Sep. 18—Richmond Town Square was opened in 1966 and at one time was the largest enclosed shopping mall in Ohio with 90 stores.
But on Sept. 18 the final chapter was started as construction equipment swiftly moved to demolish the former theater near the food court.
According to a DealPoint Merrill Press release, the Belle Oaks Marketplace project will have 791 class-A luxury apartment buildings and an outdoor community entertainment venue featuring pedestrian friendly greenspaces with $10 million being put into landscaping alone.
The 1,617,800-square-foot planned project also will have 40,000 square feet of dining space and will be designed to have a campus-like feel.
Meijer, a regional grocery store, will also have a 160,000-square-foot location on the Belle Oaks Marketplace site, alongside of 315,000 square feet of other retail stores.
Richmond Heights Mayor Kim Thomas says she welcomes the new housing options to the city.
"My team is excited that this project is finally progressing," Thomas said. "We believe that the Belle Oaks project will create great opportunities for our residents and future residents regarding jobs, growth, economic impact, and expanded market-rate housing options. Our city will continue working hard to ensure the project stays on track and reflects Richmond Heights' values."
The demolition comes after DealPoint Merrill announced in 2018 that the construction of Belle Oaks Marketplace would be slated for the site of the mall at 691 Richmond Road.
The pandemic and, according to Richmond Heights Director of Economic and Community Development Brian Gleisser in an interview in April, size of the development are part of the reason for such a long planning and construction time.
"A project of this scale and complexity takes a couple of years to do all the pre-planning," Gleisser said. "So, everything needs to be in place. You need to make sure all the water connections and sewer connections and plans are reviewed and approved."
DealPoint Merrill, based in Los Angeles, has been purchasing and developing "value-added" real estate, with other projects in Cleveland and surrounding areas. A "value-added" property is simply when a company chooses to develop an existing site instead of building from the ground up.
The Belle Oaks Marketplace development uses some of the existing structures, making it a "value-added" development.