AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — It’s been the topic of conversation for a while, when will some type of action be seen here at the Aiken Mall? City leaders say changes are right on the horizon.
“They wanted to make sure that they’re providing products that meet the needs of the community,” City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk when asked about why progress is taking so long.
The mall was constructed about 30 years ago. Like a lot of brick and mortar shopping malls, it saw a decline over the years. It was purchased in 2016 Southeastern Development Associates and they have embarked on revitalizing the area. In addition to retail, plans call for a three-story structure with one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. “The first step is ultimately going to be the construction of approximately 250 market-rate apartments,” he said.
Officials say construction will likely take place behind the walls of the old meeting place before you see any changes outside.”Beginning in about a month, they are going to begin interior demolition. They must demolish that substantial portion of the interior of that side of the mall first which will not be really noticeable to the public,” Bedenbaugh said.
While Bedenbaugh says no solidified plans are in place for what stores will be available, he’s confident if they build it, they will come. “I know they’re looking to try to bring some retail there and I believe they will.”
This is a big investment. The apartments alone is more than $30 million.
Count on NewsChannel 6 to keep you updated on this developing story.