AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - Aiken Mall has been around for decades, but owners are looking to demolish it and reconstruct it with a new look.
Since stores began closing in the Aiken Mall several years ago, residents have been going across the water to get their shopping fix. City officials, like Interim City Manager Stuart Bendenbaugh, say they want to revamp Aiken Mall to keep money coming into the city of Aiken. "I think this redevelopment of Aiken Mall into the lifestyle center is going to mean that a lot of our residents do not have to go to Augusta to do particular kinds of shopping."
However, according to Aiken Planning Director Ryan Bland, paperwork has not yet been submitted by Southeastern Development Associates, who bought the mall in 2016. "Well, we know that the mall is being redeveloped or a developer intends to redevelop the mall. However, we haven't had any official land use submissions on that yet, any applications."
Bendenbaugh says the mall will be demolished towards the end of the year and the project will take a few years to be fully completed. "It's like some of their other projects, it could take several years because again, they're going to build as the retailers and business owners commit."
Though officials have not confirmed any committed retailers, they say they are looking to bring in a movie theater and large businesses like Kohls.
"Yes, I suspect you'll see retailers of that type as well as various entertainment options," said Blandenbaugh.
Once construction on the new shopping center begins, stores will start opening as they are completed.