New Fayette Mall plans call for restaurant, changes in Sears' space

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comAugust 13, 2013 

A proposed 10,000-square-foot restaurant in the parking lot of the Macy's store at Fayette Mall is part of a new plan submitted to Urban County Government since Sears announced the closing of its store.

In addition to the proposed restaurant at West Reynolds and Nicholasville roads, the proposal submitted by the owner of Fayette Mall, CBL & Associates Properties, shows that the Sears store would be redeveloped. But the developers haven't released the names of new retailers or restaurants.

"The overall development ... is a great adaptive reuse of a building, existing square footage that is being transformed to better retail stores but not adding traffic. It's a reduction in net square footage. On an overall basis, that's what sets this out as a great project," Michael Lebovitz, CBL's executive vice president of development, said Tuesday.

Most of the second floor of the Sears store would not be used for store space; it would be used for maintenance only, according to the plans. An additional 38,763 square feet will be built onto the front of the Sears store, but with the reduction in space used on the second floor, "on a net basis, there's less square footage post-development than pre-development," Lebovitz said.

The plans reveal that mall owners want to remove the Sears auto center, which is in a detached building outside the main store. That space would be used for parking.

There would be an entrance to Fayette Mall roughly where Sears has an entrance now.

City planning staff members are reviewing the proposal, planning director Chris King said.

Sears now connects one wing of the mall to another. Lebovitz said Tuesday that there might be two or three new restaurants as part of the project.

Sears will close by the end of the year, officials have said previously.

Sears owned its property at Fayette Mall, but CBL bought the land.

Lebovitz has said that the mall planned to focus on bringing in stores that aren't already in Lexington, but he said, "We're not releasing any names at this time."

Lebovitz did not disclose a date when the renovations would be complete.

King said Tuesday that the proposal complies with the current zoning for the property.

As is typical in such proposals, some questions under review by the city planning staff will be whether the proposal meets parking requirements under city ordinances and whether the traffic pattern in the area is affected, King said. Lebovitz said that the plan meets parking requirements and that there will be no additional traffic impact.

The planning commission is scheduled to take up the proposal in September.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears.

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