HENRICO, Va. – Two local malls share a birthday month and year; Short Pump Town Center opened Sept. 4, 2003 and Stony Point Fashion Park followed two weeks later, with a Sept. 18 opening amid Hurricane Isabel.
Interesting sidenote; gift certificates were offered to anyone named Isabel when Stony Point had its delayed grand opening event a week later. And T-shirts were given out that read, “Back by popular demand: Stony Point Fashion Park’s Grand Opening. We’ve taken Richmond by storm…literally.”
The twin malls, born of different parents, were the first centers to be built in the metro area since Virginia Center Commons opened in 1991, according to archived reports – Stony Point the first shopping center built within Richmond limits in decades.
In 2003, Albert S. Taubman - chairman, president and CEO at Taubman Centers – told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the Richmond area could support both Stony Point, which his company developed, and Short Pump.
"Both will survive, and both will do well," Taubman said to the RTD.
Fast forward 13 years and both are certainly still surviving, though Taubman sold most of the property in Oct. 2014.
Sales comparison shows Short Pump mall did $327 million in sales in 2013 – it is also almost twice the size of Stony Point – and the Richmond mall has $103 million in sales, according to a RichmondBizSense report.
“We are proud of what we have become with over 140 retailers and restaurants, many of which are first-to-the-market and we are excited about the future growth of the Short Pump area,” said Vice President/General Manager Kem Blue. “Shoppers can experience something different…and we are pleased to share such a beautiful place with Richmond and the many tourists that visit the area for the rich history, outdoor sports, wineries and so much more.”
“The ambiance of the center has created a one-of-a kind southern charm feel which invites our shoppers to slow down and relax while they enjoy the beauty of the tranquil water features, lush landscaping, fireplaces and alfresco dining options,” Blue added.
CBS 6 took a look through our video vault and found a report filed by a Jon Burkett, then his mid-20s, just days before Short Pump mall opened.
Crews were working 12-14 hours to pull it all together.
“It’s exciting to think that we’re going to have this kind of impact on the community,” said the mall spokeswoman in 2003.
Much of the footage of the 1.2 million square feet, two-story, mega mall looks the same.
One noticeable difference – baby Jon Burkett signs off “New 6 Network.”
Jon said that his dad's crew did most of the concrete work at Short Pump, and that covering the story was very special for him.
Check out other Throwback Thursday stories here.
Take a look at the 2003 news story, in the video player above.