We asked people in Richmond: What should replace the Hilltop Mall?
on January 8, 2024
“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity.
Q: What would you like to see at the Hilltop Mall site?
“Having been part of when that mall first opened, and knowing that a lot of people don’t go to malls anymore because it is too hard to compete with online shopping, having more community outreach programs like services for the surrounding area would be really vital. Having a food bank or having a preschool program, senior care would be great.” (Stephen Egawa, preschool teacher, pictured above)
“I would like to see the hilltop area have townhouses because families are saying, ‘Yeah, apartments are great, but they don’t fit the need of our housing size.’”(Dulce Galicia, North Richmond municipal advisory council member)
“I would like to see a place for gatherings, maybe like a park, maybe a place where in the afternoon there’s some music playing where, you know, families and anyone within Richmond… could come together.”(Maria Lemus)
“It’s the perfect opportunity to create a multi-income village to support the several charter schools in the area.” (Richard Mitchell, retired Richmond planning director)
“A great place for a hospital. There’s a lot of health care disparities in this area. A different system might open up health care delivery to people here.” (Joanne Leibe, general surgeon)
“There’s not a lot going on there. The stores I remember going to, they are all gone. Finding out what the community wants, would be good. Having spaces that welcome people to spend their time there, a space to comfortably sit with friends. For me, growing up, malls were geared toward younger people, so finding ways to get their attention a little more would be important.” (Emma Sparks, bookstore worker)
“It would be nice to have somewhere we can all go enjoy on weekends, because that’s what we used to do. I’ve lived out in Richmond since I was 9. I remember on weekends I would go to Hilltop Mall where you would see everybody. So that was nice.” (Chris Divine Pagatpatan)
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