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See Inside the Former Macy’s Store That Was Turned into a Community Pool

A former Macy’s store in Henrico County, Va. has just been transformed into a massive indoor aquatics center. The center was built through a partnership with NOVA of Virginia Aquatics and Regency, the mall that housed the former Macy’s store.

The development marks the latest example of a shuttered Macy’s department store being completely repurposed. In 2019, a Macy’s store in downtown Seattle, Wash. was mostly transformed into Amazon office space. A Macy’s in Burlington, Vt. mall was transformed into a high school earlier this year. Macy’s said in February that it would close 125 locations by 2023.

The new aquatics center is set to open Sept. 1.

Macy's store turned into pool
The new aquatics center at the site of the former Macy’s.
CREDIT: Henrico County, Virginia

The new swimming center will feature three pools: an eight-lane, 50-meter pool and two three-lane, 25-yard pools, according to ABC 8 local news. The project reportedly cost about $18 million, which was sourced though public and private funding from Henrico County, Regency, and NOVA.

In March of 2020, the Macy’s store at the Regency Square mall began construction to turn the defunct department store into an aquatics center. The interior was gutted, with escalators, ceilings, and floors entirely ripped out. 

“Who would have thought that a Macy’s ends up being part of our sports tourism?” said John Vithoulkas, Henrico Country Manager, in a video displaying the project. It’s absolutely incredible.”

Macy's turned into swimming pool
The interior of the gutted former Macy’s store before it was transformed into a swimming center.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Henrico County Government

Vithoulkas added that the new pool, along with the community’s YMCA, will help make sure the community is entirely “drown-proof.” The pool will be open to the community for professional or recreational purposes. 

“This was Regency Square and I guess it is [still] Regency Square,” he said. “So it’s absolutely amazing and an incredible reuse.”

Macy's turned into pool
The interior of the gutted former Macy’s store before it was transformed into a swimming center.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Henrico County Government

“It’s amazing to see the transformation from a store that was Macy’s,” said Tuckahoe District supervisor Pat O’Bannon in the same video. “And now you walk in, it’s wide open and we have these beautiful pools for training kids to be in the Olympics or just to train them how to swim to keep them from drowning.”

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