AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – When Southeastern Development bought the Aiken Mall they had big plans in mind and made big promises. Now five years later, there’s major progress on those plans. Half of the mall is already demolished.
Andrew Siders is an Aiken County Council member. But years ago, he was a manager at Brindles, one of the original stores at the Aiken Mall.
“We actually opened that store, so I was there when everything was happening. It was just a great place to be,” Siders said.
But now he says Aiken is ready for change.
“It is definitely bittersweet. It’s time for new things to happen. The mall concept is kind of going out of style. It’s changing with the times,” Siders said.
Southeastern Development plans to build apartments, a park, and bring places to shop. It’s something locals say they’re looking forward to.
“Of course we’ve been waiting for it and keeping up with the newspaper to see what’s going on. Of course I’m excited about it,” Beth Toney said.
And Siders says the economic impact will be huge for Aiken.
“The goal of anything we do is to keep people here in Aiken County, and not going across the river, to keep our tax revenue and our base here. So that just adds to that goal of keeping folks here in Aiken and Aiken County,” Siders said.
The project has been a long time in the making, but now with half of the mall already demolished, change is in the air.
“I think this will be, when it’s said and done, this will be a fantastic project for Aiken and Aiken County and the surrounding areas,” Siders said.
Some shoppers said Friday they are happy the property will still be a place to come shopping, not just an apartment building. And councilman Siders says Aiken really needs more housing, so he thinks the project is a win-win.
Count on NewsChannel 6 to keep you updated on the progress.