Fashion Square Mall

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Photo Credit: Simon[1]

Fashion Square Mall opened in 1980 as an enclosed retail shopping mall in Albemarle County that was originially developed by Leonard L. Farber at the southwest corner of US 29 and Rio Road. [2]

Home Depot purchased a portion of the property in September 2022 and has plans to demolish the old Sears Building and build a new home improvement store. [3] [4]

The property is managed by the Woodmont Company. [5]

Ownership history

Simon Property era

The Simon Property Group bought the property in 1997. [2] The property became part of a spin-off group that eventually became known as WP Glimcher. [6]

Washington Prime Group era

Until 2020 began, the 570,000 square foot facility was owned by the Washington Prime Group, which had reclassified the shopping center as a "non-core property," down from a Tier II property. [7] A real estate analysis firm, Trepp LLC, indicated in November 2019 that the loan for the mall is in "imminent default." [8]

Hewitt purchases part of the site

Fashion Square Assets LLC purchased the J.C. Penney site on September 10, 2020 for $4.5 million. The firm is associated with Richard Hewitt. [5]

On July 16, 2021, Washington Prime Group auctioned its remaining property on the steps of the Albemarle County Courthouse. The lender bought the property for $20.2 million under the name Charlottesville JP 2014-C21. [5]

The property is within the footprint of the Rio Road Small Area Plan which offers guidance for redevelopment.

Home Deport era


Occupancy at the mall had dropped to 87.1 in 2015. That reflects the closure of Wet Seal, Body Central and Radio Shack all closed. That figure does not include the closures of New York & Company and Men's Warehouse Tux. To attract customers, mall management has held fashion shows, art exhibits and more. [6]

Sears announced in late December 2018 that it would close its store at Fashion Square Mall in early 2019. [9]


The project was originally to be located in the City of Charlottesville on what is now the site of the Seminole Square Shopping Center[10].

Violence at the mall

The mall has been the center of large fights among teenagers and young adults. In March 2010 the mall had to be closed because of a large melee involving over 100 individuals[11].

Security concerns

In 2012, the mall's management company came under fire following an attempted child abduction that was not reported to police by mall security. A man had grabbed a two-year-old girl in late November 2012. After catching him, security officers let him go and did not report him to authorities. [12]

Photo gallery


  1. Web. About Simon, Website, Simon Property Group, April 14, 2008, retrieved June 4, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Web. Fashion Square turns 32 in the era of outdoor, pedestrian-oriented shopping, Nate Delesline, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, March 3, 2012, retrieved December 26, 2019. Print. March 4, 2012 page A2.
  3. Web. Home Depot buys Charlottesville Fashion Square Mall, Bryan McKenzie, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, September 15, 2022, retrieved September 23, 2023.
  4. Web. Home Depot submits plans for new retail center, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Town Crier Productions, April 6, 2023, retrieved September 23, 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Web. Fashion Square mall auctioned to lender for $20.2 million, Tyler Hammel, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, July 16, 2021, retrieved July 17, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Web. Charlottesville Fashion Square mall continues its evolution as it deals with vacancies, Allison Wrabel, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, April 16, 2016, retrieved January 2, 2017.
  7. Web. More store closures coming to Fashion Square, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, December 23, 2019, retrieved December 26, 2019.
  8. Web. Fashion Square mall facing 'imminent default,' analysts say, Allison Wrabel, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, February 2, 2020, retrieved February 2, 2020. Print. February 2, 2020 page A1.
  9. Web. Sears at Charlottesville Fashion Square to Close, Staff reports, News Article, WVIR NBC29, December 28, 2018, retrieved January 2, 2019.
  10. Web. Mayorsville: Here, everybody's a mayor, Lisa Provence, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, 10 Aug. 2006, retrieved 2 May 2009.
  11. Web. Friday Night Fights Close Fashion Square, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, 6 Mar. 2010, retrieved 08 Mar. 2010..
  12. Web. Fashion Square's response criticized by PR experts, Graham Moomaw, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 27, 2012, retrieved November 29, 2012.

External links