NORFOLK, Va. - Military Circle Mall is officially set to close at the end of this year and be demolished early next year.
The Norfolk Economic Development Authority announced Wednesday to close the mall for plans for future redevelopment.
Since opening in 1970, Military Circle Mall has been a staple of the Mermaid City. For 52 years it has been a site for anything from shopping to COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
Butch Revils remembers growing up in Norfolk in the 1970s and hanging out at Military Circle Mall after it had just opened.
But in 2022, Revils said Military Circle has come full circle.
“You’re seeing the transformation from being brand new, to the most popular place to be, and then the downslide to empty parking lots,” Revils told News 3. “It’s odd now to see the parking lot so empty, even during the holidays.”
Current tenants of the mall are being notified and a plan is in place for relocation that includes relocation assistance.
“The EDA board unanimously decided to move forward with the demolition of the current mall to prepare the site for future redevelopment. The site will be converted to passive open space while ongoing discussions occur regarding the future of the Military Circle corridor,” stated Jared Chalk, Director of Economic Development.
The demolition of the current mall is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2023.
“I’ve been here almost like 27 years now, and it’s always been part of the area,” Virginia Beach resident Theresa Lee said. “It’s going to be different, but we’ll see what happens next.”
The Norfolk Economic Development Authority bought most of the area near Military Highway and Virginia Beach Boulevard.
There are currently three proposals on the table for the future of the area. Some big names are part of redevelopment efforts, including NFL legend Emmitt Smith and Pharrell Williams.
Last month, News 3 learned from Venture Realty Group that Wellness Circle LLC, the group working with Pharrell Williams, is in preliminary negotiations with the City of Norfolk for plans to redevelop the area around Military Circle.
City Manager Dr. Chip Filer issued the following statement to News 3 in July:
“The city has been evaluating all three of the exciting proposals to redevelop Military Circle Mall. While staff are engaged in more detailed conversations with one developer, it would be incorrect to suggest that a developer has been chosen. Until a mutually agreeable contract is ratified by the Mayor and council at a future meeting, all three proposal remain viable options.”
As of Wednesday, there are no updates on regarding the three proposals on the table.