The desolate wasteland of Azalea Mall

Photo by Phil Riggan

Phil Riggan has a great article about what used to be Azalea Mall over on NBC12. It’s been 15 years since the mall was torn down in favor of a giant expanse of empty pavement.

bq. Azalea Mall opened in 1962 and closed in 1995 and is remains Richmond’s only mall to be completely torn down. All that remains on the 48-acre property at Brook Road and Azalea Avenue is a rusting sign, litter, weeds and a decaying parking lot.

Councilman Hilbert weighs in:

bq. “People are content to have it empty, rather than a development they wouldn’t want to have,” said city council member Chris Hilbert, who represents the Northside 3rd District.

Seriously? Are you content to have a giant eyesore of a parking lot rather than some sort of development?


  1. #1 • Carol •

    I think that it’s much better to have a vacant parking lot rather than empty and declining commerical buildings. It would be an improvement if the owner would uninstall the rusted and broken signage.

  2. #2 • Lauren S. •

    That’s a leading question. But, if you asked us “do you agree that an empty parking lot is acceptable until a development plan is proposed, on which all of the nearby neighborhood associations may weigh in with an opinion?” Then, YES.

  3. #3 • Erik B •

    How about a baseball stadium? (wink, wink)

  4. #4 • Barbara T •

    I appreciate that the owner is being thoughtful on how to develop this area. I would much rather have an empty parking lot than another strip mall full of check cashing. pawn, rent-to-own shops, etc. We already have several of those in our area now and I don’t think those businesses will attract the right clientele to our neighborhood. Hopefully, once the economy picks up, the owner will be able to attract businesses that will be assetts to our community and that all residents of the Northside will be excited about supporting.

  5. #5 • maxfisher •

    skateboard park?

  6. #6 • Richard •

    How about a farmers market?

  7. #7 • maxfisher •

    Richard there is going to be one in Lakeside that might be good.

    So to build anything you have to fight every neighborhood Assco. ?

    Great location for something.

  8. #8 • Richard •

    maxfisher. I don’t know if you have to fight every neighborhood it depends on what is someone plans on doing. Many have the neighborhoods have been screwed in the past so they need to talk to the neighorhoods.

  9. #9 • Phil D. •

    Community Garden / Park. Tear up the asphalt and make a nice walkable park. I always thought that Westminster Canterbury would buy it up eventually…

  10. #10 • Scott •

    I remember shopping there as a child with my parents and as a teenager, I pass it all the time, but really don’t look over there anymore. A barren parking lot is much better than empty commercial real estate. I like the park idea, but think it may be too close to Bryan Park to be considered. I agree with Chris Hilbert, empty is better than “rent to own, and cash now businesses” I imagine it will be developed,,sooner or later…but with this economy, probably much later…

  11. #11 • Suzanne •

    my 12 year old son says we should rip up the asphalt and start a farm on the site. :)

  12. #12 • JLW •

    Westminster has tried buying it but the owner will not work with them.