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Waiting for Walmart — Neighbors call rundown East End mall a ‘disgrace’

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Driving past the old Fairfield Commons Mall in Henrico County saddens Patricia Williams. She says to see things in such disrepair is very frustrating.

WTVR CBS 6 spotted a broken fence next to the building, peeling paint, grass growing through the cracks in the parking lot pavement and grass growing out of control in various spots around the building.

“Nothing has been done to the whole area. It’s a disgrace to the community," Williams said.

Another former mall customer Marnae Shearin echoed those same sentiments.

“It’s not a good look for the county. It’s empty and not being. What’s the purpose of it?" Shearin asked.

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Neighbors were so concerned about the mall being an eyesore, that they contacted Henrico county leaders. Supervisor Frank Thornton, who confirmed that the grass around the mall area had gotten out of control, recently the county had to step in and cut the grass.

Neighbors like Hilda Groome were very thankful for that. Another woman who lives on Colwyck Drive behind the mall told CBS 6 News she started to worry that the grass was so high that snakes might be lurking nearby.

Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams

Now, neighbors are anxious to see Arizona-based Bromont Investments follow through on a plan to transform the old mall into a new 300,000 square foot retail site with Walmart as a center attraction.

"I think it would be a great opportunity. It could provide jobs here and give kids something to do,” April Robinson said.

Williams says she’s looking forward to the center so that she doesn’t have to drive nearly twenty minutes through traffic to get to the closest Walmart to her, which is on Mechanicsville Turnpike.

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Henrico Supervisor Frank Thornton,  who represents the Fairfield district, said that they developers were looking to finalize the sale by a May 15 deadline, but that didn’t happen. He says he alerted neighbors at a recent community meeting. Now Thornton says the county is working with Bromont to make sure all of the necessary paperwork is in order. Thornton expects the sale could be finalized in the coming weeks with the demolition to follow fifteen days after that.

Depend on WTVR.com and CBS 6 News for updates on this story.

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Fairfield Commons Mall