The Shops at Hilltop unveil renderings of potential future


LBG Real Estate Co., the new owners of The Shops at Hilltop — formerly Hilltop Mall — released an architectural firm’s renderings of what they envision the mall can look like in the near future.

The images, which the owners say are subject to change as the development plans progress, are by Herschman Architects. They were published Monday by Richmond Mayor Tom Butt’s office ahead of the mayor’s Business Roundtable event on Thursday, Oct. 26 at The Shops at Hilltop, 2200 Hilltop Road, from noon to 1:30 p.m.

At that roundtable — where local business owners, city staff and elected officials gather to discuss ways to enhance Richmond’s business climate — the new mall owners will provide a presentation about future plans, including new mall tenants, and conduct a tour of the shopping center.

As we reported in the past, the new owners say the short-term plan is to give the long-declining mall a makeover with fresh décor and signage to draw in new tenants and more shoppers. In the longterm, developers want to revamp the property into a project with mix of uses such as retail, housing, office and a hotel.

For more information about the mayor’s business roundtable, go here.


  1. I wish the new owners success with their efforts to revitalize Hilltop. It would be good if they could entice some new tenants while simultaneously ridding us of the ugly Wal Mart there. What a dump that place is. It just feels gross, filthy and so uncomfortable in there. It really drags down the whole mall.

    • As a property owner in Richmond and San Pablo, I feel Wal Mart is what’s bringing most of the foot traffic to the mall and if people aren’t happy with it, they don’t have to shop their.

      • Darla dear, do you see what you are saying? People must not want to shop there. I HAVE NEVER EVER BEEN TO THAT MALL WHEN IT WAS CROWDED. Even at Christmas, there weren’t too many people there outside of Macy’s. I doubt they are buying it to take losses on what amounts to a giant indoor strip mall.

        Penny’s is closed. Sears might fold altogether. I think Macy’s is slated to close already. So you have what used to be a typical mall that will soon be down to Sears and Wal-Mart. That’s not really a business. Go look at the mostly empty parking lot!

  2. No need to worry, people are already taking your advice and are not shopping there. That’s why the new owners are taking action to reinvigorate the mall. Many people enjoy shopping at Wal Mart and that’s just fine. But if Wal Mart was a big draw to Hilltop then why is the mall struggling so? It was a mistake to put it there in the first place. It cheapened the mall. That type of store is better located in a separate area or in a strip mall like the one in Martinez, notice that it isn’t in Sun Valley Mall. A better place for Wal Mart would be something like the old Circuit City location for example.
    Either way, let’s agree that it’s very good Hilltop has new owners who have a long term vision for success in the property.

    • Instant premium mall – Just add lighting and evict the military recruiters.

      While there is likely a better way to manage occupancy and improve business, the value of that real estate is such that it will take more than marginal renovations and good wishes to lure premium tenants. Bear in mind, there is a recession for dining out and retail. People eat in and buy on the Web.

      This isn’t “Field of Dreams.”

  3. A Walmart store can be more upscale than what we have in the Richmond Mall. Both of the Walmart Super Centers in Napa and American Canyon are very nice. Hopefully they will upgrade the Richmond Walmart along with all the other stores.

  4. Indoor malls like this are a thing of the past. Conceptual artwork of a fictional well-lit version of Hilltop isn’t going to turn this dump into a place to shop. People that want nice stuff aren’t going to go here all of a sudden.

    Half of the mall is vacant, the worst Macy’s I’ve ever seen is there, and the rest of the mall is independent fashion stores and sneaker shops. There’s a martial arts dojo, a tattoo parlor, and two barber shops. JC Penney recently closed. Oh yeah, there’s a Wal-Mart there. It’s a low-rent property.

    If they’re smart, they’ll flatten it and build condos. That real estate is too valuable to squander.

    • …because you don’t have the scratch to live in Richmond? I’m not gentrifying anything. Do you really think that mall will remain dead forever? If you are relying on the government to keep your rent artificially low and your wages artificially high, then you are living on the edge of complete failure.

      Gentrification is so bad because it makes your crappy neighborhood a good one where you can no longer afford to live. I would expect this kind of thinking from someone that doesn’t own property. I’m guessing you rent or live with a family member. And I’m not gentrifying your neighborhood. All of society is. Maybe Roseville is more your speed.

  5. It seems like a very nice start to something new and fresh. The mall has been ignored by it’s owners for a very long time. As a space, it really could be a fantastic retail location that attracts people from other communities. I do understand that indoor malls across the country are closing, but if they plan this right, I could see a beautiful almost downtown open street style mall working well here. A nice spot to go to eat and shop after work, and a place to be with family. Security must be a priority from day one.

    • No it hasn’t. The economy has shifted away from values that make this type of real estate useful. When you are left with bringing a Wal-Mart into your mall as an anchor store, it’s over. You won’t see things like karate studios, tattoo shops, and military recruiters in anything but low rent properties. Indoor shopping malls are a thing of the past.

  6. the mall is dead, For the longest time i could never figure out WHY the CINEMA was sooo far away from the core of the mall. Really!!!
    go enjoy a movie and then what? you have to get into your car and drive over to the mall enjoy the rest of your time to window shop and eventually buy something. sorry once in the car i am driving home, not driving 2 blocks to enjoy the rest of the evening/day at the mall. and walking over there forget it it is too far separated.
    go look at the great successful malls, they either have a cineplex in the middle of the mall (Parkway Plaza in ElCajon down south) or at least attached to the mall, or there is no cineplex within at least 8 miles of the mall but a grocery store next door (Sun Valley Mall in Concord). so you go to the mall either after a movie or you went specifically to the mall.
    and bringing Walmart into the mall was a bad move. Walmart totes low prices and tries to beat everyone else’s price with low quality. Fuzzman said it Walmart belongs in its “own” mall. it does a disservice to the other tenants/store fronts in the mall and actually takes away the other tenants costumers.
    i too am guilty once Walmart was there, i would just shop Walmart entering and exiting from the parking lot and rarely ever enter the mall itself. but now i just don’t shop at the Hill anymore.
    that is my 2 cents.

  7. I’m terrified of the place and worry about my spouse going to its 24hr fitness after dark. Let’s be honest about why it’s failed; the local population. The best thing would be to for Jeff to bring his headquarters here and gentrify TF out of the area. Of course, that isn’t happening so the next best thing is housing, luxury housing.