Note: This story was last updated at 12 p.m.
Eight new stores at Main Street Oak Ridge could be turned over to retailers by the end of June, a city consultant said Tuesday, but the opening dates for the eight new stores haven’t been announced yet.
Ray Evans, retail consultant for the City of Oak Ridge, gave an update on the Main Street Oak Ridge project during a Tuesday morning Rise and Shine event sponsored by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce at Countryside Tire and Auto Service.
Two buildings with six retailers are scheduled to be delivered to retailers between mid-May and the end of May, Evans said. One building will include the new Dick’s Sporting Goods and T.J. Maxx stores, and another will include Maurice’s, Rack Room Shoes, Rue 21, and Ulta. Workers are preparing to pave the parking lot at Dick’s Sporting Goods and T.J. Maxx, Evans said.
Another building that will house Electronic Express and PetSmart is scheduled to be turned over to retailers by the end of June, Evans said.
Main Street Oak Ridge is the 58-acre project to redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall. Most of the former mall has been demolished, although two anchor stores, Belk and JCPenney, remain. So does a portion of the original Downtown Shopping Center from 1955.
In other updates in or around Main Street Oak Ridge, Evans said the new Panda Express restaurant, being built where Ruby Tuesday used to be, could open in about two weeks.
Negotiations are under way with potential tenants for two spaces in a building next to Panda Express, Evans said.
The Taco Bell on South Illinois Avenue will be torn down and rebuilt, Evans said.
The City of Oak Ridge has transferred about 7.5 acres of the lawn in front of the American Museum of Science and Energy, the property nearest South Illinois Avenue, to a company affiliated with RealtyLink, the Main Street Oak Ridge developer.
And the city and Evans are working with an architect on the U.S. Department of Energy’s new space for a public education and outreach center in the two-story building once occupied by the original Sears Roebuck store near JCPenney at the former mall. That space is part of the original Downtown Shopping Center. DOE is moving its public education and outreach missions to the former Sears space from the American Museum of Science and Energy, or AMSE, as part of an agreement that was worked out between DOE and the City of Oak Ridge and that involves Main Street Oak Ridge. (See our earlier story here on the AMSE property transfer agreement.)
Also, negotiations between a developer and construction contractor are under way for the new TownePlace Suites hotel planned near JCPenney on Rutgers Avenue, Evans said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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