Church offers to buy mall

Nov 2, 2005:

Janet Perkins' Commentary:

Posted September 9, 2003 (user submitted)

Cloverleaf Mall is located in Chesterfield County just outside of Richmond City limits. Its anchors when it opened in the 70s were Sears, JC Penney, and Thalhimers. Sears and Penneys both had auto repair shops in front of the mall facing Midlothian Turnpike. There was a two-cinema theater. Smaller stores were Casual Corner, Spencers, Waldenbooks, B. Dalton Bookseller, D.P. Paul Jewelers, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Hardwicke's Restaurant, Ormonds, Worths, a Hallmark store, the Limited, Suzy's Casuals, La Vogue.

The owners did a major renovations sometime during the late 80s/early 90s. The theater moved to an outside building in the back (way back) of the parking lot (I think either 6 or 9, at the time a Cineplex Odeon, then Regal who closed the theaters). Thalhimers became Hechts (May Co.) without the better quality products of Thalhimers in its prime (fur salon, bridal salon, Sword & Kilt restaurant, portrait studio). A Frederick's of Hollywood, Victoria's Secret, a food court (taken from the space vacated by the cinema), several jewelry stores, Sears remaining but only 1 story, Penneys remaining, Waldenbooks, and other small stores.

Now it is a virtual ghost town -- Sears and Penneys have closed their doors because of falling attendance - both have newer stores in Chesterfield Towne Center, further west on Midlothian Tnpk. Hechts closed their doors [in June 2003], to begin their Cloverleaf going-out-of business sale. The theaters of course are closed. Firestone is running the old Penneys auto center; the Sears one is closed.

The Mall had two murders of employees in a dollar store after hours one evening in the early 90s had a woman go missing from the bottom of the parking lot also about the same time, both crimes/mysteries never been solved.

Brandon Willis' Commentary:

Posted September 9, 2003 (user submitted)

This is the one that everyone currently has their eyes on. It is widely speculated that this will be the next mall to be shuttered. It opened in 1972 as Richmond's first regional mall but began to decline when the newer Chesterfield Towne Center, about 5 miles West down Midlothian Turnpike, began to catch on. It took a turn for the worse in 1996 when some people were shot and killed in the stockroom of the mall's All for One dollar store. The JC Penney store and the mall's 8 screen Regal Cinema closed in 2000, and the Sears store closed in January of 2003. The only remaining anchor is Hecht's, which has announced that they do not plan to renew their lease when it expires at the end of May 2003.

I've been here a few times and I think it's not such a bad place. It even has a digital marquee on the Midlothian Turnpike mall sign. The word on the street is that the new Stony Point Fashion Park mall, which will open in September 2003, will finally kill Cloverleaf.

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