasts.
Photo byAdobe

With a retail apocalypse sweeping the United States, there are many vacant retail spaces.

Several companies including Bed Bath & Beyond, Tuesday Morning, and Party City have gone bankrupt while retail giants such as Walmart and Macy's are closing stores.

But while the retail industry is struggling one sector is on the rise and set to take advantage of empty spaces- pickleball.

The former Macy's store in Regency Mall in Richmond, Virginia is being transformed into a Pickleball venue. Performance Pickleball RVA will be an 18-court pickleball venue in the 41,000-square-foot vacant space that was formerly the ground floor of the mall’s Macy’s North store which has been closed for seven years.

Groundbreaking at the venue occurred last week and construction will consist of two phases.

Phase 1 is twelve pickleball courts, a bar, a restaurant, and a lounging area inside the building. Phase 2 will consist of six outdoor courts and an area for spectators.

"No one would probably know that it was a Macy's when we're all done, except for all the people that grew up going there shopping...Richmond is just exploding in pickleball just as it is in a number of other places and we felt the demand was there, but also we wanted to do it right." Jon Laaser, co-owner and chief operating officer of Performance Pickleball RVA

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong and is considered the fastest-growing sport in the United States. The new venue will be the largest pickleball location in Virginia and is expected to open in December.

Your thoughts

Are you glad to see the space formerly occupied by Macy's in Recency Mall finally being utilized? Will you try Pickleball? What other businesses would you like to see take over the vacancies left by retail stores?

Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below and share this article with others so more people can join the conversation.

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