RockStep Capital bought the former New River Mall in 2019 for $21.6 million and has similar mega-holdings of shopping areas around the country.
Last year, RockStep announced all of its properties would be known as “Uptown” with the location as part of the name. The COVID situation kept the company from having any formal recognition of the change, however, so they waited, and on Wednesday, local leaders joined RockStep in the middle of the retail mall to cut a ribbon to make it official. All signage has been switched to Uptown.
The mall was opened in 1988 but has seen many of its anchor stores close. Built by Crown American, it once included Hess, J.C. Penney, Sears, and Belk. During the late 80s and into the 90s, the Peppers Ferry Road site struggled with empty storefronts including the closing of one of its anchor stores, Sears.
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust bought the location and expanded several parts of the property. A vacant movie theater area was turned into a food court and a Christiansburg location for New River Community College.
More closures followed in 2014, and Faralon Capital Management acquired the mall. J.C. Penney closed in 2017 but three smaller stores – Homegoods, Planet Fitness, and Kirkland’s – filled some of the space.
The mall’s official name is now Uptown Christiansburg Shopping Center.