AIKEN, SC. (WJBF)- The city of Aiken and developers are working on the new retail shopping center and living spaces at the Aiken Mall. Bria Smith has the story.

After tearing down what used to be the Aiken Mall and years of planning, people who live in Aiken will soon have a new outlet mall and housing options to choose from.

“Uh, I guess I’d say I travel, maybe, 20 miles to, maybe, go to Macy’s or someplace like that,” Flo said.

And one long time Aiken resident would like to be able to drive just down the road to shop. 

“When you’re looking for certain items and you don’t have them available locally, what do you do– you have to go outside and Augusta is the closest area,” Ute Aadland said.

But a part of Aadland’s concern isn’t just the commute.

“I’m very hopeful that this is going to bring a lot of shoppers back into this area because a lot of money is, is going back into Georgia,” Aadland said.

New to the area, Flo feels that having a variety of stores to choose from would be convenient.

“I would like Kohls, I would like TJMaxx, Marshalls, Macy’s– any of them.”

Because of the pandemic, project development experienced delays. 

“It also made retailers rethink what their future would look like, so everything as of right now, is on schedule,” Siders said.

But soon, people will be able to shop, dine and relax, all without going far from home.

There will be events, there’s gonna be a walking trail, there’s gonna be lots of neat things for everybody to come and do,” Siders said.

And with 300 new apartment homes going up, more housing means more business for the city.

“I do hope that a lot of those apartments are going to be affordable for younger people because they’re the ones who are going to be spending money to go shopping in these areas,” Aadland said. 

Developers say they expect to begin seeing more retail and housing at that development in the next six months.