Aiken residents excited for transformation of Mall into mix-use facility

News

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Cyber Monday deals didn’t keep some people from leaving the couch and shopping at local retailers.

Some shoppers WJBF NewsChannel 6 spoke to say the underutilized Aiken Mall is not living up to its full potential during the holidays.

The Books-A-Million is the just one of two inviting store front here at the mall.

However, changes are coming and that’s exciting for Aiken shoppers who won’t have to drive to Augusta for their holiday shopping.

Out with the old, to make room for the new is the plan for the Aiken Mall.

Some of the walls are coming down to remodel the mall, that’s been forgotten over the years.

“Do you often come to the mall?” Asked NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“Not now,” said Aiken resident Kathy Rogers.

Since shoppers aren’t spending money there, the outcome is a empty mall with few stores still open.

Around the holidays some shoppers says they have no option but to travel elsewhere to find the perfect gift.

“Especially since Dillard’s is gone,” Rogers told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

“We really need something in this area, so we do not have to go to North Augusta or Augusta.” Tina Allison, a resident of Aiken, said.

The multi-million dollar mall revitalization project will transform the structure into a mix-use facility, with an indoor-outdoor feel and a park.

However, the mall layout will heavily depend on the stores that agree to locate there.

While movement on the project has been slow, people are thrilled about revamping the once-vibrant shopping center.

“I am from Aiken, born here, watched all of this growth come and go. We are very excited about having a new mall,” said Kathy Boatwright.

Demolition will begin in the Spring of 2018.

The future retailers will be announced sometime in the first quarter of 2018.

Belk and Books-A-Million will remain open during remodeling.Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story.

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