Note: This story was last updated at 7 p.m.
Demolition of the former Oak Ridge Mall began Wednesday with a ceremonial groundbreaking and the knocking down of a wall near the former Goody’s store, starting construction on a 58-acre mixed-use retail development known as Main Street Oak Ridge.
Demolition could last three months, and the construction of two new stores, T.J. Maxx and Dick’s Sporting Goods, could start where the former Sears building is in October. New stores could open in the spring of 2017.
Officials, business representatives, and the community celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday. About 300 or more people attended. After the groundbreaking on a hot, sunny summer afternoon, those celebrating, including children and adults, had a chance to spray graffiti on part of the old mall as a fundraiser for the renovation of Blankenship Field.
Main Street Oak Ridge is now the largest multi-tenant commercial retail project in the city, said Parker Hardy, president of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. [Read more…]