Vacant Greenbrier Sears In Chesapeake Could Host HHR Gaming Under New Proposal

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Historic horse racing machines, bars, restaurants and even a hotel could be coming to the site of the vacant Sears at Greenbrier Mall.

Seritage Growth Propertiesrevealed their plans in documents recently filed with the City of Chesapeake.

While the former department store could host Hampton Roads’ second Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, a proposed four-story hotel and 23,000 square feet in new restaurant space would have to be built.

The New York-based company was formed in 2015 to redevelop former Sears properties. Its mission is to “create and own revitalized shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations that provide enriched experiences for consumers and local communities and create long-term value for our shareholders.”

Sears closed its Greenbrier Mall location in 2018 after nearly 40 years in the spot. It opened with the mall in the early 1980s.

The newest Rosie’s location in Hampton opened with a ribbon cutting October 29..

Neither the company nor a local attorney representing them answered phone calls seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

However, Seritage did tell shareholders earlier this month that they hoped to begin construction next spring, with a target completion date of fall 2021.

The Chesapeake planning staff have yet to make a recommendation on the proposal, which would need Planning Commission and City Council approval before moving forward.

This would be the second Rosie’s for the Hampton Roads region. A location in Hampton opened in October.

“We look forward to bringing jobs, significant tax revenues and a vibrant new form of entertainment to the Chesapeake community,” said Mark Hubbard, a spokesperson with the Colonial Downs Group.

The second Rosie’s Gaming Emporium opened in Vinton, just outside of Roanoke.

This is the second location in the city considered by the group. Plans for 700 historic horse racing gambling machines, satellite horse race wagering and a bar and restaurant off  Rainbow Lane near Battlefield Boulevard were scrapped earlier this year.

The development would result in Greenbier Mall in having all its anchor stores filled again.

“The kind of retail that would be successful in the future would be that [it] has a large entertainment component. That is put in the right place and done the right way,” Nick Egelanian, a retail-real estate consultant, said in a 10 On Your Side special report earlier this year.