HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Plans to put a sports arena in Glen Allen forge ahead after Henrico County acquired roughly 25 acres on site of the Virginia Center Commons Mall.

The $8.3 million land purchase from the mall’s new owner, The Rebkee Co., is part of the overall $50 million budget for the estimated 200,000 square foot facility, according to Henrico County Director of Recreation and Parks Neil Luther.

“The county is actually in the process of finalizing lease revenue bonds, so this will be a debt-financed bond issuance throughout the economic development authority,” Luther said. “What the county has built-in is the cost of that debt on an annualized basis over a 20-year financing term.”

The proposed space, where Sears formerly operated, would primarily be used for youth athletics and student convocations. Luther said he expects the county Board of Supervisors will come to an agreement over the final design of the arena some time in March.

“The goal for this project is to have this facility ready and opened by late spring, early Summer 2022,” Luther said.

The momentum surrounding the county’s project is part of a larger potential redevelopment effort, by Rebkee, of nearly 80 acres at the mall.

Roughly 50 tenants still operate inside the mall, including those at the food court. Rebkee noted there’s no current plan help businesses relocate, as redevelopment plans are not finalized and existing lease agreements will be honored.

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