Demolition of the enclosed unused spaces at the former Oak Ridge Mall started at the former Sears store on Tuesday. Here are photos of the work.
The demolition is expected to include the enclosed space between Belk and JCPenney, the two remaining anchors at the former mall.
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, said Neil Wilson, principal of RealtyLink, the Greenville, South Carolina, company that is redeveloping the property.
Plans call for replacing the former mall with Main Street Oak Ridge, an open-air, 58-acre, $75 million mixed-use development that could include retailers, restaurants, residential units, and a hotel. Belk and JCPenney are part of Main Street Oak Ridge, and they remain open during demolition of the mall’s enclosed spaces and construction of new stores.
A revised site plan for the project, the largest multi-tenant commercial retail project in the city, was unanimously approved by the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission on Thursday.
Besides Dick’s and T.J. Maxx, other new stores that have been announced as part of the 600,000-square-foot mixed-use redevelopment are Electronic Express, Maurice’s, PetSmart, Rack Room, Rue 21, and Ulta.
Wilson has said new stores could open in the spring of 2017.
There was a ceremonial groundbreaking for Main Street Oak Ridge on Wednesday, July 20. About 300 people attended.
RealtyLink bought the mall property from Oak Ridge City Center LLC on June 30 for $6.3 million. The new owner is TN Oak Ridge Rutgers LLC, a company set up by RealtyLink.
The demolition contractor is Environmental Abatement Inc.
See previous Main Street Oak Ridge stories here.
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