One step closer to new mall concept in Aiken, South Carolina

CSRA News

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A major project will soon take place in Aiken meant to keep money in the All America City. 

“This is crazy, isn’t it,” Councilman Andrew Siders told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk while looking inside of the closed parts of Aiken Mall. 

“Man, when I was here in 1990, this place was hopin. This was the place to be. Good restaurants, Chick-Fil-a was in here.  This place was the place,” he recalled. 

That “place to be” has changed into empty stores and dust covered floors. But soon light will be at the end of the tunnel.

“There’s lots of interest here,” Siders added. 

Siders knows Aiken and the Aiken Mall after being a manager at one of the local businesses there in the early 90’s.  He says one thing that is needed is missing for the project to go forward.

“The problem now is we have lots of interest in smaller stores. There’s a restaurant interest, there is smaller store interest,” Siders said. “But the allusive anchors are what they [developers] are chasing right now.”

Without a commitment from those anchor stores, a timeline for demolition, construction, and phases cannot be set. 

The project similar to another one in South Carolina. Shelter Cove Town Center is located in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

The finished product will include boulevards, parks, and more. It’s meant to be more user-friendly and modern than the old mall concept. 

“I think that’s good. I think that will be really good,”   Pearl Ingel said. 

Ingel is from Aiken. She makes the trip to the mall about two to three times a month. Shopping for “shoes, clothes, and jewelry,” she said, at one of the few remaining stores at the mall, Belk. 

If not shopping in Aiken, she told usually goes out of town.  If everything goes according to plan, dollars like hers will stay in Aiken. 

“If we can get a really good project going on here, we’ll get shoppers from all over and around the CSRA,” Siders added. 

The project heads remaining tight-lipped about the tenants agreeing to come aboard for “competitive reasons,” Siders stated. 

Officials remaining on the lookout for those final stores to get people like Pearl Ingel tocome back to the city to get great deals. 

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